Category: Job Announcements

Wanted: NIGMS Deputy Director

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We have just launched the search for a critically important position on our leadership team: the NIGMS deputy director.

This person will assist me in managing the Institute, advise on a range of topics and handle special projects. He or she will also work closely with groups within and outside NIH and will represent us on various Federal and non-Federal scientific and professional committees.

We’re looking for someone with a distinguished record of leadership and scientific administration who has expertise in our mission areas, a deep understanding of biomedical research and knowledge of the grant process. The job also calls for strategic vision, innovative thinking, energy and enthusiasm!

It’s an exciting time to be a part of the NIGMS team and play a key role in our efforts to bolster the biomedical research enterprise. For more about the qualification requirements and application steps, see the vacancy announcement. The deadline for applying is May 27. Questions about the position should be directed to Mariela Light at 301-496-9788.

I encourage you to share this information with others who might be interested.

UPDATE: This vacancy listing has been extended to June 30, 2014.

Wanted: Program Directors to Manage Grants in Developmental and Cellular Processes, Research/Student Research Development Programs


NIGMS is looking for two program directors (also known as “health scientist administrators/program officers”) to manage research grants and/or student research development program(s).

One position is in our Developmental and Cellular Processes Branch of the Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology. This branch supports research on the genetic and biochemical pathways that cells utilize in development and in normal physiological processes. Candidates should have expertise in the use of state-of-the-art molecular genetics and/or genomics-based approaches to address questions in these scientific areas.

The other position is in the Postdoctoral Training Branch of the Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity. This branch supports research training, fellowship and career development programs for postdoctoral scientists. Candidates should have knowledge of and/or experience in understanding, planning and managing research/student research development program(s) at the postdoctoral or early stage investigator career level, including those targeted to groups that are underrepresented in biomedical and behavioral sciences. Candidates also should have expertise in innovations for teaching in STEM fields as well as research experience in other scientific areas within the NIGMS mission.

For both positions, candidates should have leadership, managerial, and strong oral and written communication skills. Familiarity with NIH extramural funding as a grant applicant, reviewer or NIH scientific administrator is a plus.

Vacancy announcements typically are open for only a very short time, and this one closes soon—Sunday, February 23. Please see the NIH HSA Web site for position requirements and application procedures. The Applying for Scientific Administration Jobs at NIGMS blog post offers additional background and tips.

Scientific Careers in the Federal Government


Broadening the definition of a “successful scientific career” is a key theme of the NIGMS training strategic plan as well as the NIH Biomedical Workforce Working Group Report.

To help graduate students, postdocs and even faculty become more familiar with the range of opportunities available to those trained for research, I participated in a 2013 ASCB meeting panel discussion with ASCB Executive Director Dr. Stefano Bertuzzi about science careers outside academia. We had a lively Q&A session about our reasons for leaving bench science, how our previous experiences have helped us in our current positions, and what one needs to do to prepare for careers in science policy and research administration.

Not too long ago, some might have considered me a science “dropout” because I left academia for federal work as a program director. I may no longer have my own lab, but I think about science every day and help researchers obtain funding for their work. I’m happy that I made the transition.

If you’re considering a science administration career in the federal government, here are a few tips to help you find available opportunities.

Job vacancies for individuals at all career stages are posted on The Overview section of each announcement will tell you how many vacancies the job announcement intends to fill. Without going too far into the minutiae, the site has an advanced search feature that lets you find open positions by salary, location, keyword and more. One search field is Occupational Series. The series that may be of most interest to Feedback Loop readers are 0601 – General Health Science, which includes most scientific administration jobs at NIH, and 0401 – General Natural Resources Management and Biological Sciences, which includes science administration jobs at NSF. Both the 0601 and 0401 job “families” include bench science positions, as well.

As of today, the 0601 and 0401 series offered more than 80 open positions. While not all of the jobs may be relevant to you, this gives you an idea of the scope of the federal science and health mission.

Last year, Mitzi Kosciulek of NIH’s Office of Human Resources wrote about applying for scientific administration jobs at NIGMS. Some of the general principles she outlined are applicable to any federal job search. For example, as part of an effort to speed the hiring process, many USAJOBS postings are open for only 5 days. For that reason, consider creating a profile, building a resume in the system and uploading your academic transcripts so you’re ready to roll when the right job opportunity presents itself. Once you have a profile, you can save your most pertinent search specifications and then ask the system to send you new “hits” by e-mail.

Wanted: Biomedical Technology; Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Branch Chiefs


We’re recruiting for two outstanding individuals to serve as branch chiefs within our Division of Biomedical Technology, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology (BBCB), where they will oversee the scientific and administrative management of either the Biomedical Technology Branch or the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Branch. In addition, they will be responsible for advising, directing and evaluating program activities for a portfolio of research grants in one of the branch areas.

The vacancy announcement, which includes detailed descriptions of the job requirements and application procedures, is scheduled to post this weekend on and remain open for a short period. We’ll update this post early next week with a link to the announcement and the closing date. In preparing an application, Applying for Scientific Administration Jobs at NIGMS may offer other useful information.

Now is a particularly exciting time for the division. In previous posts, I’ve talked about our efforts in big data and open science. But these are just two areas of BBCB interest. The main focus of the Biomedical Technology Branch is supporting the research and development of new or improved instruments, methods and approaches that have broad application to biomedical research. The Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Branch is primarily focused on funding basic biomedical research that leads to an integrative understanding of biomedical systems, as well as funding research to create or maintain databases and to develop methods to manage, visualize and analyze data.

Judith Greenberg Named Acting Deputy Director of NIGMS


Photo of Dr. Judith GreenbergI am pleased to tell you that Judith Greenberg has agreed to serve as acting deputy director of NIGMS while a search for a permanent deputy director takes place. A news announcement on her appointment is posted at

As most of you know, Judith has served in numerous leadership roles at NIGMS and NIH, including two stints as NIGMS acting director.

In her new role, Judith will provide advice and expertise on all Institute activities. She will also continue to serve as director of the Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology, a position she has held since 1988.

Once the job announcement for a permanent deputy director is posted, I will be sure to alert you via this blog.

Wanted: Program Director for Cellular Decision Processes Grants


We’re looking for a program director (also known as a “health scientist administrator/program officer”) to manage research grants and other types of awards focused on cellular decision processes, e.g., growth initiation, proliferation, cell senescence, terminal differentiation, sporulation and chemotaxis regulation. The position is in the Developmental and Cellular Processes Branch of our Division of Genetics and Developmental Biology.

Candidates should have expertise in the use of state-of-the-art molecular genetics and/or genomics-based approaches to elucidate mechanistic aspects of cell growth and differentiation, signaling pathway dynamics or related areas. Familiarity with NIH extramural funding as an applicant, reviewer or NIH scientific administrator is a plus, and outstanding communications skills are essential.

The vacancy announcement closes on April 30. Please see the NIH HSA Web site for position requirements and application procedures. The Applying for Scientific Administration Jobs at NIGMS blog post offers additional background and tips.

Not looking for a position right now? Please help us out by forwarding this information to others who might be interested in this opportunity.

Applying for Scientific Administration Jobs at NIGMS


If you’re interested in becoming a health scientist administrator or program director at NIGMS or another part of NIH, here is information from NIH’s Office of Human Resources (OHR) to help you navigate the job application process and prepare a strong application package.

NIGMS and other NIH components post every job opening on, the official Office of Personnel Management (OPM) job site that services all federal agencies. These job postings are referred to as “vacancy announcements.” If you’re not relying on sources such as NIGMS’ Feedback Loop to alert you to specific job openings, we at NIH OHR encourage you to use the USAJOBS search engine to target positions of interest.

When utilizing USAJOBS, an important item to be aware of is the vacancy announcement’s closing date. Many NIH announcements are advertised on USAJOBS for 5 business days. This is in response to the President’s Executive Order mandating hiring reform measures to streamline and accelerate government hiring processes. In some cases, original closing dates may be extended, but applications cannot be accepted once the closing date has passed.

We recommend that you keep your USAJOBS account—including your profile and supporting documentation—current so that you can quickly respond to new vacancy announcements. USAJOBS also allows you to store cover letters, certifications and unofficial transcripts in a “saved documents” section.

Applications received through USAJOBS are initially reviewed by an OHR human resource specialist who identifies highly qualified applicants and refers these applicants’ resumes and documentation to the selecting official. Because of the highly rigorous qualification process mandated by OPM, it is critical that your resume accurately describes your major activities, responsibilities and scope; a curriculum vitae with job titles and dates is not enough information for qualification purposes. For more information, please see these tips for developing effective federal resumes.

You can find more suggestions, tutorials and FAQs at the USAJOBS Resource Center. You also can follow us at these sites:
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Wanted: Biomedical Technology, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology Division Director


Search Committee Members:

Francine Berman, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Valerie Florance, National Library of Medicine

Daniel Gallahan, National Cancer Institute

Christine Kelley, National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering

David Landsman, National Center for Biotechnology Information

Michael Rogers, NIGMS, Chair

Earlier this year, NIGMS formed the Division of Biomedical Technology, Bioinformatics, and Computational Biology (BBCB) to administer programs that were part of the former NIGMS Center for Bioinformatics and Computational Biology and the National Center for Research Resources. The division also manages the NIH Biomedical Information Science and Technology Initiative (BISTI), an effort to stimulate and coordinate the use of computer science and technology to address problems in biology and medicine. Because of its role at NIH, BBCB serves as a focal point for collaborative efforts with other federal agencies that are developing related programs and policies.

To lead BBCB and BISTI, we’re looking for an individual with exceptional strategic vision and a distinguished record of research and management experience in computation/informatics, biomedical technology and biomedical research. NIGMS Acting Director Judith Greenberg has noted that the BBCB Director will have an extraordinary opportunity to shape this still relatively new division, forge key alliances with other NIH components and government agencies, and interact directly with the NIH Director to help establish guidelines and programs in biocomputing and technology.

For details about the job qualifications, how to apply and other information, see the vacancy announcement. Applications will be reviewed starting November 26, 2012, and will be accepted until the position is filled.

Now is a particularly exciting time for this division at NIH, since biomedical progress is critically dependent on the development of a more robust computing infrastructure and on the creation of new biomedical technologies. As chair of the search committee for the division’s director, I ask for your help in identifying candidates for this important position and in sharing this information with others who might be interested.

Wanted: Director of the Office of Emergency Care Research


As I told you in July, NIGMS houses the new NIH Office of Emergency Care Research (OECR), which was created to advance, coordinate and provide information about basic, clinical and translational biomedical research and research training within the emergency care setting.

The search is now open for an outstanding physician and leader in emergency medicine research to oversee this office as its first director. This position offers an important and unique opportunity to shape trans-NIH approaches to improving the health outcomes of persons with emergency medical conditions.

Candidates must possess an M.D. and professional knowledge of and skill in applying concepts, principles and methodology in clinical emergency medicine. For additional qualification requirements, evaluation criteria and application instructions, please view the vacancy announcements for:

Supervisory Medical Officer, GS15 Clinical, Extramural (NCI, NHLBI, NIAID, NIGMS, and NICHD)
Supervisory Medical Officer, GS15 Research, Extramural (NCI, NHLBI, NIGMS and NIAID)

You can apply to either one. A key difference between the two is that the first one requires a current, valid medical license. The listings close on November 4, 2012.

I encourage you to share this information with others who may be interested in applying.

UPDATE: This vacancy listing has been extended to November 6, 2012, due to weather issues during the week of October 29.

Search for NIGMS Director Resumes


The search for the next director of NIGMS has officially restarted. If you want to play a leading role in shaping the future of biomedical research, see the just-issued vacancy announcement for details on how to apply. If you know of others who might be interested in this position, please share this information with them.

The NIGMS director is the Institute’s “chief visionary,” setting goals, priorities and policies. He or she oversees a budget of $2.4 billion, which funds basic research in cell biology, biophysics, genetics, developmental biology, pharmacology, physiology, biological chemistry, biomedical technology, bioinformatics, computational biology, and selected behavioral and clinical areas. NIGMS also supports a significant amount of research training and has programs designed to develop and increase the diversity of the biomedical and behavioral research workforce.

To learn more about the Institute’s values and goals, see its strategic plan and its strategic plan for training.

Former NIGMS directors have had distinguished records of research, leadership, management and outreach/communication.

The search committee, which I co-chair with National Human Genome Research Institute Director Eric Green, will begin reviewing applications in the early fall.