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Division Announcements

Division of Neuroscience is hiring program officers and health specialists

The Division of Neuroscience (DN) at NIA is planning to recruit Health Science Administrators (Program Officers) and Health Specialists in multiple branches within the Division. DN offers a fast-paced, collegial work environment in support of cutting-edge research and advances in all areas related to brain aging and behavior, with a focus on Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and Alzheimer’s disease related dementias. DN plays a critical role in working across the Federal Government and with other partners to prioritize and implement the National Plan to Address Alzheimer’s Disease. The 2021 NIH Alzheimer's Research Summit: Path to Precision Medicine for Treatment and Prevention highlighted important opportunities and challenges for our work.

DN supports research and training to further the understanding of neural and behavioral processes associated with the aging brain. Areas of special emphasis include brain-behavior relationships and how the processes of aging and age-related cognitive decline intersect with the development of AD and other dementias of aging. An important component is the support of basic, clinical, and epidemiological studies of AD and related dementias of aging, including development of improved biomarkers and development of new therapies. The basic theme throughout the division is to understand the aging nervous system in order to foster the maintenance of health and improve the quality of life of the older population.

Program officers are expected to develop a portfolio and work collaboratively across the Division, Institute, and NIH. Candidates will have opportunities to cultivate a portfolio of grant-supported research; lead and participate in transdisciplinary research collaborations; and develop scientific programming (e.g., symposia, special journal issues, conferences, and workshops). They will possess a doctoral degree and have experience in conducting biomedical or bioengineering research and/or grants management in biomedical or bioengineering research. A background in neuroscience is expected, and expertise related to aging is preferred but not required.

Health Specialists play an essential role in assisting with the administration of research grants and contracts, and to help foster and evaluate critical, new opportunities to extend the NIA’s impact on the health of older adults. Health Specialists provide support in research resource management, technical administration, and programmatic evaluation of research grants and contracts. Health Specialist candidates must have graduate-level training (e.g., a Ph.D., M.D., M.S., MPH) with a background in neuroscience. Expertise related to aging is preferred but not required.

Behavioral & Systems Neuroscience Branch

Health Specialist (GS-11/12/13) Position. Interested parties should contact Molly Wagster.

  • Health Specialist. The successful candidate will support oversight and development of research programs in neurobiology of age-related cognitive decline and impairment, motor, sensory, and affective function with an emphasis on reserve and resilience in these domains. The successful candidate will support Branch activities, including program oversight, workshop development, and training activities. The Health Specialist will work collaboratively with other Offices and Divisions across NIA to assist with coordination of research programs.

Neurobiology of Aging and Neurodegeneration Branch

Two Program Officers (GS-12/13/14; non-supervisory GS-15) and a Health Specialist (GS-11/12/13) Position.  Interested parties should contact Brad Wise.

  • Program Officers. The two successful candidates will have responsibility for developing and managing a portfolio of diverse research grants in the Branch’s expanding research portfolios related to basic science of brain aging, Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and related dementias (ADRD). The Branch supports research on the genetic, molecular, cellular, and neural mechanisms underlying changes in the brain and its interaction with other physiological systems. Current themes of the Branch include the hallmarks and mechanisms of brain aging, selective cell and circuit vulnerability and plasticity in aging and AD/ADRD, stem cells and induced cell reprogramming, infectious agents, and sleep disorders. Candidates will also participate in trans-NIH programs.
  • Health Specialist. The successful candidate will support Branch activities, including program oversight, workshop development, and training activities. The Health Specialist will also support the branch’s participation in trans-NIH Neuroscience programs, such as the BRAIN Initiative, Neuroscience Blueprint (BP) for Research, and Collaborative Research in Computational Neuroscience (CRCNS) Program.

Population Studies and Genetics Branch

Program Officer (GS-12/13/14; non-supervisory GS-15) and two Health Specialist (GS-11/12/13) Positions. Interested parties should contact Jennie Larkin.

  • Program Officer. The successful candidate will have responsibility for developing and managing a portfolio of research grants in the large complex portfolio within the Genetics program, which includes a growing number of cooperative agreements, including the National Institute on Aging Genetics of Alzheimer's Disease Data Storage Site (NIAGADS). Successful candidates will have knowledge of genetics, epigenetics, and/or functional genomics. Knowledge of data science and analytical platforms is desirable. The candidate will be part of a dynamic interdisciplinary team that is working to diversify the Division’s epidemiology cohorts and associated genomics analysis.
  • Health Specialists. The two successful candidates will work closely with Program Officers to support research grants, cooperative agreements, and training awards in the rapidly expanding epidemiological and genomics portfolio. Health Specialists will work closely with Program Officers in the Epidemiology portfolio to support oversight and diversification of the population studies program and with Program Officers within the Genetics portfolio to coordinate Genomic Data Sharing oversight and reporting. Expertise of epidemiological research or of genomic data sharing is desirable.

Translational Research Branch

Two Program Officer (GS-12/13/14; non-supervisory GS-15) and two Health Specialist (GS-11/12/13) Positions. Interested parties should contact Larry Refolo.

  • Program Officers. The successful candidates will have responsibility for oversight and continued development of the Division’s drug discovery and preclinical drug development portfolios and translational infrastructure programs. The Branch supports the full spectrum of drug discovery and preclinical drug development from target discovery and validation through securing Investigational New Drug (IND) status for small molecules and biologics aimed at prevention, treatment, and management of individuals with or at-risk for cognitive decline, Alzheimer's disease, and related dementias. In addition, the branch supports the development of translational infrastructure programs that operate under open-source, open-science principles. Central to the mission of the branch is the integration of data science disciplines (such as systems and network biology, systems pharmacology, and translational bioinformatics) with experimental approaches throughout the drug development process, including for the purposes of advancing drug repositioning and combination therapy development. Expertise in developing, leading and overseeing drug discovery and preclinical drug development programs for neurodegenerative disorders.
  • Health Specialists. The successful candidates will work closely with Program Officers to support research grants, cooperative agreements, and training awards in the Translational Research Branch’s portfolio. Expertise in project management, data science, drug discovery are desirable.

Clinical Interventions and Diagnostics Branch

Two Program Officer (GS-12/13/14; non-supervisory GS-15) and a Health Specialist (GS-11/12/13) Position. Interested parties should contact Laurie Ryan.

  • Program Officers. The two successful candidates will have responsibility for developing and managing a portfolio of research grants in the rapidly expanding clinical trials and biomarkers portfolios. Program Officers will manage and develop research programs in the areas of clinical therapy development for AD/ADRD and biomarkers for AD/ADRD. The Branch supports research spanning the development and evaluation of AD/ADRD biomarkers/diagnostics (fluid, imaging, digital, cognitive) and pharmacological and non-pharmacological interventions for the treatment and prevention of AD and related dementias. It also includes the network of AD research centers and open-science-based infrastructure programs and initiatives for biomarker and therapy development.
  • Health Specialist. The successful candidates will work closely with Program Officers to support research grants, cooperative agreements, and training awards in the rapidly expanding clinical trials and biomarkers portfolios. The Health Specialist will be responsible for providing support and oversight of the biomarker and therapy development portfolios. Expertise in biomarker and therapy development or clinical research is desirable.

Office for Strategic Development and Partnerships

Two Health Specialist (GS-11/12/13) Positions. Interested parties should contact Suzana Petanceska.

  • Health Specialists. Successful candidates will provide project management for a number of Division-wide activities and resources, such as the NIA Global Unique Identifier (GUID), NIH NeuroBioBank, logistics contracts for scientific meetings and workshops and will work closely with diverse stakeholders. The office coordinates scientific activities and reporting across the Division and facilitates collaborations within NIH and with other federal and nonfederal funding agencies supporting Alzheimer's disease and Alzheimer's disease-related dementias research, as well as the division’s participation in public private partnerships. Expertise in project management, data science, contracts.

The physical office is located in downtown Bethesda, Maryland. NIA is a telework-friendly environment and offers a variety of workplace flexibility options. Currently NIA is operating under emergency telework operating status due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits will be provided. All applicants will receive consideration without regard to ethnicity, gender, national origin, age, religion, disability, or sexual orientation.

For additional information about these positions, please contact Madison Jezioro with a resume and letter of interest. Please specify which position(s) you are interested in being considered for.

HHS and NIH are Equal Opportunity Employers