The National Library of Medicine seeks a Scientific Director

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) seeks a Scientific Director with creative vision and strong leadership to guide its Intramural Research Program. One of the 27 Institutes and Centers (ICs) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), NLM is a leader in computational health sciences research and the world’s largest biomedical library.  The successful candidate will oversee a diverse group of some 150 scientific personnel, developing innovative new approaches to data science, biomedical informatics, and computational biology and their application to open questions in basic molecular biology, genomics, health, and healthcare.

NLM’s Strategic Plan, 2017-2027 positions NLM to become a platform for biomedical discovery and data-powered health. NLM anticipates continued expansion of its intramural research program to keep pace with growing demand for innovative data science and informatics approaches that can be applied to biomedical research and health and growing interest in data science across the NIH. NLM is carrying out a significant reorganization of its intramural research activities to operate with a more unified, coordinated approach to investigation under the direction of the Scientific Director.

NLM offers a rich environment for research in computational health sciences.  NLM creates and hosts major digital resources, tools, and services for biomedical and health literature, data, and standards, sending 115 terabytes of data to five million users and receiving 15 terabytes of data from 3,000 users every weekday.

The proximity of NLM’s intramural research program to its significant collections of digital data and information, and to leading biomedical researchers across NIH provides unparalleled opportunities to NLM’s scientific staff.

The Scientific Director:

  • Provides overall programmatic leadership for intramural research at NLM, including development of a long range plan for NLM’s biomedical data science research efforts;
  • Identifies opportunities and implements strategies to enhance the overall effectiveness and efficiency of NLM’s intramural research program, taking into consideration recommendations of the Blue Ribbon Panel Review of NLM’s Intramural Research Program;
  • Oversees and improves coordination of research in both the Lister Hill National Center for Biomedical Communications (LHC),, and the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI),; these two NLM research centers, currently under separate scientific administration, are housed on the NIH campus, and include in total approximately 150 scientific personnel (including principal investigators, staff scientists, research fellows, and other trainees), and a growing research budget.
  • Allocates laboratory space and other resources;
  • Oversees recruitment and career development of a diverse cadre of exceptional investigators and other scientific staff, as well as intramural training programs for research fellows and other trainees;
  • Maintains a personal laboratory conducting innovative research in the biomedical data sciences, supported by resources appropriate to the size and scope of the program;
  • Develops partnerships with industry, academia and other Federal agencies to advance research in biomedical data management and data sciences;
  • Works closely with senior members of the data science community across NLM, NIH, and other Federal agencies;
  • Represents the NLM Intramural Research Program to leadership of NIH, its ICs, and to various committees and other entities within and external to NIH;
  • Serves as a member of the NLM Leadership Team that advises the NLM Director, and interacts closely with NLM leadership, particularly regarding strategic research directions and innovative approaches in computational health and data science; and
  • Is advised by and serves as Executive Secretary of NLM’s Boards of Scientific Counselors, consisting of prominent extramural researchers.

NIH offers unique opportunities for a scientific leader: opportunities for collaboration with an extensive community of NIH scientists, who have broad expertise across all fields of biomedical research, proximity to NLM’s advanced biomedical data and information systems, and a funding model that facilitates the conduct of long-term and high-impact science that can be difficult to undertake in other research environments.

LOCATION: Bethesda, MD

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS: The successful candidate will have a Ph.D., M.D. or equivalent degree and an established record of outstanding research accomplishments, scientific leadership and service within the community of scientists 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).

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: Applicants must submit a letter of interest of no more than three pages that addresses the applicant’s: 1) vision for the field of biomedical informatics and data science, 2) 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 by the end of Thursday, Aprils 18, 2019. 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.

Applications should be sent to:

NLM SD Search Committee
c/o Troy Pfister
Building 38, Room 2S-16
8600 Rockville Pike,
Bethesda, MD 20894



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