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Jeremy Swan – US Army
Project Coordinator, National Institute for Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)
How did you become an NIH employee?
After graduation from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), I accepted an "Intramural Research Training Award" fellowship at the NICHD in late 2006. After the two year fellowship, I joined RNSolutions Inc., a local contracting company, where I continued working on projects that I started as a fellow. I've been working with the group ever since.
What inspired you to want to work at NIH?
I love supporting researchers! I've wanted to work at the intersection of web technologies, graphics and biomedical research. The NIH is the perfect place to do all of this and more.
Was it difficult transitioning from the military into NIH?
Yes and no. I was enlisted so I was able to transition during college, but I have found it sometimes difficult adjusting to the more decentralized leadership structure which is appropriate for a research institution. There is a major philosophical difference between the academic world, where individual creativity is necessary and nurtured and the military, where adherence to standards and discipline often supersede individual creativity.
What is your role at NIH?
I assist scientists in the use of new technologies. This includes websites, computer graphics, photography, videography, animation, and oversight of a robust wiki.
How do you think other veterans can benefit from joining NIH?
The NIH is a great place to support the health of the nation and the world at large. The skills that a veteran brings to the table are unique and can complement those typically found in the research community. It is sometimes a challenging and somewhat political environment, but also one in which discipline and motivation can get things done. It is a place where a veteran can excel by being organized and working hard on a wide range of unique projects.