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Director of the Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, Office of Extramural Research

National Institutes of Health - Office of the Director, OER
Bethesda, Maryland (US)
commensurate with qualifications and experience
Closing date
Jan 15, 2024

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Life Sciences, Veterinary Medicine
Position Type
Full Time
Job Type
Research Scientist
Organization Type

The Office of Extramural Research (OER) in the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of the Director, seeks to identify an outstanding Director to lead its Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) in Bethesda, Maryland.  The OLAW develops, monitors, and exercises compliance oversight relative to the U.S. Public Health Service (PHS) Policy on Humane Care and Use of Laboratory Animals involved in research conducted or supported by any component of the PHS; coordinates appropriate PHS regulations, policies, and procedures both within PHS and in coordination with other Departments and Agencies in the Federal government; establishes criteria for and negotiation of Animal Welfare Assurances with institutions engaged in PHS-conducted or supported research using animals; conducts programs of clarification and guidance for both the Federal and non-Federal sectors with respect to the use of animals in research; directs the development and implementation of educational and instructional programs and generating educational resource materials; evaluates the effectiveness of PHS policies and programs for the humane care and use of laboratory animals; and serves as liaison to Presidential, Departmental, Congressional, interagency, and non-governmental Commissions and Boards established to examine issues pertaining to laboratory animal welfare in research and exercises leadership in identifying and addressing such issues.

The OLAW Director’s main responsibilities include the following:

Provide oversight of highly complex assignments that include monitoring of PHS policy compliance, coordination of program guidelines, development of the applicable information systems necessary to coordinate with NIH grants and contracts administration, presenting position papers on major laboratory animal use and care issues, as well as direct engagement in legislative issues including actual testimony and the preparation of legislative testimony for use by the NIH directorate.

Advise the NIH and HHS leadership on ethical and scientific issues pertaining to laboratory animal care and use in research, research training and biological testing including all issues relative to the implementation of PHS policy.

Represent NIH on government-wide committees, task forces, and working groups regarding issues pertaining to the humane use and care of laboratory animals. Serve on trans-PHS activities to formulate, implement, and evaluate relevant extramural programs, policies, procedures, and priorities. Maintain liaison and coordinate policy implementation with components throughout PHS and the Federal government that conduct or support activities involving animals.

Direct the development and implementation of educational and instructional programs relating to the responsibilities of the research community for the appropriate care and use of laboratory animals.

Provide authoritative direction and management oversight of overall OLAW activities and programs, including resource allocation, policy implementation, and business processes. Supervise directors of the OLAW’s organizational components.

Promote NIH’s commitment to equity, inclusion, and diversity throughout all programs, activities, and personnel guidelines.

Applicants must possess a doctoral degree in Veterinary Medicine (DVM/VMD degree from a veterinary school accredited by the American Veterinary Medical Association); research management experience applied to veterinary research, clinical, or scientific programs at senior policy/management level; a sound understanding of the complex rules governing the care and use of animals in research activities; and the ability to apply broad knowledge and skills to gain the support of constituents internal and external to the NIH on key issues that may have competing interests.

The position will be filled under a Title 42(f) excepted service appointment. Salary is commensurate with the experience and a full package of Civil Service benefits is available, including retirement, health, and life insurance, leave, and savings plan (401K equivalent).

How to Apply: please submit your cover letter, CV, copy of the degree, and contact details for three references to Marianna Mertts, PhD at Your application package must be received by January 22, 2024.

All information provided by candidates will remain strictly confidential and will not be released outside the search process without a signed release from candidates. HHS and NIH are Equal Opportunity Employers.

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