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Vacancy Announcement

Scientific Director, Division of Preclinical Innovation

National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences

The National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), a major research component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), seeks to identify an outstanding Scientific Director to lead its Division of Preclinical Innovation (DPI) in Rockville, Maryland. The Division of Preclinical Innovation encompasses all aspects translational science from target validation through first-in-human clinical studies. DPI has both technology development components and collaborative resource access programs, covering small molecule and RNAi screening technologies and informatics, to translational efforts in biology, medicinal chemistry, pharmacokinetics, toxicology, ADME, and project management. The DPI Scientific Director has the responsibility for an annual budget exceeding $55 million and a staff of approximately 110.

The Scientific Director (SD) is a key member of the NCATS leadership team, and works closely with the Center director and heads of other NCATS divisions.  The SD provides scientific and administrative leadership of DPI; oversees recruitment and professional development of staff; develops and implements new DPI initiatives; and catalyzes interactions among DPI’s research groups, and between DPI and the other NCATS divisions, other NIH Institutes and Centers, academic institutions, regulatory agencies, non-profit and for-profit organizations, and the broader research and patient communities.  S/he is responsible for creating and maintaining a nurturing research environment that encourages creativity, collaboration among scientists from different disciplines and organizations, effective training of students and postdoctoral fellows, and efficient utilization of resources.  Finally, the SD serves as a frequent spokesperson for NCATS and translational research.

Required Qualifications

Applicants must possess a doctoral degree (M.D., Ph.D., or equivalent) in the biomedical sciences, as well as a record of accomplishment in academic and biopharmaceutical preclinical translation with demonstrated experience leading multi-disciplinary research groups in technology and therapeutic/diagnostic/intervention development.  The ideal candidate will be an internationally recognized and highly accomplished researcher in all aspects of preclinical translation, with a particular interest and accomplishment in technology and paradigm development.  S/he must have expertise and accomplishment in multiple aspects of preclinical translation from target validation through early development of therapeutics and/or diagnostics to proof-of-concept in humans, and broad and first-hand knowledge of the field of rare disease therapeutic development, including both small molecule and biologic approaches.  Experience developing and teaching educational materials in preclinical translation is a strong plus.  Finally, s/he must have demonstrated experience in directing and managing a large and scientifically diverse research program, with well-honed administrative and interpersonal skills to meet the demands of both research and program direction, and the ability to influence, inspire, and empower scientists and administrative staff to be creative, self-motivated, entrepreneurial achievers who deliver on the mission of the organization through individual and collaborative initiative.


Bethesda, MD


Salary is competitive and will be commensurate with candidate’s experience.  A full Federal benefit package is available, including retirement, health and life insurance, long-term care insurance, annual and sick leave, and the thrift savings plan (401K equivalent).  Appropriate support for this program will be provided.  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:

How To Apply

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter that includes a brief description of research and administrative experience, current curriculum vitae and bibliography, names and contact information of five references, and a 1-2 page written vision statement for leading the DPI. Questions about the position and applications themselves should be sent via email to:   All information provided by the candidates will remain confidential and will not be released outside the NCATS search process without a signed release from the candidate.

Applications will be reviewed starting April 1, 2014 and will be accepted until the position is filled.

HHS and NIH are Equal Opportunity Employers.

This page last reviewed on April 17, 2014

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