Scientific Director, NIDCD

Review begins: July 22, 2020

The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) seeks a Scientific Director with creative vision and strong leadership skills to guide its Intramural Research Program. One of the 27 Institutes and Centers (ICs) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), NIDCD supports a broad spectrum of basic and clinical research related to hearing, balance, smell, taste, voice, speech, language, and head and neck cancers.  The Scientific Director will have opportunities to work with other international experts in communication disorders in a new, state-of-the-art neuroscience research center with advanced core facilities.
The NIDCD Scientific Director is responsible for developing and implementing an overall vision for the Division of Intramural Research (DIR) that is consistent with the mission and strategic objectives of NIDCD.  The Scientific Director oversees the NIDCD scientific organization, sets overarching research priorities, and allocates resources within the NIDCD DIR.  The Scientific Director should have a track record as an outstanding independent investigator and may run their own research program.  Specific responsibilities include:

  • Serving as the principal advisor on biomedical scientific affairs to the Institute Director.  
  • As a Division Director of the Institute, participating in high-level planning and implementation of overall Institute management policies, including program planning, budget formulation, and resource/space allocation.
  • Contributing to the development and support of trans-NIH initiatives, as well as actively participating in the governance of the NIH Intramural Research Program, including but not limited to participating on the NIH Board of Scientific Directors.
  • Providing leadership and overall scientific engagement of a program of basic and clinical research related to understanding disorders (as well as the normal development and function) of hearing, balance/vestibular, smell, taste, voice, speech, and language, and head and neck neoplasms that contribute to these disorders.
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of the DIR research program and stimulating scientists to develop imaginative and effective approaches to problems.
  • Ensuring that the fundamental and clinical research conducted in the NIDCD DIR harnesses the unique strengths of the NIH Intramural Research Program. 
  • Working closely and collaboratively with the NIDCD Clinical Director to foster translation of important scientific discoveries between the bench and bedside.  
  • Remaining abreast of ongoing research activities conducted at other Institutes throughout the NIH that may impact upon or contribute to NIDCD research programs.
  • Recruiting and reviewing Principal Investigators and other key staff.  Guiding and consulting with these individuals to provide mentoring and ensure the quality of the research conducted in the DIR.
  • Recruiting a diverse cadre of intramural investigators and trainees.
  • Overseeing research training and mentoring in the DIR to advance the research capability of promising young scientists.
  • Coordinating the work of various groups involved in relevant basic and clinical research.  Entering into cooperative arrangements with other federally and non-federally supported research activities to carry out collaborative projects.  Initiating contracts to support the research program and to further its goals.
  • Facilitating initiatives that bring together intra- and extramural Investigators and infrastructure both within and outside of NIH.
  • Complying with safety, ethics, and other legal and policy requirements.  
  • Serving as an expert consultant, advisor, and spokesperson, both nationally and internationally, for the research being carried out by the DIR. 
  • Representing the Institute on various intramural committees as requested by the NIDCD Institute Director and the NIH Deputy Director for Intramural Research (DDIR).  
  • Designing, developing, and hosting national meetings in relevant research areas and giving lectures and speeches on research related to the mission of NIDCD to both lay and professional groups.
  • Identifies opportunities and implementation strategies to enhance the overall effectiveness and efficiency of NIDCD’s intramural research program, taking into consideration recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel Review of NIDCD’s Intramural Research Program.

NIDCD offers unique opportunities for a scientific leader: opportunities for collaboration with extensive community of NIH scientists, who have broad expertise across all fields of biomedical research.  

LOCATION: Bethesda, Md.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS:  Applicants must possess an M.D., Ph.D., or equivalent degree, and have demonstrated scientific leadership and/or senior-level research experience in a basic and/or clinical research program of national and international standing in an area relevant to the mission of NIDCD.    

The successful candidate will have a compelling vision for the future of the field, proven experience in managing and directing a scientific research program, and well-honed administrative and interpersonal skills. The NIDCD seeks candidates who have a commitment to scientific excellence and the energy, enthusiasm, and innovative thinking necessary to maintain research efforts at the forefront of science. 

SALARY/BENEFITS:  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).

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT: 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 statutes, as well as agency-specific regulations described at  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 education institutions in the United States.  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.

REASONABLE ACCOMMODATION:  NIH provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities.  If you require reasonable accommodations 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.

HOW TO APPLY: Interested candidates should submit a letter of interest, including a brief description of research and administrative experience; curriculum vitae and bibliography; and full contact information for five references. Please include in your CV a description of mentoring and outreach activities in which you have been involved, especially those involving women and persons from racial/ethnic or other groups that are underrepresented in biomedical research. 

Application packages should be sent via e-mail to  For further information about the position, please contact the Search Committee Chair: Dan Kastner, M.D., Ph.D. by e-mail: .  Review of applications will begin on or about July 22, 2020, but applications will be accepted until the position is filled.


DHHS and NIH are equal opportunity employers and encourage application from women and minorities.