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Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Scientific Advisor

National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)
Rockville, Maryland
$163,964 - $191,900 per year
Closing date
May 22, 2024

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Field of specialization
Energy, Nuclear / Radiochemical
Work Function
Job Type
Full time

Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Scientific Advisor

Chief, Biodefense Research Countermeasures Branch

The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), one of the largest institutes in the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), conducts and supports basic and applied research to better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases. The Office of Biodefense Research and Surety (OBRS) in the Office of Science Management and Operations, NIAID, seeks a highly qualified candidate to serve as a chemical biological radiological nuclear (CBRN) scientific advisor and chief of the Biodefense Research Countermeasures Branch reporting to the Director of OBRS.

OBRS serves as the NIAID focal point for coordinating, planning, and implementing the biodefense research supported by NIAID. OBRS disseminates information on the institute's biodefense research programs, policies, and funding opportunities and coordinates biodefense and biodefense-related research issues across NIH.

A key responsibility of OBRS is oversight of the Chemical Countermeasures Research Program (CCRP), which consists of an annual discovery research and early development budget of approximately $52 million and includes the participation of eight NIH institutes and centers.

OBRS oversees the NIAID emergency preparedness planning and continuity of operations planning offices. In addition, OBRS participates in the governance of the high-containment task force and serves as the NIAID liaison with the NIH Office of the Director, HHS, and other federal departments and agencies regarding intelligence gathering and analysis that may impact NIH programs and operations.

The CBRN scientific advisor provides scientific expertise and advice on a wide range of biodefense research issues, including 1) classical chemical warfare agents such as sarin, soman, VX, sulfur mustard, Lewisite, and cyanide, as well as next-generation chemical threats, 2) toxic industrial chemicals, their pharmacological actions, and their health-related effects, 3) military medical countermeasures that may have civilian applications, 4) health physics, including knowledge of radionuclides and other ionizing radiological hazards, 5) National Regulatory Commission requirements for the handling, storage, security, and disposal of radioactive materials, 6) FDA-approved medical products with potential application for treatment and/or prevention of chemically induced injury, 7) the latest scientific, technical, and therapeutic developments and research efforts related to biodefense-related hazards and incidents, and 8) lifecycle management of medical products, beginning with needs assessment and concept development and progressing through phases of research and eventual licensure by the FDA.

The CBRN scientific advisor also serves as chief of the Biodefense Research Countermeasures Branch, which is responsible for executing the CCRP, defining and managing the development of NIH-wide chemical medical countermeasure research, policies, objectives, and funding initiatives, and administering product development support services for medical countermeasures (MCMs) against chemical threats and efficacy screening programs to facilitate chemical toxicity research and MCM discovery and early product development.



  • U.S. citizenship Bachelor’s or graduate/higher level degree from an educational program accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education at the time the degree was obtained, with: major study in an academic field related to the medical field, health sciences, or allied sciences appropriate to the work of the position Experience providing strategic planning and management of biodefense program for a biomedical research organization; serving as an expert on global biodefense threats and related prevention and treatment efforts; and managing operations and resources for a chemical countermeasures program.

Preferred, but not required

  • Practical experience in clinical chemistry and clinical toxicology, in-depth familiarity with chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals, and familiarity with Department of Defense research programs dealing with medical chemical defense and medical product development; laboratory-based research familiarity and experience; and demonstrated administrative and managerial experience and skills Knowledge and experience in health physics, including familiarity with radioimmunoassays and radiological hazards in the laboratory setting

In addition to meeting these requirements, the successful candidate will possess the leadership, management, interpersonal, and communication skills required to interact effectively with staff, representatives of academia, private industry, national and international research and health organizations, and other varied sectors.

To Apply

Go to and search for the vacancy announcement numbers NIH-NIAID-DE-24-12370182 (U.S. citizens) and/or NIH-NIAID-MP-24-12370450 (status candidates) to submit your application from May 12, 2024 until 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time on May 21, 2024.

In your curriculum vitae, please include a description of your leadership, mentoring, and outreach activities, especially those involving women and people from other groups underrepresented in biomedical research.

For questions about the application process, email Richard Woods at

Visit NIAID Careers for more information about working in NIAID’s dynamic atmosphere.

HHS, NIH, and NIAID are equal opportunity employers dedicated to diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.

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