Scientific Director, Center for Cancer Research, NCI

Job Summary

The Center for Cancer Research (CCR), National Cancer Institute (NCI), seeks to fill the position of Scientific Director (SD) for Clinical Research. This is an exciting opportunity to oversee the management and influence the scientific direction of the CCR’s Clinical Research Program. This position is roughly equivalent to an academic provost.  

The CCR ( is the basic and clinical intramural research program of the NCI, comprising over 250 basic and clinical research groups. The CCR clinical research program develops and conducts clinical research at the NIH Clinical Research Center (CRC) on the NIH Bethesda campus, the world’s largest dedicated research hospital with 200 inpatient beds, 93-day hospital stations, and multiple outpatient clinics. 

CCR’s clinical program has a long history of landmark advances at the forefront of cancer research, including as a pioneer in immunotherapy, precision medicine and drug development. Since 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved seven drugs/regimens resulting from the CCR clinical trials program. CCR’s highly active clinical trials program is far-reaching with a budget of ~ $280 million dollars and a staff of approximately 1,365 employees, accounting for over one third of the total activity at the NIH Clinical Center.  In 2022, CCR opened 42 new clinical trials and enrolled almost 1,800 new patients on nearly 350 open clinical trials. Research activities are multidisciplinary, spanning oncologic diseases in adults and children – from brain, lung, prostate, bladder, renal, breast, and gynecologic malignancies, leukemia, lymphoma, and melanoma – to understanding rare cancers and genetic and virally-driven cancers. CCR physician-scientists are investigating innovative new treatment approaches including transplantation, cellular therapy, surgery, radiation, and biomarker-selected molecular and immunotherapy. 

The SD for Clinical Research is responsible for the overall management and scientific vision of CCR’s entire clinical research program, including development of strategic plans, identification of new clinical research opportunities, implementation of new research programs, and the training and mentoring of tenure-track investigators and physician-scientist early investigators. The incumbent provides leadership for the advancement, prominence, and expansion of national and international clinical cancer research and its translation for the public benefit. S/he formulates and implements the CCR’s clinical research program in partnership with the CCR Director, NCI Clinical Director, and the NCI Director by:

•    engaging outstanding researchers in consequential investigator-initiated clinical research in a translational-research culture,
•    supporting innovative, high-impact bench-to-bedside research through access to the NIH Clinical Center,  the largest publicly funded research center in the world,
•    integrating advanced biomedical technologies into clinical trials,
•    committing to studying rare cancers and treating underserved patient populations; and, 
•    training an outstanding and diverse group of scientists and clinicians to engage in clinical cancer research.

The SD for Clinical Research directly advises the CCR Director, NCI Clinical Director, and the NCI Director on NCI policies as well as national and international issues of cancer public health.  Through presentations and personal interaction, the SD for Clinical Research advises the NCI Board of Scientific Counselors, the National Cancer Advisory Board, NCI Clinical Trials Advisory Committee, and the President’s Cancer Panel and other partners in the National Cancer Program about research activities, initiatives, and advances to evaluate and sustain progress.

The SD for Clinical Research may also supervise their own research laboratory supported by resources commensurate with the size and scope of their program.

Required Qualifications

Applicants must possess a M.D., M.D./Ph.D., Ph.D., (or equivalent) with experience equivalent to an NIH tenured senior investigator or senior clinician and have demonstrated leadership and success in a clinical research program of national and international standing in oncology-related research. The successful candidate will have a compelling vision for the future of clinical research, proven experience, and success in managing and directing a clinical research program, and well-honed administrative and interpersonal skills. The NCI seeks candidates who have a commitment to scientific excellence and the energy, enthusiasm, and innovative thinking necessary to maintain the CCR’s clinical research efforts at the forefront of science. We expect a strong and clearly demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in the candidate’s research, mentoring and community service. The successful candidate will be well-known and respected within their profession, both nationally and internationally, based on their clinical research achievements. Candidates should have demonstrated ability to manage financial and human resources and lead a clinical research program involving extensive internal and external collaborations and must be able to build, mentor, motivate and maintain a culturally diverse staff.   


The Scientific Director, CCR, NCI will be appointed at a salary commensurate with their qualifications and experience.  Full Federal benefits, including leave, health and life insurance, retirement, and savings plan (401K equivalent) will be provided. A recruitment or relocation bonus may be available, and relocation expenses may be paid. 

Please read the following guidance on Selective Service requirements.

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 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.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION: HHS protects the American people from health threats, researches emerging diseases, and mobilizes public health programs with domestic and international partners.  In support of this mission, HHS offers its employees the opportunity to volunteer to become Federal Civilian Detailees and contribute their unique skills through voluntary temporary assignments to humanitarian emergencies or Departmental priorities countering new and emerging health, safety, and security threats.

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.