Scientific Director

Job Summary

The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) is seeking exceptional candidates for the position of Scientific Director to provide visionary leadership for its growing Division of Intramural Research (DIR), located in Bethesda, Maryland.  The NINR uses nursing’s holistic perspective to advance research and research training that improves individual and population health and promotes health equity by identifying practice and policy solutions for people in the context of their lives and living conditions.  The NINR is moving in exciting new directions, and the Scientific Director will play a central role in shaping these developments.  An approach that partners with local communities and integrates health determinants from biological to societal is sought for the DIR, with an emphasis on social determinants of health.  Synergistic foundational, intervention, and implementation research is anticipated.  The Scientific Director is a key member of the NINR senior leadership team and reports directly to the NINR Director.

The Scientific Director provides overall executive direction, coordination, and scientific leadership for the entire NINR DIR.  The Scientific Director will be provided with the hiring opportunities and appropriate resources to grow a robust intramural research program.  Research programs are highly sought that involve community partnerships, integrate and study interventions at multiple levels including social determinants of health, and focus on health disparities and equity.  The Scientific Director serves as the principal advisor to the NINR Director on scientific affairs involving the DIR.  The Scientific Director will recommend, develop, and implement new DIR initiatives and programs; oversee program operations including program planning and evaluation; provide fiscal management and administrative supervision; and oversee training of post-baccalaureate, pre-doctoral, and post-doctoral fellows to support building and diversifying the nursing science workforce.  The Scientific Director creates and maintains a nurturing research environment that encourages innovation, collaboration, and efficient utilization of resources.

The Scientific Director collaborates closely with the NINR Clinical Director on all protocols involving research participants.  The Scientific Director identifies and facilitates collaborative opportunities across the NIH and with local communities, academic institutions, organizations, and the broader scientific community.  The Scientific Director represents the NINR intramural interests at meetings of the NIH Board of Scientific Directors and serves as the spokesperson both nationally and internationally on the NINR intramural research activities.  The Scientific Director will comply with safety, ethics, and other legal and policy requirements.

The Scientific Director will also lead their own program of research that supports the overall mission of the NINR.  Resources will be made available accordingly.

Required Qualifications

Nurse scientists are strongly encouraged to apply and will be given preference.  Applicants must possess a Ph.D., M.D., or equivalent research degree, and have demonstrated scientific leadership and/or senior level research experience of national and international standing in an area relevant to nursing science.  Applicants should have leadership experience, proven experience in leading and conducting an active scientific research program, a strong track record of mentoring and training future scientists, and well-honed administrative and interpersonal skills.  The NINR seeks applicants who have a commitment to scientific excellence, compelling vision for the future of the DIR, and innovative thinking necessary to maintain the DIR’s research efforts at the scientific forefront.  Desired areas of expertise include approaches that integrate health determinants from the biological to societal including social determinants of health and focus on health disparities and equity.    A diverse pool of applicants is sought, so qualified individuals from all backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.


Salary is competitive and will be commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the candidate.  Full Federal benefits will be provided, including retirement, health and life insurance, long-term care insurance, leave, and a Thrift Savings Plan (401K equivalent).  A recruitment and/or relocation incentive may be available; 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 NIH inspires public confidence in our science by maintaining high ethical principles.  NIH employees are subject to Federal government-wide regulations and statues, as well as agency-specific regulations described at the NIH Ethics Website.  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 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.


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.

If selected, you will be subject to a two-year trial period under this 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.