Program Official/Project Scientist – (GS 13/14)

Intent to recruit and hire for Program Official/Project Scientist – (GS 13/14) in the American Indian and Alaska Native Collective Research Effort to Enhance Wellness Program, within the Epidemiology Research Branch (ERB), Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research (DESPR) at the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Division of Epidemiology, Services, and Prevention Research (DESPR) is currently recruiting for a Program Official/Project Scientist in the Epidemiology Research Branch to work on the American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) Collective Research Effort to Enhance Wellness (CREW) program. The incumbent in this position will work in partnership with AI/AN Tribes, communities, or organizations and with the NIH team to ensure a co-constructed, evolving research program. They will provide leadership and direction for a research program of national scope and will perform a wide variety of duties and have responsibilities relating to the administration of a large, complex research program that will support increasing or enhancing research capacity and infrastructure for Tribes and Tribal/AI/AN Serving Organizations; improving surveillance data to characterize substance use/misuse and related factors for AI/AN populations/communities; identifying and implementing locally prioritized research projects; and providing technical assistance to support all goals. The AI/AN CREW program will require creative vision and the ability to work collaboratively.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to: 

  • administering a complex program to address above goals;
  • determining and justifying need for and writing Funding Opportunity Announcements (or equivalent – RFAs, RFPs, ROAs) to support progress on program goals;
  • working collaboratively as a member of teams within and external to the NIH, including community members, other federal agencies, Tribal organizations, etc.;
  • working intensively with assigned projects as integral team member;
  • tracking progress on milestones/goals for assigned projects as well as progress on overall program goals;
  • travel as needed (approximately 2-8 trips per year, depending on assigned duties) to develop and maintain relationships with assigned project teams by meeting in person and supporting projects;
  • identifying needed program changes in response to lessons learned in real-time;
  • leading, coordinating, or serving as a member of working groups;
  • possibly acquiring and maintaining a Level II COR certification to manage any emerging contract needs;
  • providing advice in program planning, solicitation, and evaluation to perform day-to-day administrative functions related to research grants and interagency agreements supporting research projects; 
  • planning large meetings/workshops to advance program goals;
  • determining level of resources needed for distinct program components relative to other components;
  • stimulating interest in program and special activities through communication and outreach with the community;
  • developing or maintaining relationship with community, Tribes or Tribal Organizations;
  • managing and supporting extramural research and research training, and identifying research areas warranting either increased or decreased funding emphasis; 
  • providing technical assistance to applicants, grantees or award recipients; 
  • serving as spokesperson for agency programs to the Tribal and AI/AN communities, scientific community, the Congress, and other Federal agencies.

Candidate Qualifications 

  • Knowledge of and/or background in any or all of the following is beneficial as the incumbent will be responsible for components of this evolving program: Research capacity/infrastructure building for opioid/drug use and misuse research (including all related factors – e.g., mental health, suicide, pain management); research in partnership with American Indian/Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities; Community Engaged Research; substance misuse intervention research; dissemination and implementation research; substance use/misuse surveillance data needs for AI/AN populations; provision of technical assistance for AI/AN programs.
  • The ideal candidate will possess a MD, PhD, or doctoral equivalent in social or clinical science (e.g., Psychology, Social Work, Sociology, Anthropology, Epidemiology, Psychiatry, Health Policy) and demonstrate successful experience in research or research management. Candidates must be US citizens.
  • Salaries are competitive and commensurate with experience; excellent benefits are offered. All applicants will receive consideration without regard to ethnicity, gender, national origin, age, religion, disability, or sexual orientation. The position will be posted at the GS-13/14 federal government salary grade.

NIH will be accepting applications for Social and Behavioral Sciences Administrator (SBSA) or Health Scientist Administrator (HSA) positions though a global vacancy announcement, meaning it will not be a targeted announcement specific to this AI/AN CREW position. When open, these positions will post on the USA Jobs Website ( To prepare, we recommend you create a login and build your resume on the USA Jobs Website. Please note that (a) you can create saved searches to alert you to when job announcements become available on the USA Jobs website and (b) there will be two announcements--one for applicants who are currently federal employees and one for those who are NOT currently federal employees. Additional information can also be found on the NIH Jobs page:


Anyone interested should contact Dr. Kathy Etz, DESPR (