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Search & Selection

It has long been recognized that despite some of the difficulties arising from the decentralized structure of the NIH with its multiple semi-independent Institute or Centers (ICs), this organizational diversity is also one of its greatest strengths. It naturally leads to a variety of approaches in developing effective intramural and extramural research programs since there is no single way that can be shown to be optimal. Nevertheless, it is appropriate for the central NIH managers (Office of Director (OD)) to monitor and if necessary intervene in order to assure that overall standards of high productivity, equal opportunity, integrity, matters of safety and many other general aspects of the research establishment are met throughout the NIH organization. It is with the purpose of achieving an appropriate balance between permitting and even encouraging a diversity of approach while at the same time promoting uniformity of excellence in the outcome, that we have considered one of the most important functions of the intramural program: the selection of new investigators.

The Tenure-Track Agreement

The Tenure-Track Agreement, co-signed by the Scientific Director, the Laboratory or Branch Chief, the Deputy Director for Intramural Research (DDIR), and the tenure-track candidate, confirms that the specified research program of the tenure-track candidate is consistent with the long-term goals of the Institute's intramural research program. The Tenure-Track Agreement also defines the timeline and resources--including space, personnel, and budget--that will be allotted to the candidate. These resources must be sufficient to permit the candidate to become established as an independent scientist. Salary must be set at or greater than GS13-step 1 equivalent. It is the responsibility of both the Laboratory or Branch Chief and the Scientific Director to ascertain that these resources are assigned equitably and without discrimination based on a candidate's gender, race, ethnic background or physical handicaps. A copy of the tenure-track agreement is to be sent to the Deputy Director for Intramural Research for approval.

Informing the Tenure-Track Candidate

Each tenure-track candidate will sign and receive a copy of the Tenure-Track Agreement bearing the signatures of the Scientific Director and Laboratory or Branch Chief. The candidate's tenure clock begins after he or she signs the Tenure-Track Agreement and an official personnel action converts or appoints the candidate to the position of Investigator (tenure track).

Check Sheets / Checklists

In order to expedite the processing of personnel actions by the Office of Intramural Research for approval by or notification of the Deputy Director for Intramural Research, please attach as a cover sheet the appropriate check sheet listed below. This will assure that the required documentation has been included and will facilitate subsequent reviews of the proposed action.

Below are the check sheets and checklists that have been developed and approved by the DDIR.

Individual ICs may have additional requirements, check sheets, and/or checklists. Please contact your Administrative Officer (AO) or HR Specialist for additional guidance. For examples of IC-specific check sheets and checklists, please visit:

The page was last updated on Thursday, March 19, 2015 - 9:06pm