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of Director of the Division of Extramural Science Programs (DESP)

National Institutes of Health
Maryland, United States
Salary Commensurate with experience
Start date
Jun 17, 2021

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Position Type
Faculty Positions, Health & Medicine, Nursing, Executive, Executive Directors, Jobs Outside Academe, Non-profit & Government Organizations
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Department of Health and Human Services

National Institutes of Health

National Institute of Nursing Research

Director, Division of Extramural Science Programs (DESP)


The National Institute of Nursing Research (NINR) is seeking applications from outstanding nurse scientist candidates for the position of Director of the Division of Extramural Science Programs (DESP) to provide visionary leadership for nursing research. Located in Bethesda, Maryland, NINR uses nursing’s holistic perspective to advance research that improves individual and population health and promotes health equity by identifying nursing practice and policy solutions across clinical and community settings that are responsive to people’s lives and living conditions. NINR is moving in exciting new directions, and the DESP Director will play a central role in shaping these developments. The DESP Director is a key member of the NINR senior leadership team and reports directly to the NINR Director.

The DESP Director guides the direction of nursing science through new research initiatives and managing research grant, cooperative agreement, and training programs that support the mission of NINR. The DESP Director works closely with the NINR Director in shaping the direction of the Institute as a whole through strategic planning, priority setting, and coordination of resources to implement these plans and priorities. This position offers a unique leadership opportunity for an exceptional nurse scientist to have a national impact, serving as the NINR's authoritative source on extramural scientific programs; management  of extramural research funding; management of the business and non-programmatic areas of grants administration; coordination and oversight of business-related activities associated with the negotiation, award, and administration of grants and cooperative agreements within NINR; and planning and execution of initial scientific and technical reviews conducted within the NINR.

The DESP Director has the authority to address and respond to issues that affect the development, implementation, management, and review of NINR's extramural scientific programs and activities, while successfully directing the DESP. The DESP Director has the opportunity to work collaboratively across the NIH, with other federal agencies, the National Advisory Council for Nursing Research, and with key stakeholders and organizations to further the Institute's mission and priorities. The DESP Director represents the NINR's extramural program to the nursing science community.

We are looking for applicants with a commitment to scientific excellence and the energy, enthusiasm, and innovative thinking necessary to lead within a dynamic and diverse organization.

LOCATION: Bethesda, Maryland


REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS:  Applicants should be a nurse with a Ph.D. in a relevant field, be a strong scientist who has a proven track record in research to improve health outcomes and address health disparities, and demonstrate a passion for research that integrates health determinants at multiple levels, from the molecular  to the macro, and informs nursing practice and policy change. Applicants should have leadership experience and well-honed administrative skills. Applicants should be a strong communicator with the ability to work collaboratively to solve problems and make informed decisions. A diverse pool of applicants is sought, so qualified individuals from all backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.


SALARY/BENEFITS: The DESP Director will be appointed at a salary commensurate with his/her/their 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. The NIH inspires public confidence in our science by maintaining high ethical principles.  A recruitment and/or relocation incentive may be available; 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 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 ACCOMMODATION:  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 2-page statement addressing qualifications and interest in the position; 1-page statement of vision for the position; curriculum vita; and full contact information for five references. A description of mentoring and outreach activities, especially those involving women and persons from racial/ethnic or other groups that are underrepresented in biomedical research, should be included in the statement or curriculum vita.


You may contact Dr. Gwen Collman with questions and for more information about this vacancy at:

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.

PLEASE REMIT TO:  Dr. Gwen Collman, PhD, DESP Search Committee Chair at:






We are dedicated to building a diverse community in our training and employment programs.

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