Status Report

NASA Announcement of Opportunity – Human Health and Countermeasures Deputy Element Scientist

By SpaceRef Editor
October 16, 2020
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Announcement of Opportunity – Human Health and Countermeasures Deputy Element Scientist





Human Health and Countermeasures Deputy Element Scientist


Area of Consideration:

Open to all qualified US Citizens, permanent residents, or non-residents with a US “J” Visa  



NASA Johnson Space Center, Houston, TX
Human Health & Performance Directorate 
Biomedical and Research and Environmental Sciences Division



2 years, beginning January 2021, with a potential for extension. 


Application Period:

Open:  October 16, 2020
Closes: November 16, 2020



The Johnson Space Center (JSC) Biomedical Research and Environmental Sciences (BR&ES) Division seeks to fill an Intergovernmental Personnel Agreement (IPA) assignment for a Human Health and Countermeasures (HHC) Deputy Element Scientist (DES) position.  The HHC DES will provide scientific leadership supporting the Human Research Program (HRP).  This involves developing research strategies for addressing HRP risks, working closely with the HHC Element Scientist, Element Manager, and various Discipline Scientists across the Agency.  


Duties include but are not limited to:

  • The HHC DES supports the Element as a technical expert responsible for supporting the development of the strategic science management plan for HRP.
  • Ensures that the Element’s research portfolio, including all scientific components, is organized and executed to mitigate operationally relevant risks and to develop countermeasures and/or technologies that support exploration missions.
  • Maintains the HHC Integrated Research Plan (IRP), clearly demonstrating integration and coordination of the various projects within and across HRP Elements to successfully close out the associated Program risks.
  • Reviews the science performed within the Element, portfolios, projects, and teams, as appropriate. Establishes collaborations with various medical, academic, industry, or other Government agencies to execute the IRP.
  • Develops, coordinates and submits scientific solicitation inputs, and evaluates new proposals (i.e., solicited, unsolicited, directed task) for merit and relevance; providing relevance and feasibility recommendations to the HRP Chief Scientist.
  • Supports formal quarterly technical, cost, and schedule status reports to the Program Manager and the annual preparation of the Planning, Programming, and Budgeting Execution (PPBE) for the Element.
  • Communicates regularly with the HHC Element Scientist and HRP Science Management Office, as well as with the Element stakeholders and line managers, as appropriate.
  • In conjunction with the Element Manager and Scientist, manages issues of conflict-of-interest, bias, and confidentiality to ensure fairness and credibility of the proposal, evaluation, selection, award, and administration of Federal awards.



  • Advanced graduate degree plus 7 years’ experience in a specialized life sciences discipline, medicine or bioengineering required, Ph.D. or equivalent (D.Sc., Sc.D., M.D.).
  • Experience with Institutional Review Boards (IRB) and Human Use or Institutional Review Boards and Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) reviews, including the established principles, processes, and best practices related to biomedical research ethics and safety reporting.
  • Demonstrated experience in designing and conducting experiments, managing multiple investigations and projects of varying disciplines and specialties.
  • Specialized experience as a competitive principal investigator in space biomedical research, human and/or animal.
  • Experience with research solicitations, selection, and implementation, including procurement activities.
  • Skilled in technical management activities, including planning, scheduling, and coordinating budget and resource control to ensure completion of research programs.
  • Experience planning, evaluating, and executing a multi-year research strategy designed to extend knowledge that informs spaceflight human system risk decisions. 
  • Leadership in their field and have demonstrated oversight of diverse research groups and must have excellent communication skills.
  • Expert in communicating with customers, stakeholders, and manage both internal and external to NASA.

IPA Agreements are entered between NASA and Academic Institutions, State or Local Governments, Indian Tribal Governments, or other eligible organizations under the provisions of the IPA of 1970 (5 U.S.C. 3371 – 3376) and not the individual associated with those entities.  
IPA assignees remain employees of their home institutions and continue to be paid by their employer.  Cost-sharing negotiations between NASA and the non-Federal entity will determine the percentage of allowable costs that each organization will pay.  Cost-sharing arrangements should be based on the extent to which the participating organizations benefit from the assignment.


To apply:

Please send the following information to  Please put “HHC Deputy Element Scientist” in the subject line to ensure your application is properly routed for review. 

  • Curriculum vitae, publications, and references.
  • A one-page statement of interest letter
  • A Letter of intent from a senior official with the authority to designate funds and personnel stating the following:
    • The institution is supportive of your application for this position.
    • The institution is willing to engage in cost-sharing.
    • A point of contact for funding negotiations.
    • Status of citizenship or residency.


Other Eligible Organization”:  A national, regional, Statewide, area-wide, or metropolitan organization representing member State or local governments; an association of State or local public officials; a nonprofit organization which offers, as one of its principal functions, professional advisory, research, educational, or development services, or related services, to governments or universities concerned with public management; or a federally funded research and development center (FFRDC).  NASA guidance for IPA agreements is contained in: the “NASA Desk Guide on the Intergovernmental Personnel ACT (IPA), Version 3 ”, and NPR 3300.1B, Chapter 6, “Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Agreements.”



SpaceRef staff editor.