Job Opportunities

Interested in the big picture? NIH seeks bold, visionary scientists and physicians with a broad knowledge of neuroscience to support The BRAIN Initiative®. As a BRAIN Program Director or Analyst, you will conceive and develop large-scale funding initiatives, organize workshops, and interact with leading neuroscientists throughout the world. Successful candidates will join a highly interactive group of scientists and clinicians applying their basic, translational, and clinical experience and expertise in all areas of neuroscience. The ambitious goal of accelerating the development and application of innovative neurotechnologies to revolutionize our understanding of the human brain will not be possible without the contributions of creative, flexible, and engaging scientific program staff - apply today!

Program Director 

NIH is Seeking Qualified Scientists to Serve as Program Directors for The BRAIN Initiative®

Do you have a vision for the future of neuroscience research and the role of new technologies in determining how neural circuits function? Would you like to play a leadership role in a program that engages the world's top scientists to open entirely new pathways to discovery? Would you be excited by the opportunity to contribute to amazing technological advances and innovation?

The BRAIN Initiative® is an ambitious scientific program to develop the needed tools and understand how brain circuit activity enables thought and behavior. At NIH, Program Directors play a pivotal role in shaping The BRAIN initiative® by designing and planning funding initiatives, advising applicants prior to submission, developing and presenting funding plans to NIH Institute Directors and Advisory Councils, and managing and optimizing research efforts in support of specific grant programs. At each step in the process, Program Directors operate from a unique perspective that requires conveying scientific expertise and knowledge of the funding process to scientists, clinicians and policy professionals with a wide variety of backgrounds.

For The BRAIN Initiative®, you will work in a highly interactive environment with staff from ten NIH Institutes and Centers that fund different facets of neuroscience research (NINDS, NIMH, NIDA, NIBIB, NICHD, NEI, NIA, NCCIH, NIAAA, NIDCD). Your expertise in specific areas of neuroscience and/or technology development will inform the implementation of the initiative's strategic goals as laid out in the landmark report, BRAIN 2025: A Scientific Vision(PDF - 1.2 MB) (PDF). You will collaborate with Program Managers from other agencies that contribute to The BRAIN Initiative®, including NSF, DARPA, FDA, and IARPA, as well as scientists and staff from non-profit and private groups such as the Allen Institute for Brain Science, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Kavli Foundation, and the Simons Foundation. Your efforts will be evaluated and discussed by the BRAIN Multi-Council Working Group, an oversight body that includes some of the world's foremost leaders in neuroscience.

Program Director candidates are typically early-to-mid-career independent research scientists. Preferred qualities include fundamental curiosity that spans beyond one's area of specific expertise, flexibility and organizational skills to tackle diverse challenges and strategic goals, ability to engage a variety of stakeholders and discuss scientific concepts at different levels of complexity, ability to work in a team environment, and interest in taking on leadership roles in varying contexts.

Multiple openings are anticipated, with specific interest in expertise for the following areas:

  • Cellular and molecular neuroscience, especially with focus on technologies and approaches for cellular phenotyping, functional and structural circuit mapping, or development of molecular genetic tools.
  • Neuroengineering and neurotechnology development, especially for recording and manipulating neural activity in experimental animal models or in humans.
  • Neural imaging and non-invasive neuromodulation, especially with expertise in technologies and approaches for human applications.
  • Systems neuroscience, especially with expertise in experiments and analysis of neural activity in behaving animals and/or humans.
  • Computational and theoretical neuroscience, with interest and expertise in brain network functions at multiple scales.

Potential candidates should send a letter of interest and c.v. to Moria Bittman at Interested individuals are encouraged to respond as soon as possible to ensure consideration.



Director  of the NIH BRAIN Initiative 

NINDS Seeks Exceptional Candidates for the Position of Director of the NIH BRAIN Initiative

Vacancy Announcement
Department of Health and Human Services
National Institutes of Health
Director of the NIH BRAIN Initiative


THE POSITION: The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking exceptional candidates for the position of Director of the NIH BRAIN Initiative. The NIH BRAIN Initiative includes ten NIH Institutes and Centers - National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH), National Eye Institute (NEI), National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) - and is co-led by the Directors of NIMH and NINDS.

The Director of the NIH BRAIN Initiative will develop and implement a complex, coordinated program designed to meet the goals identified in the NIH BRAIN Initiative 2025 report (PDF - 1.22 MB). The incumbent will oversee all aspects of this program, which will involve research, training and scientific policy initiatives. In order to succeed, the Director of the NIH BRAIN Initiative will develop productive relationships with a broad range of NIH BRAIN Initiative stakeholders. The Director of the NIH BRAIN Initiative will be the spokesperson for this program in interactions across NIH, with federal agencies and international partners with similar BRAIN projects, as well as the scientific community, pharma/biotech, patient advocacy groups, and other NIH stakeholders.

To achieve these goals, the Director of the NIH BRAIN Initiative will lead a team of NIH staff that includes members from the ten (10) NIH BRAIN Initiative Institutes and Centers. This team includes Program Officials, Program Analysts, Scientific Review Officers, Communications Officers, Budget Officers and Policy Analysts.

LOCATION: Bethesda, Maryland (NIH Main Campus)

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS: Applicants must possess an M.D. and/or Ph.D., or equivalent doctoral degree in the biomedical sciences and have senior-level research experience and knowledge of neuroscience research programs. This individual should be known and respected within the scientific community, with a distinguished record of research accomplishments. S/he should have demonstrated leadership, organizational skills, and have broad visionary capabilities, with demonstrated ability to navigate successfully within and collaborate across a broad science community that includes both neuroscientists and scientists from diverse fields including engineering, physics, mathematics, bioinformatics, and chemistry. S/he should have experience developing and setting strategic priorities, as well as communicating and promoting scientific advances, and should have demonstrated skills in managing human and financial resources and budgetary planning.

SALARY/BENEFITS: The Director of the NIH BRAIN Initiative will be appointed at a salary commensurate with his/her qualifications and experience. Full Federal benefits, including leave, health and life insurance, long term care insurance, retirement, and savings plan (401K equivalent) will be provided.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT: Equality is held as one of the most important values here at NIH. Selection for this, and any other position, will be based solely on merit. NIH does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, politics, marital status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, age or membership or non-membership in an employee organization.

STANDARDS OF CONDUCT/FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE: 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. We encourage you 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 ACCOMODATION: NIH provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities. If you require reasonable accommodation 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 current CV and bibliography electronically to Will Hennings at or by calling (301-402-7227). In addition, applicants must also submit a supplemental narrative statement that addresses the qualifications requirements (not to exceed a total of two pages), a statement of their vision for The BRAIN Initiative® (not to exceed a total of two pages), and provide the names, titles, email addresses, and telephone numbers of 4-5 references.


Applications will be reviewed starting March 5, 2018

(Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.)