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Scientist Emeritus

A Scientist Emeritus is a special designation that can be given to distinguished IRP scientists who wish to retire, but still maintain an ongoing working relationship at NIH. The scientist should have been independent, recently retired (no more than 2 years ago) from the NIH IRP, and also retired from any biomedically-related employment. Recently retired Senior Investigators, Senior Scientists, and Senior Clinicians are eligible for this designation.

A Scientist Emeritus is not on a Full-Time Equivalent Employment (FTE) position.

Scientific staff under other Intramural Professional Designations (IPD) (e.g., Staff Scientist, Staff Clinician) may receive the honorific title of "[previous IPD or organizational title] Emeritus" at the IC level to professionally recognize individuals who fall under this category. Each IC can establish criteria and procedures for approval of these IC Emeriti by the Scientific Director. NOTE: as with Scientist Emeritus, these individuals must be retired from any biomedical-related employment and must be eligible for appointment as Special Volunteer and comply with all those requirements.

Approvals (Process)

Recommendation for approval of an intramural Scientist Emeritus is made by the full Board of Scientific Directors to the Deputy Director for Intramural Research (DDIR). The recommendation request is initiated by a recommending memorandum from the Institute or Center (IC) Scientific Director (SD), and then passed through the IC Director to the DDIR for review and approval. The memorandum should specify the resources that would be provided to the Scientist Emeritus, if any. The case is then submitted by the recommending IC to the Office of Intramural Research (OIR) for scheduling at a Board of Scientific Directors Meeting. At the meeting the case is presented by the recommending SD, voted upon by the full board, and, if highly recommended, approved by signature of the DDIR.

Check Sheets / Checklists

Below are the check sheets and checklists that have been developed and approved by the DDIR for the Scientist Emeritus designation.

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


Intramural scientists at the NIH, as is true for all scientists, should be committed to the responsible use of scientific tools and methods to seek new knowledge. While the general principles of scientific methodologies are universal, their detailed application may differ in various scientific disciplines and circumstances. All research staff in the Intramural Research Program should maintain exemplary standards of intellectual honesty in formulating, conducting, presenting, and reviewing research, as befits the leadership role of the NIH.

Within the NIH IRP, the ethical conduct of researchers is governed by the following three disciplines:

Ethics information may also be available through your specific IC. Please contact your Ethics Counselor for additional guidance.

Pay / Compensation

A Scientist Emeritus receives no pay or compensation.

Recruitment Process / Appointment Mechanisms

A Scientist Emeritus is traditionally appointed as a Special Volunteer, receives no pay or compensation, but is provided with a preferential (red) parking permit, library card, telephone directory listing, E-mail address, mailbox, and NIH mailing address. Duration of an initial appointment is for a period of 1 year.

For information regarding appointment mechanisms, please visit:


One-year extensions may be granted to the Scientist Emeritus at the option of the SD.


The Scientist Emeritus may be granted additional resources (usually consisting of office space, a computer, support for manuscript typing, and/or access to copying services) by their Institute, but it is not guaranteed. Check with your SD and Administrative Officer (AO) for additional guidance.


Termination of a Scientist Emeritus is made at the discretion of the SD.

The page was last updated on Friday, August 6, 2021 - 5:22pm