Job Opportunities

NCATS is looking for innovative partners to join its dynamic team. Learn more about current job opportunities at NCATS or across NIH and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). NIH and HHS are Equal Opportunity Employers.

Biology Group Leader, Trans-NIH RNAi Facility

NCATS seeks applications from outstanding candidates to direct the Trans-NIH RNAi Facility, part of the Center’s intramural research program within the Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation. DPI researchers study translation of basic discoveries into tangible improvements to human health at a systems level as a scientific and operational problem. The scientists within the Division come from a broad range of scientific disciplines, including therapeutic discovery, preclinical development, toxicology, biomarkers and clinical application. Research conducted in the DPI is designed to reduce, remove or bypass significant bottlenecks across the entire continuum of translation and provide the resources to train, cultivate and sustain future leaders of the biomedical research workforce.

The Leader will direct the laboratory operation of the Trans-NIH RNAi Facility (with further informatics, automation, compound management, and project management support) in collaboration with NIH intramural investigators to conduct genome-wide RNAi screening projects – including assay development, screening and validation – to understand functional biology and accelerate target discovery and validation. In addition, he or she will be expected to develop methods that advance the science of RNAi screening, and to perform education and outreach to increase awareness of the RNAi program tools and methods. The Leader also will be expected to pursue new technologies for exploring gene function, including but not limited to CRISPR/Cas9 and related gene-editing approaches, as well as to interrogation of biological systems with annotated sets of perturbagens to advance the scientific breadth of the Facility.

The ideal candidate must hold a doctoral degree (M.D., Ph.D. or equivalent) in a relevant field and be a recognized expert and accomplished leader in the field. He or she must have proven experience in the development of functional genomics and high-throughput cell-based assay systems. The incumbent should be committed to fostering diversity and inclusion in the workplace. He or she also must have a documented track record of successfully managing a complex biomedical research operation and monitoring operations in matters related to personnel, budget, contracts, interagency agreements, and research grant writing and monitoring – including tracking requests for supplements, extensions and other related administrative issues. Experience in the screening of druggable compound libraries, and validation of gene expression profiling utilizing quantitative real-time PCR (qPCR), RNA sequencing, and related technologies is desirable. The ideal candidate will be highly innovative, interactive and collaborative, and will serve as a spokesperson for the Facility at NIH and at national and international meetings and conferences.

The current salary range is commensurate with experience and accomplishments; a full civil service package of benefits (including retirement, health, life and long-term care insurance, Thrift Savings Plan participation, etc.) is available.

Please submit a cover letter describing your interest in the position, including a career synopsis that demonstrates commitment to diversity and inclusion in the workplace (1-3 pages); statement of research interests (1-2 pages); a current curriculum vitae and complete bibliography; and the names and contact information of three references to Application packages will only be accepted electronically. The position will remain open until filled.

All information provided by candidates will remain confidential and will not be released outside the NCATS search process without a signed release from candidates. The NIH encourages the application and nomination of qualified women, minorities and individuals with disabilities. DHHS and NIH are Equal Opportunity Employers. NIH is dedicated to building a diverse community in its training and employment programs.

Director, Early Translation Branch

NCATS seeks applications from exceptional scientists to serve as the director of the Early Translation Branch in the Center’s Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation.

The Early Translation Branch is comprised of approximately 60 scientists and trainees with diverse backgrounds – including biology, chemistry and informatics – who enjoy access to state-of-the-art resources, including robotic high-throughput screening facilities, sample management, cheminformatics, medicinal chemistry and more. The Branch is a successor of the NCATS Chemical Genomics Center, and its purpose is to explore the underlying principles driving the translation of basic research discoveries into tangible improvements in human health by focusing on the early stages of this process. Efforts include the functionation of the human genome through discovery of diverse tools (e.g., small molecules, antibodies, constrained peptides and others) by way of screening; directed evolution and rational computational design methods, including machine learning and artificial intelligence; development of innovative methods for assaying biological activity of novel gene targets and pathways; and derivation of general principles governing the interaction between the biological and chemical spaces. The incumbent is responsible for planning and directing a broad and comprehensive program in discovery of pharmacological tools to probe the function of the human genome and to understand and improve the processes underlying said discovery. NCATS is seeking individuals with scientific, administrative and leadership credentials who can lead and manage research activities in the above referenced areas, as well as consult with the NCATS scientific director on the future progress and growth of these respective research areas.

The ideal candidate will possess a strong background in the biomedical sciences as well as a record of accomplishment in academic and/or biopharmaceutical preclinical translation with demonstrated experience leading multidisciplinary research groups in technology and therapeutic/diagnostic/intervention discovery; will be an internationally recognized and highly accomplished researcher in multiple aspects of preclinical translation, with a particular interest and accomplishment in novel technology and paradigm development; have expertise and accomplishment in multiple aspects of preclinical translation from target validation through early development of therapeutics, including but not limited to small molecules, biologics and antisense oligos, and/or diagnostics. Experience in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical or related industries is desirable, but not required. The ideal candidate would have demonstrated experience in directing and managing a large and scientifically diverse research program, with well-honed administrative and interpersonal skills to meet the demands of both research and program direction, and the ability to influence, inspire and empower scientists and administrative staff to be creative, self-motivated, entrepreneurial achievers who deliver on the mission of the organization through individual and collaborative initiative. Finally, he or she should be a collaborative leader with demonstrated experience in engaging a broad range of stakeholders, such as scientists from different disciplines, patient advocacy groups, government agencies and other nonprofit organizations.

Applicants must have completed the requirements for a bachelor's (or graduate) degree in a biological science, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry, or related disciplines appropriate to this position, from an accredited college or university; OR have a combination of experience and education which includes courses comparable to a major in a biological science, agriculture, natural resource management, chemistry or related disciplines appropriate to this position, AND have appropriate experience or additional education which demonstrates similarly appropriate skills or abilities needed to perform the duties of this position. Open to U.S. citizens.

In addition to meeting the education requirements, applicants must demonstrate at least one (1) year of qualifying experience equivalent to at least the GS-14 level in the federal service – obtained in either the private or public sector – performing the following types of tasks: planning and directing a broad and comprehensive program in early translational science; leading multi-disciplinary research groups in technology and therapeutic/diagnostic/intervention discovery; research experience in preclinical translation; planning and designing the biochemistry and chemistry aspects of multiple concurrent studies investigating early translation problems; engaging stakeholders and scientists by chairing scientific conferences/meetings, and giving presentations related to translational science.

The current salary range for this GS-15 position is $134,789-$164,200; a full civil service package of benefits (including retirement, health, life and long-term care insurance, Thrift Savings Plan participation, etc.) is available. 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 on the NIH Ethics Program website.

Visit and access the detailed vacancy announcement NIH-NCATS-DH-19-10415993 beginning April 1, 2019. Applications must be submitted online by 11:59 p.m. on April 10, 2019. Please direct questions about this position to

All information provided by candidates will remain confidential and will not be released outside the NCATS search process without a signed release from candidates. The NIH encourages the application and nomination of qualified women, minorities and individuals with disabilities. DHHS and NIH are Equal Opportunity Employers.

Informatics Scientist

The NCATS Informatics group seeks a self-motivated, collaborative research scientist to join its programs, studying therapeutic translation on a system-wide level as a scientific and operational problem. The candidate will develop research and methods in the areas of target prioritization, therapeutic drug discovery, knowledge representation, recommendation algorithms, network modeling and inference, and the quantitative analysis of the bottlenecks in translation. The Center convenes expert teams from diverse scientific disciplines — including, among others, therapeutic discovery preclinical development, toxicology, biomarkers and clinical application — to reduce, remove or bypass significant bottlenecks across the entire continuum of translation and to train the future translational science workforce. The candidate is expected to assess the current research program and take on projects related to the Center’s mission and provide guidance where required to the other members of the program.

While the candidate is expected to have significant expertise in therapeutic drug discovery, cheminformatics, machine learning and other relevant topics in molecular informatics, experiences in additional areas of informatics (bioinformatics, text mining, image analytics, etc.) are desirable. More important than any specific expertise is the ability to address problems across different domains and bring to bear the relevant expertise when necessary. A fundamental requirement is a high degree of proficiency in at least one programming language — such that writing code and manipulating data do not create a bottleneck when tackling problems.

While a key goal for this position is to develop and implement informatics research, in the context of translational science, the candidate is also expected to support day-to-day operations as needed. This could range from advising on good statistical practice to munging unusual file formats.

The candidate is expected to actively disseminate his or her own work through publications, presentations at national and international conferences and via the open sharing of tools and source code. Given the collaborative nature of NCATS, the candidate will be collaborating with other groups within NCATS and is encouraged to develop collaborations outside the Center as well. There will be opportunities to work with experimental scientists so that novel methods can be tested on real data.

The NCATS Informatics group plays a key role in the operation of multiple screening platforms (small molecules, RNAi, ADME, drug combinations) and large-scale infrastructure within the Division of Preclinical Innovation at NCATS. Informatics scientists are committed to research and development in all areas of molecular informatics. The group provides an intellectually stimulating environment and is interested in a diverse range of informatics topics that vary in scale from small molecules to phenotypes and other high-level biomedical datatypes. We collaborate with academic, government and commercial computational and experimental groups throughout the world.

Applicants must possess a Ph.D. in an informatics-related discipline or equivalent; he or she must have strong programming skills – ideally in R. If not, he or she should have experience with other data analysis environments (Python, Matlab, etc). In general, the informatics scientist likely will need to munge internal and external data. Applicants also must possess strong oral and written English communication skills. A background in biology (ideally in proteins and networks) is preferred, as are experience in therapeutic drug discovery or preclinical development; experience with Bayesian networks; experience with text mining/modeling; experience with Java development, and a track record of sharing tools, code and resources with the broader research community.

Please submit a cover letter describing your interest in the position, current curriculum vitae and complete bibliography (all in PDF format) to Noel Southall (

Postdoctoral Positions in the Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation

The Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation (DPI) is the intramural (i.e., on-site) research program of NCATS and is located in Rockville, Maryland, a few miles from the main NIH campus in Bethesda, Maryland. DPI focuses on early stages of the translational process, from target validation to first-in-human studies. More than 200 scientists from a variety of disciplines and across the spectrum from early-career scientists to senior leaders are responsible for advancing the diverse research portfolio of DPI. In addition to conducting cutting-edge laboratory research, DPI scientists collaborate with more than 250 research organizations worldwide.

DPI scientists work in a collaborative, team-based environment. The postdoctoral candidate will be recruited to work on the specific projects described below and will have ample opportunities to collaborate with scientists both within and outside of NCATS on additional projects. Candidates are expected to present results of ongoing work at meetings (such as internal group meetings and national conferences) and submit their work for publication in scientific journals. Postdoctoral fellows also gain additional professional skills and exposure to a variety of career paths through participation in the DPI training program.

Postdoctoral Informatics Scientist Position, Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation

NCATS’ Informatics group seeks a creative, self-motivated, collaborative research scientist to develop new algorithms for predicting chemical reactions and to provide comprehensive support of the Center’s A Specialized Platform for Innovative Research Exploration (ASPIRE) initiative.

NCATS proposes to transform chemistry from an individualized craft to a modern, information-based science through ASPIRE. By addressing long-standing challenges in the field of chemistry — including lack of standardization, low reproducibility and an inability to predict how new chemicals will behave — ASPIRE is designed to bring novel, safe and effective treatments to more patients more quickly at lower cost.

The Informatics group collaborates closely with biologists, chemists, engineers and information technology professionals to develop robust assay designs, analyze experimental outcomes and to validate new hypothesis. The NCATS Informatics group performs a variety of ligand- and protein structure-related modeling tasks, supports the drug discovery process and accelerates translational sciences. The team members also are developing infrastructure and software for the meta-analysis of high-content screens and for integration of the existing biomedical data to discover new hypothesis.

The successful candidate will be an integral team member for the creation and maintenance of a chemical reaction database, the development of new methods for reaction normalization and standardization, the analysis of reaction screens, and the development and application of AI/Machine learning approaches for prediction of synthetic routes and chemical reactions. He or she also must have experience working with multi-disciplinary teams.

Applicants must possess a minimum of a Ph.D. in computational chemistry or a related field with 1 to 3 years of industry or academic experience. He or she should have experience using modern machine learning and deep learning frameworks (e.g., TensorFlow, Keras, sklearn, PyTorch, etc.) Applicants also should have experience with common cheminformatics libraries and data formats (e.g., RDKit, Indigo, CDK, SMIRKS, SMARTS, SMILES, InChi, etc.), as well as experience in scientific programming (e.g., Python, JAVA), data analytics (e.g., KNIME, Spotfire) and relational databases (e.g., Oracle, SQL). Additionally, applicants must be able to script work flows and implement new algorithms. Applicants also must possess strong oral and written English communication skills.

Please submit a cover letter describing your interest in this position, a current curriculum vitae and complete bibliography (all in PDF format), and three letters of reference to Dr. Alexey Zakharov at

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled.

Stem Cell Scientist and Postdoctoral Positions, Division of Pre-Clinical Innovation

NCATS seeks applications from qualified candidates with expertise in the biology of human embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to join the Center’s newly established stem cell program. Candidates with a strong background in cell, molecular and systems biology also are encouraged to apply.

The selected candidates will join a multidisciplinary team of innovative scientists with expertise in assay development, high-throughput and -content screening, compound management, automation engineering, bioinformatics, medicinal chemistry and various “-omics” technologies. They will work in a highly creative environment, focusing on important aspects of human pluripotency and cellular differentiation using cutting-edge technologies (e.g., single-cell analysis, deep sequencing, automated cell culture, high-throughput electrophysiology). The selected candidates also will establish new standards, quality controls, improved differentiation protocols and other resources for the iPSC field. They will be responsible for conducting research and advancing specific programs in coordination with the stem cell team leader.

The ideal candidates will be expected to work independently as well-trained problem solvers in pluripotent stem cell biology and iPSC technology. They will keep accurate and complete records of all scientific experiments according to established procedures and ensure that these records and raw data are properly retained. They also will draft technical reports, manuscripts and patent applications and present work internally and externally to consultants and collaborators as needed.

Each applicant must possess an advanced degree (M.D. and/or Ph.D.) in a relevant field. Exceptional candidates with master’s degrees and strong backgrounds in stem cell biology will be considered. Candidates with experience in drug discovery, cell and tissue engineering, cell signaling or quantitative biology are encouraged to apply. The ideal candidates should be team players with high scientific standards and have the ability to work in an interactive, fast-paced environment. They must be self-motivated to learn new technologies and be familiar with the methods and concepts of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine.

Interested individuals should send a cover letter, a curriculum vitae with a bibliography and the contact information of at least three references to

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until positions are filled.