Scientific Director, NLM

Review begins: September 15, 2021

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) seeks an outstanding Scientific Director to lead its Intramural Research Program (IRP). NLM is embarking on a bold new direction for its IRP, unifying its strong programs in computational biology and computational health sciences into a single program and expanding its role in advanced computation, analytics, and visualization to accelerate discovery from biological and clinical data. NLM’s IRP researchers develop innovative approaches, methods and strategies that are unbiased, accessible and reusable across domains. Research supported by NLM may be motivated by specific health conditions or biological problems, including those of interest to other NIH programs, and by national goals for developing intelligent computational tools to analyze and understand all types of biomedical, biological, and public health data. 

The NLM Scientific Director directs the activities of intramural research and research training. NLM’s current research emphases lie in two areas: 1) computational health, which focuses on natural language processing, clinical image processing, biomedical ontologies and information models, and clinical analytics; and 2) computational biology which includes transcription, chromatin and networks; structure and function; sequence statistics; and evolutionary genomics. NLM is expanding the size and scope of its IRP to address the growing demand for innovative data science and informatics approaches in biomedicine. The proximity of NLM’s intramural research program to NLM’s significant collections of digital data and biomedical information resources provides unparalleled opportunities for collaboration with key developers of these flagship NLM data resources, as well as with intramural researchers at other NIH institutes and centers. Additionally, NLM’s intramural researchers can collaborate on projects with outside academic partners, and partner with industry via technology transfer and research and development agreements.

The position of NLM Scientific Director offers an exciting opportunity for a creative, forward-thinking individual to develop a comprehensive vision for NLM’s IRP and direct the implementation of that vision. The Scientific Director has overall budgetary and personnel authority for NLM’s IRP; identifies and supports opportunities for new research directions and has overall responsibility for the recruitment and career development of a diverse cadre of exceptional investigators, research fellows, and pre- and post-doctoral trainees. In addition, the Scientific Director is expected to carry out her/his own research program, conducting innovative research in the biomedical data sciences, supported by resources appropriate to the size and scope of the program.

The successful candidate will direct the activities of a diverse group of research investigators and trainees. In addition to having responsibility for the budget, staffing, quality and integrity of NLM’s IRP, the Scientific Director is an active participant in the NIH Intramural Research Program, representing NLM at the Scientific Director’s meetings, IRP committees, and in other groups within and external to NIH. The incumbent is the executive secretary of the NLM Board of Scientific Counselors and a member of the NLM Leadership team that advises the NLM Director.

LOCATION: Bethesda, MD

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS: The successful candidate will have a Ph.D, MD and/or equivalent degree and an established record of outstanding research accomplishments, scientific leadership and service within the community of scientists, health professionals, industry and others interested in the biomedical data sciences.

SALARY/BENEFITS: The NLM Scientific Director will be appointed at a salary commensurate with his/her qualifications and experience and NIH salary guidelines.  Full Federal benefits will be provided, including retirement, health and life insurance, long term care insurance, leave, and savings plan (401(k) equivalent). A recruitment or relocation bonus may be available, and relocation expenses may be paid

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 educational institutions in the U.S. 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: Applicants must submit a letter of interest of no more than three pages that addresses the applicant’s: 1) vision for the NLM intramural’s contribution to the field of biomedical informatics, information science and data science, 2) personal research plans for the next 3-5 years, and 3) qualifications for this position.  In addition please include a current curriculum vitae, and the names of three references.  Please include in your CV a description of your mentoring and outreach activities, especially those involving women and persons from racial/ethnic or other groups that are underrepresented in biomedical research. DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR BIRTH DATE OR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER ON APPLICATION MATERIALS.

Applications should be sent to: NLM SD Search Committee, c/o Troy Pfister ( for the first review of applications by COB, Wednesday,  September 15, 2021.  The position will remain open until a selection is made.