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Software Development Section Lead

The National Library of Medicine (NLM) is one of 27 Institutes and Centers at the National Institutes of Health. NLM is a global leader in biomedical informatics and computational health data science and the world’s largest biomedical library. NLM’s legislative mandate is to support the essential work of acquiring, organizing, preserving, and disseminating biomedical information. NLM provides public access to this information 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

NLM Division: National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)

NLM Program/Office: Information Engineering Branch (IEB)

Application Period: Applications will be accepted May 6, 2024 through June 6, 2024.


The IEB is responsible for designing and building NCBI's production software and databases. They: (1) perform applied research in the area of data representation and analysis for molecular biology data, including development of computer based systems for the storage, management, and retrieval of knowledge concerning molecular biology, genetics, and biochemistry; (2) design schema and specifications for representation of sequence genetic and structural information in databases which will serve as national resources; (3) design and develop distributed software systems from the prototype to operational phases which provide researchers with both local and remote computational services; (4) coordinate access to sequence, genetic, structural, and bibliographic databases; (5) establish collaborative informatics research projects with NIH Intramural laboratories as well as extramural academic groups; (6) consult and advise other government agencies and research laboratories on advanced methods of software and database design; and (7) develop and promote standards for databases, data exchange, and biological nomenclature.

NCBI programs and activities supported by this position are highly complex, mission-critical, and have national and international impact, as they directly support dissemination of biomedical information in service to NIH and the broader biomedical community through NCBI, an organization with a budget of more than $150 million and a staff of more than 700 Federal and contract staff.  

Position Description/Responsibilities:

The Software Development Section Lead will be in a Senior Biomedical Research and Biomedical Product Assessment Service (SBRBPAS)  position. 

This position addresses bioinformatics, scientific computing, and data analysis needs of intramural and extramural researchers who depend on NCBI resources as well as staff within the IEB and their collaborators by lending expertise in the proper design of experiments on applicability and efficiency of data analysis and visualization tools and applications using statistical, algorithmic and AI/ML methodologies.  This role involves sustained hands-on contributions to the conceptualization of the proposed data management efforts, design of data formats, data collection and stratification, data archival and data dissemination to ensure high-quality, biologically meaningful and unbiased conclusions to decide on further method development.  clinical study data to support scientists using NLM resources.

In addition, the position will stay abreast of and review new computational methods from novel research in the literature for possible later implementation. It will organize and facilitate development of innovative algorithms for validation and analysis of biomedical and clinical trials data, including analysis of high throughput sequencing data and assembled genomes, sequence similarity search, gene annotation, taxonomic classification, prediction of pathogenicity and antimicrobial resistance, variation frequency analysis, clinical significance of variations, methods for mining and linkage of biomedical and clinical trials data.  It will collaborate with clinical and scientific investigators to propose ideas for new projects, design research, develop data plan, and prepare analyses with general direction from investigators.

The Software Development Section Lead reports to IEB Branch Chief and is responsible for managing the Literature Development Team, Development Team, Web Development Team, Sequence Read Archive Development Team, Medical Genetics & Human Variation Development Team, Sequence Curation, Organization, and Enhancement Development Team, the Sequence Submissions and Archives Development Team, and the Project Management Office. These eight teams are comprised of technical program managers, principal engineers, and developers.

The Software Development Section Lead oversees, directs, and manages all software development projects for IEB and NCBI.  This includes:  planning, tracking priorities, and managing software delivery for large-scale technical activities supporting the program; staying up-to-date with cutting-edge high-throughput and high-availability data storage and processing technologies and applying innovations; monitoring daily operations and responding to production applications outages, as well as data processing issues escalated by curation staff; and coordinating shared technical activities with other programs to ensure seamless operations of interdependent resources and timely delivery on enterprise-level initiatives.  In addition, the Software Development Section Lead understands the Information Engineering Branch Chief's program/project goals and communicates these goals and scope to technical staff in context of technical activities; manages program technical teams to ensure they meet schedule, budget, risk management targets; develops and enforces NCBI standard practices for software development and delivery; and collaborates with the NCBI Chief Technology Officer (CTO), NCBI Enterprise Architects and Program Technical Leads to define the technology strategy for the program.

Position Requirements:

This position requires: 

1.  Experience in directing, implementing, or performing large-scale statistical analyses, developing novel computational methodologies, or advancing data science efforts in support of the research being performed within a scientific setting; 
2. Familiarity with genomic and biological data and the importance of these data to biology and medicine with a comprehensive understanding of the complexity of integrating biological and scientific literature information resources;
3.  Ability to integrate computational activities with ongoing trans-NIH computational and data science efforts across the research spectrum; 
4.  Familiarity with enterprise architecture goals and objectives, topology, and protocols to design, develop, and adapt systems and services that support scientific needs;
5. Experience in advising senior level staff on program and policy issues, including experience in project management principles and methods to plan and execute extremely complex projects, including critical, international projects (for example, sequence data resources), as well as experience in the principles and methods of quality assurance and quality control to ensure that IT deliverables fulfill requirements and standards;
6.  Experience in leading highly technical staff;
7.  Leading and coordinates intra- and interagency projects; 
8. Staying abreast of infrastructure, bioinformatics and information technology trends and emerging developments for applicability and adoption within the NCBI and NLM. 

Candidates for this position must have a strong background in computational biology, computer science, engineering or technology/information technology and be able to lead highly technical, multidisciplinary teams that support enterprise-level, large scale computational infrastructures and services. Candidates should be customer-focused, service oriented, and have experience in working in a biomedical research environment. Experience in directing, implementing, or performing large-scale statistical analyses, developing novel computational methodologies, or advancing data science efforts in support of the research performed in a scientific setting. Outstanding communication skills and a collaborative work style are critical. 

This is a full-time position managing sophisticated computational services without time or resources to support any incumbent research activities. The position is located at NIH facilities of the Bethesda, Maryland area campus and cannot be performed as a remote location duty station.    

Education Requirements:

To be eligible for this position, candidates must be a U.S. Citizen or U.S. National. Foreign nationals or legal permanent residents are not eligible for consideration. Candidates must indicate their U.S. citizenship status on their CV or within their email application submission.

In order to qualify for this position, candidates must possess a Master's level or higher degree in:

In addition, candidates must have at least one year of experience related to the position, including achievements in one or more of the following areas to demonstrate the individual has received recognition as an expert in the field:

If you are a current Federal Title 5 employee, you must have one year of equivalent experience at the GS-14 level or above.

Foreign Education: This position has an education requirement. You are strongly encouraged to submit a copy of your transcripts (or a list of your courses including titles, credit hours completed and grades). Unofficial transcripts will be accepted in the application package. Official transcripts will be required from all selectees prior to receiving an official offer. Learn more about Foreign Education.

Salary and Benefits:

A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding. Learn more about federal benefits.

Review our benefits

How to Apply:

Interested individuals should send a copy of their CV with the names of three references along with a cover letter detailing relevant experience and interests to Please include the announcement number, NLM2752-2022 in the subject line and cover letter. Do not include your birth date, social security number (SSN), or personal photograph on application materials. Review of applications will begin on 05/06/2024.

Standards of Conduct/Financial Disclosure:

If selected, you will be required to complete a Confidential Financial Disclosure Report, OGE Form 450 to determine if a conflict or an appearance of a conflict exists between your financial interest and your prospective position with the agency.

Reasonable Accommodation:

You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.

Contact Information: Melissa M. Kopyto, email:

HHS, NIH, and NLM are equal opportunity employers.

Last Reviewed: May 7, 2024