Director of Scientific Programs, Neuroscience

BrightFocus Foundation (Brightfocus)
Clarksburg, Maryland
To be determined
April 04 2018
Director of Scientific Programs, Neuroscience
Position Type
Full Time
Organization Type

The Director of Scientific Programs, Neuroscience (DSPN) is responsible for ensuring a high level of scientific accountability within the BrightFocus award programs for Alzheimer’s disease Research (ADR), fostering strong relationships with the scientific community, and supporting communications and fundraising efforts by leveraging relationships to meet program goals.

Duties, Responsibility and Functions

  • Implement research initiatives related to the foundation’s annual award program.
  • Work closely with Scientific Program Grants Manager (SPGM) to coordinate proposal submissions.
  • Serve as point of contact for all applicants and applicant institutions with scientific questions regarding suitability of projects for BrightFocus funding mechanisms.
  • Recruit and nominate new scientists to the ADR Scientific Review Committee.
  • Communicate review cycle related information to internal stakeholders.
  • Perform preliminary scientific review of proposals prior to formal merit peer-review.
  • Manage the annual award program scientific peer-review process.
  • Represent BrightFocus during in-person meetings of the Scientific Review Committees.
  • Negotiate Intellectual Property agreements between funded institutions and BrightFocus as it relates to approved ADR awards.
  • Manage all aspects of scientific progress report evaluation, follow-up with grantees, reports on quantitative and qualitative progress of all projects (i.e., intellectual property, subsequent funding, grantee testimonials, etc.), and prepare impact assessment data of the programs for the Vice President of Scientific Affairs (VPSA).
  • Provide final approval for Grantee requests for complex post-award changes regarding specific aims, changes in key personnel, and other requests.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with grantees, academic research community, and other mission-related organizations.
  • Travel to academic conferences and venues to conduct research on BrightFocus ADR projects, build expertise in neuroscience research, and to also become familiar with vision research associated with Macular Degeneration Research (MDR) and National Glaucoma Research (NGR) programs. 
  • Serve as a scientific liaison to internal staff, keeping internal stakeholders apprised of developments in BrightFocus-sponsored awards, and reviewing internal and external communication, for scientific rigor, as needed.
  • Serve as spokesperson for foundation, as required by the VPSA and organizational needs. 
  • Assist VPSA in reports to the Board of Directors regarding progress.
  • Works closely with the Director of Scientific Programs, Vision Science (DSPVS) and the Scientific Program Grants Manager (SPGM), as overseen by the Vice President of Scientific Affairs (VPSA), to ensure the smooth operations of the grants process of all BrightFocus scientific programs.
  • Works closely with the VPSA to identify and recruit expert speakers for panels, conferences and meetings, and other BrightFocus organized and sponsored events.


  • Ph.D., preferably in a scientific field related to Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia, with minimum 6 years related experience.
  • Detailed knowledge of scientific research, as relates to BrightFocus programs.
  • Ability to translate scientific research into value for internal and external stakeholders.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills required.
  • Ability to garner the respect and support of all levels in the organization, scientific and academic communities.
  • Successful experience in planning, prioritizing, organizing, and follow through.
  • Proven experience with public speaking on scientific topics
  • Experience with performing on collaborative projects
  • Experience in managing multiple projects simultaneously, meeting deadlines, and ensuring successful implementation
  • Experience with volunteer/scientist management/coordination
  • Familiarity with computers, grants management database software, and cloud-based systems
  • Strongly prefer nonprofit grants management experience.
  • Strong attention to detail, initiative, reliability, and ability to thrive in a collaborative environment
  • Ability to travel

How to Apply: Please submit your resume and cover letter to with “DSP, Neuroscience” in the Subject line for consideration. For a full position description, visit:

BrightFocus Foundation (Brightfocus) is at the forefront of brain and eye health by promoting awareness and driving innovative research worldwide to help eradicate diseases including Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, and glaucoma. To learn more about BrightFocus, visit

BrightFocus is committed to the full utilization of all human resources and to a policy of equal opportunity. In accordance with applicable laws, it is our policy to recruit, hire, train and promote individuals, as well as administer any and all personnel actions, without regard to any legally-protected characteristic including, but not limited to, race, age, color, religion, sex, marital status, national origin, physical or mental disability, or veteran status.

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