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Vacancy Announcement

Deputy Director, Office of AIDS Research

Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives, Office of AIDS Research

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is seeking exceptional candidates for the position of Deputy Director, Office of AIDS Research (OAR).

The Office of AIDS Research, located within the Office of the NIH Director, coordinates the scientific, budgetary, legislative, and policy elements of NIH AIDS research. The NIH represents the largest and most significant public investment in AIDS research in the world. The NIH response to the epidemic requires a unique and complex multi-institute, multi-disciplinary, global research program. Perhaps no other disease so thoroughly transcends every area of clinical medicine and basic scientific investigation, crossing the boundaries of nearly every NIH Institute and Center (IC). This diverse research portfolio demands an unprecedented level of scientific coordination and management of research funds to identify the highest priority areas of scientific opportunity, enhance collaboration, minimize duplication, and ensure that precious research dollars are invested effectively and efficiently. OAR, in consultation with the NIH ICs, sets the trans-NIH scientific priorities for this large and diverse program, which is conducted or supported by nearly every NIH IC. Through its unique comprehensive trans-NIH planning, budgeting, and portfolio assessment processes, OAR is enhancing collaboration and ensuring that research dollars are invested in the highest priority areas of scientific opportunity that will lead to new tools in the global fight against AIDS.

OAR has an annual operating budget of approximately $61 million and a staff of approximately 34 employees. The Deputy Director, OAR, provides overall day-to-day management of OAR operations and programs, and guides a diverse group of government and contract professionals in the development of a comprehensive HIV/AIDS research program. He/she develops and analyzes policies and program initiatives to enhance HIV/AIDS research objectives that have national and international impact. The incumbent provides effective leadership in the implementation of management policies and guidelines. He/she participates with the Director, OAR in establishing goals, objectives, plans, and priorities for the Office and communicates goals and priorities to staff in the OAR through staff meetings, policy statements, and other formal methods.

The Deputy Director, OAR provides scientific leadership including policy development and/or program management for the diverse, highly complex NIH AIDS research program and scientific advice to the NIH Associate Director for AIDS Research on the entire NIH AIDS research portfolio across the broad range of scientific disciplines; supervises, directs, manages, and provides leadership to OAR senior scientific and program staff; and leads and coordinates multi-IC activities to implement new, innovative programs to enhance international collaborations as part of White House and DHHS initiatives targeting capacity building and infrastructure to conduct clinical studies. He/she represents the NIH Associate Director for AIDS Research in trans-NIH, DHHS, and other federal governmental scientific task forces, meetings, and working groups. Identifies scientific priorities, opportunities, and programmatic gaps in the NIH AIDS research program through the development of the annual trans-NIH Plan for HIV-Related Research. The OAR Deputy Director directs the OAR scientific staff in developing the scientific components of the annual strategic plan which informs the worldwide scientific community of NIH AIDS research goals, objectives, and strategies; as well as serves as the basis for the development of the annual NIH AIDS research budget; and tracks the expenditure of NIH AIDS research resources. He/she leads and directs OAR senior scientific staff in convening expert panels of non­government scientists, clinicians, and community representatives to assess trans-NIH AIDS research programs. These groups identify scientific accomplishments of these critical programs and develop recommendations for future scientific goals and objectives for these initiatives.

The Deputy Director, OAR provides advice to the Director, OAR, on major extramural policy issues and initiatives affecting HIV/AIDS research and the NIH. Maintains current knowledge of NIH extramural research policies and procedures and continually identifies potential areas of concern or improvement for further consideration by the Director, OAR. He/she maintains knowledge of and identifies current and emerging issues, including Congressional concerns and external policy setting activities in other agencies within and outside the Federal government that may affect the OAR. Monitors the effects of national policy changes on research activities.

The Deputy Director, OAR carries out or directs special OAR program or policy assignments and requests made by the Secretary of DHHS, the NIH Director, the DPCPSI Director, or the OAR Director. These assignments involve independent analysis and evaluation of significant problems or questions pertaining to OAR activities, programs, and policies. Studies may include outlining alternatives strategies and options for implementation, and they may become the official response to requests from Congressional committees, the Office of the Secretary, and other external sources or may represent major discussion papers on particular aspects of NIH HIV/AIDS research policy and program development for consideration by Agency leadership. He/she coordinates the overall development of the trans-NIH budget of approximately $3 billion for AIDS research. He/she directs the review by senior scientific staff of the IC Funding Opportunity Announcement and budget requests and provides overall program-related advice in all scientific areas of NIH-sponsored AIDS research to the OAR Director. The Deputy Director, OAR develops recommendations to the OAR Director on the level of AIDS funding for each IC based on proposed projects.

The Deputy Director, OAR assists the OAR Director in all budget-related activities, including the determination of the annual trans-NIH AIDS research budget and distribution of the appropriate allocation level to each IC. This requires a thorough knowledge of individual AIDS research programs within each IC and their integration across the NIH to ensure appropriate resources are available for the highest scientific priorities and opportunities in AIDS research. He/she directs and advises the OAR Director on the process to make OAR special initiative funding available to enhance multi-IC activities addressing priority research.

He/she directs and manages the annual scientific and programmatic reviews of the NIH AIDS research grant and intramural research portfolios. This assessment activity involves the OAR senior scientific and program staff, and IC AIDS Coordinators and scientific program staff. The review process, the first of its kind at NIH, is crucial to ensuring that AIDS research dollars are used to support the highest scientific priorities in AIDS research.

The Deputy Director, OAR maintains his/her knowledge in a broad range of scientific areas. He/she may organize workshops or conferences to seek input from the extramural or intramural researchers, integrate that information, and develop new or changes to existing scientific priorities and goals for OAR programs and for the coordination of OAR programs with those of the ICs. He/she cultivates and maintains relationships with senior level scientists in the ICs, IC AIDS Coordinators (who represent their IC Director on all AIDS-related issues), as well as IC extramural, intramural, and review staff across the NIH to identify and address AIDS programmatic and portfolio scientific needs and opportunities, as well as to establish trans-NIH collaborations. He/she cultivates and maintains relationships with U.S. and international government officials and academic leaders to identify opportunities for scientific collaborations, capacity building, and infrastructure development to further NIH and OAR missions. The Deputy Director, OAR directs and organizes panels of world-renowned biomedical and behavioral AIDS researchers from academia and industry, as well as leaders of AIDS community constituency groups to identify AIDS research priorities, opportunities, and future directions for NIH-sponsored AIDS programs.


Rockville, MD

Required Qualifications

NIH seeks candidates with strong scientific and communication skills, who have a commitment to scientific excellence and the energy, enthusiasm, and innovative thinking necessary to lead a dynamic and diverse organization. Applicants must possess an M.D. and/or Ph.D., or comparable doctorate degree in a field of health science plus senior-level scientific AIDS research experience and outstanding scientific knowledge of AIDS research programs. They should be known and respected within their profession, both nationally and internationally, as individuals of outstanding scientific prominence, with a distinguished record of research accomplishments and leadership credentials. Applicants must also have demonstrated experience in setting, planning, implementing, and analyzing program objectives and priorities. They should have the demonstrated leadership and broad visionary capabilities in the research arena with demonstrated ability to engage others to create and execute an organization’s vision; to navigate successfully within and collaborate across the public sector to achieve research objectives; and to optimize organizational performance by developing strategic priorities, setting and communicating clearly defined expectations, promoting accountability for results, and resolving operational problems and issues. Candidates should have demonstrated management acumen, including identification and management of financial and human resource needs; proven ability to make complex and strategic decisions to optimize resource usage, mitigate risks, and achieve desired results; and, the ability to build, mentor, motivate, and maintain a culturally diverse biomedical research workforce. The position requires expert familiarity with the NIH AIDS research programs, including basic and clinical, and with NIH and/or DHHS administrative processes.


The Deputy Director of OAR will be appointed at a salary commensurate with his/her qualifications and experience, and a full Federal benefits package is available including: leave, health and life insurance, retirement, long-term care insurance, and 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 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 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 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 current curriculum vitae, copy of degree transcript(s), bibliography, and full contact details for five references. In addition, applicants are asked to prepare two statements: a vision statement and a statement that addresses the specific qualification requirements (please limit both statements to two pages each). Send application package to

Information about the OAR is located at its website: Please contact Jim Smith, MS, PMP, at 301-761-6279 or via e-mail at for questions and/or additional information.

Applications will continue to be accepted and considered until the position is filled.




This page last reviewed on September 7, 2018

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