Research Management

Scientific Program Manager, Covid Lead

Bethesda, Maryland
Work Type: Full Time

Nextonic is seeking a highly ambitious, adaptable, structured, and detail-oriented Scientific Program Manager Covid Lead to join our vibrant team at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) supporting the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) located in Rockville, MD.

Summary and Objectives: This position involves high-level coordination of COVID related MH research. Responsibilities include representing NIMH on the NIH-wide RECOVER initiative, development of funding opportunities, portfolio analysis, and synthesis of rapidly evolving literature related to COVID and mental health. Relevant scientific areas include basic research through interventions and implementation. This position involves opportunities for communications/review of Agency materials, interaction with the White House, Congress, and researchers around the world on COVID related mental health research. The best candidate will have a strong grasp of the bidirectional nature of COVID and mental illness and experience working on a broad scope of scientific areas.


  • Meet with lab members to present updates
  • On time and accurate documents and reports of COVID-19 related mental health research progress, meet deadlines for analysis and management of COVID-19 related mental health research, responsive to leadership regarding communications and state of the science, participation in internal and external scientific meetings, and workshops related to COVID-19 mental health research
  • Effective participation in and contributions to RECOVER workgroup, leadership of COVID-19 mental health research initiatives including development of funding announcements and or coordination across the Institute to support evaluation of research gaps and priorities

Work Details:

  • Develops and assists staff implement policies and procedures related to the organization's scientific programs.
  • Coordinate and document projects from beginning to completion; monitor and report the status of completion, funding and results attained; provide progress reports.
  • Collaborate with staff on the planning, implementation, coordination and evaluation of programs and initiatives in the assigned specialty area of research.
  • Collects, analyzes and creates scientific program information.
  • Plan, initiate, monitor and conduct administrative/portfolio analyses to evaluate the effectiveness of the program in meeting established goals.
  • Coordinates workshops and reports their outcomes.
  • Attend and participate in multidisciplinary research team meetings and functions.
  • Attend committees and report relevant programmatic and scientific information to Institute leadership.
  • Plan, organize and participate in technical meetings and consultations that convene diverse experts to advance key issues in scientific research.
  • Evaluates current scientific programs and determines if changes need to be made.
  • Identify gaps in existing scientific knowledge and provide recommendations for future research efforts.
  • Conceive, design and perform detailed analysis of the scientific landscape and/or administrative factors affecting research program priorities and performance in various scientific areas; Oversee scientific, administrative, and fiscal aspects of such grants, and evaluating them for scientific progress, programmatic relevance and merit.
  • Assists with analyzing current scientific programs and developing and proposing new initiatives.
  • Develop, evaluate and refine solicitations designed to elicit high-quality research proposals from the scientific community.
  • Collaborates with management and prepares reports to keep them updated on new and ongoing programs and activities.
  • Provide advice to upper-level management on the latest published research findings and trends.
  • Coordinates staff responsible for developing, installing and maintaining scientific programs.
  • Implement program initiatives related to the Institute research and training portfolio.
  • Plan, develop and implement immediate and long-range goals and objectives designed to strengthen and enhance the success of the research program.
  • Analyzes current policies and procedures and suggests and develops improvements.
  • Participate and aid in making recommendations and monitoring implementation to improve management and progress of research managed.
  • Make recommendations for and facilitate new research effort, clinical studies, or other initiatives.
  • Interpret scientific data to identify high priority, conduct portfolio analysis, identify opportunities and problem areas.
  • Assists in preparing and developing future strategic plans.
  • Provide authoritative advice on program content to staff to assist them in setting up new or experimental programs in areas where related precedents are generally unavailable.
  • Provide scientific and management support to staff on planning and implementation of projects, including setting priorities, managing assigned tasks, monitoring project status, reviewing deliverables, and providing status updates.
  • Prepares and provides educational materials to staff.
  • Work with staff and awardee staff to plan and execute communications and training programs related to the data science programs.
  • Works closely with management to develop new initiatives that further scientific research.
  • Work with staff on the development and coordination of scientific activities within the initiative.
  • Uses scientific expertise to review grant proposals and interacts with potential grantees to obtain additional information.
  • Interact with scientists as needed to help overcome technical hurdles or provide additional insights or expertise regarding the preparation of scientific protocols. 

Certifications & Licenses

  • Possess mental health research experience related to COVID-19
  • Possess at least 1 year of COVID-19 mental health research and at least 4 years of broader mental health or behavioral health research experience


  • Knowledge of NIH-wide RECOVER initiative
  • Mental health research experience related to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Strong grasp of the bidirectional nature of COVID-19 and mental illness
  • Experience working across basic through services and implementation science
  • Familiarity with NIH extramural research policies, procedures, and organization
  • Mental health research experience related to long COVID
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