Assistant Director for Catalytic Data Resources

Assistant Director for Catalytic Data Resources
Office of Strategic Coordination
Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives
Office of the Director, NIH
GS-0601-15 Supervisory Health Scientist Administrator

Position Information

Position Environment
This position is located in the Office of Strategic Coordination (OSC), within in the Division of Program Coordination, Planning, and Strategic Initiatives (DPCPSI), in the Office of the Director, NIH, and will report to the Deputy Director, OSC.  re

The OSC plans, manages, and oversees activities funded by the NIH Common Fund (CF), a fund of approximately $650 million that supports strategic scientific programs of high priority for the NIH Director and IC Directors. The Office includes three newly established Program Teams; a Division of Other Transactions (OT) Management; a Strategic Planning, Evaluation, and Communications Team (SPEC); an Operations Team; and administrative support staff.  The Immediate Office of the OSC Director directs and oversees all functions of the Office.

The Catalytic Data Resources Program (CDR) Team manages data resources generated through CF programs. Approximately two-thirds of CF programs involve the generation of very large data sets. The CDR team provides guidance to and oversees the Data Coordinating Centers (DCCs) of these programs, often collaborating with OSC’s Transformational Science and Discovery Team. The CDR also leads the Bridge to Artificial Intelligence Program, which aims to establish guidelines for the development of data sets that can be mined through machine learning approaches, to develop data sets according to these new guidelines, and to support the use of these data via artificial intelligence. The CDR also manages the Common Fund Data Ecosystem (CFDE), which provides infrastructural support for all of the DCCs, helping to ensure that the data are findable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable (FAIR), that DCCs avoid redundancy, and that users have appropriate support. The CDR networks extensively across the NIH to contribute to the development of NIH-wide data management best practices and to ensure that CF programs align with those practices. Because of the highly evolving arena of data management, the need to engage companies such as Google and Amazon as partners in cloud computing, and the need to innovate, the CDR makes extensive use of Other Transactions (OT) Awards in their oversight of data resources. These OT awards are directly managed by CDR Program Officers in collaboration with the Division of Other Transactions Management. The budget for projects overseen by CDR is growing and is expected to be approximately $74 million in FY23. 

The Assistant Director for Catalytic Data Resources (AD-CDR) will serve as chief strategist for data science management and coordination for Common Fund data-intensive programs. These programs are designed to have broad and significant scientific and technological impacts on biomedical and behavioral research. The AD-CDR will coordinate these activities through the CDR Team. The AD-CDR or their designee will represent OSC in high-level meetings focused on data, data science, and data management.  

Technical Knowledge and Expertise
The AD-CDR maintains knowledge in a broad range of scientific areas that pertain to biomedical/behavioral data management, use of diverse data types for biomedical/behavioral research questions, computation, and/or artificial intelligence. The incumbent is responsible for developing data management strategies for Common Fund data sets that ensure data are broadly FAIR. The incumbent will develop a strategy for sustaining Common Fund data and tools in a way that assesses value of these resources and maintains them accordingly. The AD-CDR will oversee management of all Common Fund DCCs to ensure that each is established in a way that minimizes redundancies, ensures best practices are employed across the data resources, and maximizes utility of the resources to the NIH research community.

The incumbent will help to ensure that Common Fund data resources are state-of-the art and that they evolve as the field evolves. Common Fund programs generate highly diverse data types and accompanying tools, so the AD-CDR will be familiar with diverse data challenges. The AD-CDR will develop strategies for the integration of diverse data types to enhance the value of each individual data set and will develop evaluation strategies to assess utility of Common Fund data resources to diverse users. The incumbent will be broadly familiar with challenges that biomedical researchers face with respect to data management as well as data usage. They will envision structural or process changes, methods/technology development, or infrastructure that might be tested to address the challenges. 

Communication Expertise and Duties
The incumbent must be a skilled communicator to effectively interact with and strengthen collaborations with nationally and internationally recognized senior-level scientific leaders and officials of academic, research, and other institutes and organizations, as well as professional and advocacy groups.  

The AD-CDR also will lead outreach to the broader community via organization of workshops or other activities that promote adoption of Common Fund deliverables by the broader community and/or that foster brainstorming around emergent opportunities or longstanding challenges. The incumbent will develop data-driven commentaries and perspectives that enable the community to understand the value of Common Fund data resources and the impact of deliverables.

Relationship Building and Collaboration
The incumbent will have deep and broad connections to the data science and computational communities within the government, academia, and the private sector, and will understand perspectives of data generators, managers, and users. They will understand how biomedical/behavioral researchers of different capabilities and backgrounds may use data and thus understand their needs for tools and training. The Common Fund aims to establish data and tools that are useful to diverse communities, so the AD-CDR will develop workshops, code-a-thons, and training activities to bring researchers of many capabilities to the data and to plan new initiatives. 

The AD-CDR will leverage connections to the broad community to establish innovative strategies and to promote use of data broadly. The incumbent will present at domestic and international meetings, conferences, and symposia to inform the scientific community and general public about NIH data resources and how they might be used to address diverse scientific questions. They will promote the use of data resources to lay as well as scientific communities via citizen science approaches.

The AD-CDR will partner with the OSC Assistant Director for Transformational Science and Discovery (AD-TSD) to design and oversee programs that have the overarching goal of scientific discovery and have the creation of a data resource as a core strategy for catalyzing discovery. The incumbent will collaborate with the AD-TSD to engage data users of many capabilities, including citizen scientists, in the use of data for the purpose of basic science discovery. Similarly, the incumbent will partner with the OSC Assistant Director for Re-engineering Clinical/Translational Research and Workforce Development (AD-RCTRWD) to design and oversee programs that support computational/bioinformatics workforce development and/or that intersect with clinical/translational research through use of data resources.

The incumbent will establish relationships with other senior staff in the OD and the NIH ICs who are involved in data management. The AD-CDR will foster partnerships and collaborations across the NIH to optimize the programs supported by the Common Fund and to ensure integration of data resources supported by the ICs. 

Management and Supervisory Duties
The AD-CDR will be a highly effective manager of complex projects involving many research institutions and diverse investigator communities. Coordination across data-intensive programs is critical, and this will require effective management strategies. The incumbent will speak with independent authority regarding programmatic direction and management strategies for Common Fund data resources. While reporting to the OSC Deputy Director, the AD-CDR will bring unique expertise and experience with respect to data resources and data strategy and will thus have delegated responsibility in these areas. 

The AD-CDR will provide day-to-day supervisory management and direction for members of the CDR Team, which, when fully staffed, will consist of seven Program Officers and a Program Specialist. This will include assigning tasks and overseeing performance management and ensuring timely completion of performance plans and appraisals.  The incumbent will also oversee the development of Research Management and Support (RMS) budgets for programs within their purview. The AD-CDR will collaborate with the SPEC Team to establish communication, outreach, and evaluation strategies that serve CDR programmatic objectives. The AD-CDR will make recommendations to the OSC Deputy Director and Director pertaining to adjustment or growth of CDR programs or for establishment of new initiatives.

The incumbent will be responsible for furthering the goals of equal employment opportunity (EEO) by taking positive steps to build and support diversity within the CDR Team and by adhering to nondiscriminatory employee practices with regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, genetic information, or disability.  The incumbent will initiate nondiscriminatory practices and inclusive actions for the employees who are under their supervision in the following: (1) application of Merit System Principles in the promotion, recruitment, and hiring practices; (2) fair treatment of all employees; (3) encouragement and recognition of employee achievements; (4) career development of employees; and (5) full utilization of Federal Employees skills.  The AD-CDR also will ensure that the CDR team represents a cooperative and supportive workplace which is free of harassment.


This page last reviewed on January 14, 2022