Director of Other Transaction Agreements

The Office of Strategic Coordination (OSC), which oversees the NIH Common Fund, is looking for a leader to maximize the enormous potential of Other Transactions (OT) awards to catalyze research. 

Click here to view the job announcement. Contact Mike Steenstra at for any questions.

The incumbent will be building, managing, and leading the Division of Other Transactions Management (DOTM) within the OSC. The DOTM will be responsible for handling the “awards management” aspects of Other Transactions (OT) awards that are associated with NIH Common Fund programs. The OT is a promising mechanism for engaging new types of partnerships and the Division will be responsible for collaborating with program staff to use the mechanism in new, innovative, and creative ways.

Due to the complexity behind the flexibility of managing OTs, we're looking for candidates that satisfy five criteria;

1. Experience collaborating with senior program staff to design and implement strategies to manage goal-driven programs that satisfy the needs of various stakeholders while fostering innovation in research.

2. Experience demonstrates the business acumen and judgment needed to represent the Office of the Director with senior NIH grants, contract, administrative, and legal representatives

3. Has significant experience with negotiating award terms, intellectual property, financial arrangements, etc., in order to serve as an NIH authority with senior institutional business officials at academic, non-profit, and for-profit organizations.

4. Management experience, including managing change with an organization, directly supervising staff, establishing organizational policies/procedures, and building a diverse/inclusive workforce.

5. Expertise and experience to provide sound advice about the use of Other Transactions versus grants or contracts; capacity to identify and mitigate risks associated with Other Transactions.

We are looking for applicants with a commitment to scientific excellence and the energy, enthusiasm, and innovative thinking necessary to lead within a dynamic and diverse organization. The job announcement will be posted soon. If you would like more information on the position or to receive an email notification when the job announcement becomes available, send an email to

Background on Other Transactions

  • "Other Transactions" (OT) are transactions other than contracts, grants or cooperative agreements. When NIH, or a specific NIH Institute, Center or Office (ICO), has legal authority to award OTs and to design an OT award program, it must differentiate OTs from existing assistance/acquisition mechanisms. Requirements for awards issued under OT authorities are generally included in the authorizing language or budgetary appropriation for such awards.

    While OTs come with fewer restrictions than other types of awards, they still must be awarded in a manner that ensures proper stewardship of Federal funds and comply with requirements applicable to Federal funding (regardless of funding mechanism). For this reason, ICOs must be sure that their OT requirements are fully documented and consistently applied.
  • Program-specific awards policies are established for each OT program. Different policies for different OT programs require an unusual degree of oversight, risk management, and adaptability by all staff who are involved in administering these awards.
  • When negotiating financial and administrative requirements for OT awards, the Agreements Officer should consider typical FAR procedures and clauses, principles from the Uniform Regulations, grants policies, commercial business practices, as well as other OT agreements; but ultimately is responsible for negotiating clauses and terms of award that appropriately reflect the risk to be undertaken by all parties on their particular project. If a policy or procedure, or a particular strategy or practice, is in the best interest of the government and is not specifically prohibited by law, Executive Order, or NIH policy the government team should not assume it is prohibited. The Agreements Officer should take the lead in encouraging business process innovations and ensuring that business decisions are made on an informed basis, in good faith, and in the honest belief that actions are taken in the best interests of the government.
  • Reasons to use OT authority may include, among others:
    • Seeking participation by nontraditional research performers, such as:
      • Large corporations, patient advocacy organizations, educational institutions, pharmaceutical companies, foreign entities, or other organizations that are typically not inclined to work with the federal government;
      • Consortia comprised of the entities above who collaborate as peers with the government to manage the project and share its costs;
      • Non-profit entities that have an interest in the goals of the OT program; and
      • Individuals
    • High risk objectives may be mitigated by the ability to terminate the award if milestones are not met.
    • Nontraditional review and award management practices are needed because the science is expected to be highly evolving, with requirements for additional aims or expertise added to, or removed from, the project throughout the award period.
    • The requirement for collaborative involvement by the government in the technical direction and oversight of the research.
  • NIH Common Fund programs that currently use the Other Transactions (OT) mechanism;

This page last reviewed on July 22, 2019