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Our Stories - Christopher Booher
Grants Management Specialist, National Institute of Mental Health, NIH
What is your role at NIH?
I work at the National Institute of Mental Health as a Grants Management Specialist. My job is to perform the administrative review of grant applications that are submitted to NIMH for potential funding. This involves: reviewing and analyzing budgets and financial information; ensuring that the grantee is adhering to NIH policies during the administration and execution of the grant award; being a knowledge expert on NIH grant policies and procedures; and providing customer service by assisting grantees with all aspects of the grant process at NIH.
What inspired you to want to work at NIH?
I found out about potential job opportunities at NIH while applying for the Federal Governments Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP).
Was it difficult transitioning into NIH?
The initial transition was smooth and preparation and communication were the keys. Before I started my new position at NIH I made sure that my supervisors understood the technology and additional training that I required. NIMH procured what I needed so that I would be ready for the first day on the job. Since I am the first blind employee to work as a Grants Management Specialist at NIH, no one was sure how my adaptive software would work with NIH’s electronic information systems. Steps have been taken in the right direction, and I hope I can continue to contribute my knowledge and experience to this important mission.
How do you think job seekers with a disability can benefit from joining NIH?
When NIH hires a professional who happens to have a disability they will be gaining three things; First, a Professional who has the education and experience to perform the job at a high level of expertise; Second, a unique Perspective on life and the world around them by introducing diversity in the workplace and Third, someone who has Passion for the mission of NIH to “reduce the burdens of illness and disability” in the world.