Clinical Director, National Eye Institute

Job Summary

The National Eye Institute (NEI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking exceptional clinician-scientist candidates for the position of Clinical Director (CD). This individual will lead the NEI Office of the Clinical Director (OCD), which manages the NEI clinical research program and clinical ophthalmology service (which includes approximately 15 ophthalmologists and 30 clinical staff), while also integrating the clinical research program with basic research from the NEI Intramural Research Program (which includes over 20 Principal Investigators and 300 research staff).
The NEI CD reports directly to the NEI Director. The CD works closely with the NEI Director, Deputy Director and Scientific Director to set clinical research policy and identify and facilitate collaborative opportunities across the NIH, other federal agencies and with academic institutions, stakeholder organizations, and the broader scientific and clinical vision communities.
NIH offers unique opportunities for a clinical research leader including opportunities for collaboration with an extensive community of NIH clinicians and scientists who have broad expertise across all fields of biomedical research. The NIH intramural program provides a funding model that facilitates the conduct of long-term, high risk and high-impact clinical science that can be difficult to undertake in other environments. The presence of both clinical and basic disciplines at the NIH provides opportunity for translational ventures including “first in human” studies, and the NEI OCD has a strong commitment to these areas.
The CD manages the Office of the Clinical Director, which coordinates, conducts, supervises and supports the conduct of intramural clinical research including diagnoses, research into the cause of eye diseases, and the development of treatments for diseases of the visual system. The OCD manages the scientific review of all clinical protocols at the NEI and facilitates the translation of advances in laboratory research into clinical applications. It provides the infrastructure needed to promote high quality clinical research and to ensure patient safety. This infrastructure is utilized by all NEI researchers interested in running clinical trials in the intramural Eye Clinic, including basic laboratory researchers interested in translational research.  The assistance to intramural researchers begins as early as providing pre-IND regulatory advice, runs through protocol development and assistance with all committee reviews and regulatory hurdles, and continues with the conduct of the trial in the NEI Outpatient Clinic.  Every aspect of the trial is supported by the OCD including protocol development, filings, monitoring, and statistical analysis through a contracted Clinical Research Organization (CRO), trial coordination, data collection and data management. There are currently >40 active clinical research protocols at NEI.
The CD is also responsible for leading the clinical ophthalmology program, which currently has about 45 staff, including 15 clinicians as well as ophthalmic technicians, photographers, trial coordinators, nurses and clinical informatics specialists. The clinical space occupies approximately 13,000 square feet on two floors in the NIH Clinical Center. The current space includes 18 physician exam rooms, 24 rooms for ophthalmic testing and diagnostic assessments, 2 minor surgery/treatment rooms, 1 laser room, and 3 administrative rooms. The Consult Services space has 2 physician exam rooms and 3 rooms for ophthalmic testing and diagnostic assessments. 
The NEI clinics are a major component of NIH Clinical Center operations and have over 8,000 patient visits per year and provide an average of 2,800 consults per year.  These consults are critical to the success of research programs of other NIH Institutes and Centers.  The ophthalmology clinical program at the NIH Clinical Center is also of major importance to the NIH Undiagnosed Disease Program.  
Overall, the CD provides administrative oversight and executive-level programmatic leadership for intramural clinical research at NEI, including development of a long-range plan to guide, and where possible, to integrate translational and clinical research along with biomedical data science research efforts. The successful applicant may also maintain a personal clinical program conducting innovative research in vision/clinical science, supported by resources appropriate to the size and scope of the program. The CD will develop partnerships across the NEI and NIH and with industry, academia, and other Federal agencies to advance vision research. The CD serves as a member of the NEI Leadership Team that advises the NEI Director and interacts closely with NEI leadership, particularly regarding strategic research directions and innovative approaches to support vision research. The Clinical Director also serves as a member of the NIH Clinical Center Medical Executive Committee (MEC), which serves a crucial advisory role to the CEO of the NIH Clinical Center.
The CD creates and maintains a nurturing research environment that encourages innovation, collaboration, and efficient utilization of resources.  For more information on the NEI, please visit

Required Qualifications

The National Eye Institute seeks candidates who have a commitment to scientific excellence and the energy, enthusiasm, and innovative thinking necessary to lead a dynamic and diverse organization. Applicants must exhibit exceptional leadership ability in managing multidisciplinary clinical research programs. Applicants must possess an M.D., MD/PhD or equivalent degree with a current U.S. medical license and be board certified in ophthalmology. Applicants should also be an outstanding clinical researcher with a proven track record in managing significant clinical research programs. Applicants should have senior-level clinical research experience and outstanding knowledge of vision research programs in one or more scientific areas related to blinding eye diseases, visual disorders, mechanisms of visual function, preservation of sight, or the special health problems and requirements of the blind.  Applicants should be known and respected within their profession, both nationally and internationally, as distinguished individuals of outstanding clinical competence and administrative capability. The candidate must have demonstrated administrative leadership experience running a complex clinical program or institution. Applicants should have proven experience in managing and directing a clinical research program, strong track record of mentoring and training future scientists, proven experience in budget and resource allocation and well-honed administrative and interpersonal skills. Preference will be given to applicants who have demonstrated leadership using innovative approaches to develop clinical research programs; and in program assessment and analysis of program objectives; resolution of operational problems and issues; and the ability to manage financial and human resources including building, motivating, and maintaining a diverse staff and serving as a spokesperson. The NEI seeks applicants who have a compelling vision for the future of the NEI clinical research program, a commitment to making a positive impact on eye health, clinical excellence, and the innovative thinking necessary to maintain the NEI clinical translational research efforts at the scientific forefront. A diverse pool of applicants is sought, so qualified individuals from all backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.  


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.

Equal Employment Opportunity

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 NIH 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 Program.  We encourage applicants 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 education institutions in the United States. 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) websiteVerification 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 accommodations 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.

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