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The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking exceptional candidates for the position of Project Director, HEALthy Brain and Child Development (HBCD) Study, Division of Extramural Research (DER). NIDA is committed to advancing the science on drug use and addiction and applying that knowledge to improve individual and public health. DER provides scientific management and oversight on the development, implementation, and coordination of NIDA’s extramural initiatives, policies, reviews, and operations planning.

As a Science Program Leader, the HBCD Study Project Director reports directly to the Director, DER, sets scientific priorities, makes high-level decisions about the overall program direction, and works closely with the HBCD Study and grants management officials to approve resource allocations for the approximately $50M/year budget. The HBCD Study Project Director also formulates major overall scientific policies as it relates to research across all phases of the HBCD study and advises the highest levels of NIH and NIDA management in major areas of importance in overall policy and program direction. The HBCD Study Project Director collaborates with representatives from multiple NIH Institutes/Centers and consults with stakeholders, including families, educators, professional organizations, services and offices serving pregnant woman and children, and other governmental agencies; and serves as spokesperson for the NIH with the scientific community, press, and public.

As a recognized national leader and expert in public health-related research, the incumbent has overall scientific and leadership responsibility for the highly visible and complex HBCD Study. In particular, the incumbent provides leadership over multiple trans-NIH HBCD Study Committees, works closely with the HBCD Study extramural researchers and external stakeholders, and participates in the HBCD Study extramural leadership team meetings. The incumbent also serves as the primary spokesperson for NIH on all internal and external interactions regarding the study, and represents NIH on HBCD Study planning, oversight, management, evaluation, and communications.

The successful candidate will possess an M.D. and/or Ph.D. degree (or equivalent degree) in health or allied sciences relevant to the position from an accredited educational institution and should have research experience and national renown in a field that is relevant to neurodevelopment, brain imaging, cognitive neuroscience, population studies; and/or drug misuse and addiction. In addition, he/she will possess experience that demonstrates the ability to manage and lead a large and diverse research program having national or international collaborations, scope, and impact. Candidates should have demonstrated effective leadership abilities, and excellent communication skills with the ability to serve as a spokesperson for the Institute and the program, including on sensitive ethical issues related to the goals of HBCD Study program. The candidate should also have strong program and project management skills for the planning, executing, and assessing of this complex, multifaceted extramural program and initiatives. Experience is also required in the resolution of operational issues and the ability to manage financial and human resources. A track-record of industry/academic excellence or public sector experience, and outstanding scientific contributions to research is expected. The successful candidate will demonstrate a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

To learn more about the position, benefits, and application process, please see the full vacancy announcement at NIH OHR Scientific Jobs. Position open until filled. Applications will begin review by the search committee on December 15, 2023.



Contact: Allison Adams


Organization: National Institute on Drug Abuse