Director, Office of Translational Initiatives and Program Innovations (OTIPI), NIDA

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health is seeking exceptional candidates for the position of Director, Office of Translational Initiatives and Program Innovations (OTIPI). NIDA's mission is to lead the nation in bringing the power of science to bear on drug abuse and addiction. This charge has two critical components. The first is to advance translational research and innovation in the biomedical and health sciences.  The second is to drive growth in biomedical and health sciences entrepreneurial communities in the area of addiction science, ensuring the rapid and effective dissemination of research results to improve practice and inform policy related to drug abuse and addiction.  OTIPI is charged with maximizing NIH-funded basic and clinical science through the development of novel funding opportunities, product development, and entrepreneurial training.  OTIPI partners with NIDA intramural and extramural divisions to accelerate the transition of research discoveries into new devices, diagnostics, drugs, and research tools. The Office supports a broad portfolio of grants, contracts, cooperative agreements, and prizes. Areas of scientific application include medications (drugs and biologics), devices, healthcare diagnostics, research tools, platform technologies, and health IT-based service and treatment research, all with high potential for translation. OTIPI is also responsible for NIDA’s partnership and funding activities with early-stage start-ups in industry-shifting technology areas (e.g., artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing, digital health, virtual reality/augmented reality, data security, and gaming).

The Director of OTIPI reports to the NIDA Director and leads an institute-wide effort to (1) advance translational research and innovation in the biomedical and health sciences, and (2) drive growth in biomedical and health sciences entrepreneurial communities in area of addiction science. The OTIPI Director provides executive leadership and vision for trans-NIDA biomedical translation research programs.  He/she formulates and implements plans and policies to carry out the OTIPI’s mission and oversees collaborative research efforts with other NIDA divisions, government agencies, and private industries. The OTIPI Director manages a total annual budget of $64M, which includes $48.7M for grants, $10M for translational programs, $4M for research and development contracts, $1.1M for research management and support, and $190K for novel funding authorities such as challenges and prize competitions.  To carry out this work, the OTIPI Director manages six scientific staff, determines resource allocations, and manages staffing to ensure that mission goals are achieved. The OTIPI Director also serves as the lead NIDA representative to professional societies and the advocacy community by attending meetings and conferences, giving presentations to scientific and advocacy groups, and engaging in discussions with relevant stakeholders.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS: The NIDA seeks candidates who have a commitment to scientific excellence and the energy, enthusiasm, and innovative thinking necessary to assist in leading a dynamic and diverse organization. Applicants must possess an M.D. and/or Ph.D. or equivalent degree and should have research experience and national renown in a field that is relevant to drug abuse and addiction. In addition, he/she must possess experience that demonstrates the ability to manage and lead a large and diverse research program having national or international collaborations, scope, and impact.  The OTIPI Director must also possess expertise in business development, excellent executive-level presentation and communication skills, and the ability to create and deliver high-profile presentations to a variety of internal and external audiences. 

LOCATION: Rockville, MD

SALARY/BENEFITS: The successful candidate for this position will be appointed at a salary commensurate with his/her qualifications.  Full federal benefits will be provided including leave, health and life insurance, long-term care insurance, retirement, and savings plan (401k equivalent). 

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT: Selection for this position will be based solely on merit, with no discrimination for non-merit reasons such as race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, disability, age, or membership or non-membership in an employee organization. The NIH encourages the application and nomination of qualified women, minorities, and individuals with disabilities.

STANDARDS OF CONDUCT/FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: The National Institutes of Health inspires public confidence in our science by maintaining high ethical principles. NIH employees are subject to Federal government-wide regulations and statutes as well as agency-specific regulations described at the NIH Ethics Website. We encourage you to review this information. The position is subject to a background investigation and requires the incumbent to complete a public financial disclosure report prior to the effective date of the appointment.

FOREIGN EDUCATION: Applicants who have completed part or all of their education outside of the U.S. must have their foreign education evaluated by an accredited organization to ensure that the foreign education is equivalent to education received in accredited educational institutions in the U.S. We will only accept the completed foreign education evaluation. For more information on Foreign Education verification, visit the National Association of Credential Evaluation Services (NACES) website. Verification must be received prior to the effective date of the appointment.

REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION: NIH provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you require reasonable accommodation during any part of the application and hiring process, please notify us. The decision on granting reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

HOW TO APPLY: Interested candidates should send a letter of interest, including a brief description of research and administrative experience, CV, bibliography, and a list of five individuals with contact information, who can serve as references to: Maryann Postorino, Office of Human Resources, National Institutes of Health at For further information about the position, please contact the search committee chair: Susan Weiss, Ph.D. by email: .


Please submit applications by June 8, 2020 (submission date may be extended).


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