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​​​​The NIH is the center of medical and behavioral research for the Nation ---making essential medical discoveries that improve health and save lives.  

National Institutes of Health (NIH) 
Department of Health and Human Services

The Office of Research Services (ORS), a component of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), is seeking exceptional candidates for the Director (Science Program Leader), Division of Occupational Health and Safety (DOHS). The ideal candidate will provide leadership, direction, and accountability for all aspects of the Division associated with development, administration, and delivery of occupational health and safety policy, programs, and training throughout NIH. The incumbent will also serve as an NIH and DHHS subject matter expert and resource in occupational health; community health; laboratory research safety; occupational medical services; and biosafety, biosecurity and biocontainment programs. 

As Director, Division of Occupational Health and Safety, the incumbent will:

  • Report to the ORS Associate Director for Scientific Resources, but also be responsible to the Office of Intramural Research and the NIH Director in areas of laboratory safety and occupational health.
  • Oversee a professional government staff of approximately 50 FTEs, including industrial hygienists, safety and occupational health officials, and medical doctors, as well as, over 80 contractor staff.
  • Oversee an overall budget of approximately $23 million as well as guide and manage program initiatives.
  • Serves as principal advisor to the NIH Director and Deputy Directors, IC Directors, and NIH Scientific Directors on occupational safety and health, biosafety, biosecurity, and risk management matters.
  • Represent DOHS on several trans-NIH, trans-DHHS, and trans-government safety committees.            

The incumbent will perform the sampling of major duties:

  • Functions as the senior occupational health and safety authority for the NIH, where supervision is limited to broad agency goals or directives.
  • Develops NIH occupational health and safety policies and national guidelines for application throughout the NIH, including policies and guidelines that promote a safe work environment, and procedures and requirements for the use of hazardous materials involved in conducting biomedical research. Plans, develops, directs, and supports applied studies and hazard assessment activities in order to identify and control potentially hazardous factors and risks associated with the conduct of biomedical research.
  • Plans, conducts, coordinates, and supports a broad range of programs to create and maintain a safe and healthy environment for NIH patients, employees, visitors, and guest workers.  Ensures compliance throughout NIH with applicable Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations and requirements.  Ensures there is programmatic support in place for monitoring and surveillance activities to identify and resolve occupational health and safety problems.
  • Plans educational and technical assistance programs that promote the use of safe practices, containment equipment, and facilities in biomedical research at the NIH and in the extramural biomedical research community. Provides national leadership in laboratory safety to the biomedical research community. Conducts safety surveys of laboratories, and assists ICs in conducting surveys of their assigned facilities.
  • Manages and administers the NIH Occupational Medical Service (OMS) and Employee Assistance Program (EAP) services in order to enhance the health and safety of the NIH workforce.
  • Manages and provides resource support and guidance to the NIH Community Health program, which includes Integrated Pest Management, Food Service Sanitation, water testing, training on laboratory safety, shipping and handling of infectious materials and pathogens, automatic external defibrillator and blood pressure monitoring services, and support to nursing mothers.
  • Manages and administers various agency-wide occupational health and health programs to support the work activities of NIH organizations and ICs, including the NIH Quarantine Permit Service office, the NIH accident reporting system, and the NIH Select Agents program.
  • Provides specialized support to the NIH Maximum Containment Laboratories (Biosafety Level 4, BSL-4) to manage risks associated with operation of the highly sensitive facilities and the extremely high consequence pathogen work performed in these facilities.
  • Participates with and supports other NIH organizations in conducting and providing safety design reviews for the construction and renovation of NIH facilities, buildings, and laboratories.
  • Serves as a national and international/global advisor and is recognized as an expert in occupational safety and health, research safety, biosafety/biosecurity, and containment.
  • Serves as Director of the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Center for Applied Biosafety Programs and Research; Program Director of the National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program (NBBTP); and Director, NIH Laboratory Response Network (LRN) Environmental Microbiology Laboratory for public health and bioterrorism response.

Position Requirements:  Candidates must have an advanced degree (e.g. M.D., Ph.D., D.V.M.) in a scientific discipline (microbiology, toxicology, public health, etc.) necessary to practice and direct occupational safety and health programs in a large, complex, biomedical institution. In addition, candidates with a Certification as a Specialty Microbiologist through the National Registry of Certified Microbiologists (SM NRCM) and/or Certified Biosafety Professional (CBSP) (international certification) or equivalent would be preferred.


Salary/Benefits:  Salary range is $150,000 - $230,000 and will be commensurate with the qualifications and experience of the candidate. A full package of federal Civil Service benefits is available, including: retirement, health and life insurance, long term care insurance, leave, and a Thrift Savings Plan (401K equivalent). The successful candidate is subject to a background investigation and public financial disclosure requirements.


Equal Opportunity Employment:  Equality is held as one of the most important values here at NIH.  Selection for this and any other position will be based solely on merit.  NIH does not discriminate on the basis of 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.


How to Apply: All interested and qualified applicants (including current federal employees and Commissioned Corps Officers) should submit a letter of interest, a statement that addresses how the applicant meets the qualifications of the position (no more than two pages), a current curriculum vitae including bibliography, and contact details for three professional references. Send the entire application package to, ensuring your name is located on each page submitted.


The Office of Research Services will begin accepting applications on February 1, and the search committee plans to start reviewing application materials on March 15. However, the announcement will stay open until the position is filled.


Information about Office of Research Services can be found at


You may contact Timothy J. Tosten, MPA, Acting Director and Acting Associate Director for Scientific Resources, Office of Research Services with questions or for more information about this vacancy at

Office of Research Services
31 Center Drive, MSC 2132
Building 31, Room 4B54
Bethesda, Maryland 20892-2132

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