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Chemist - Substance Use Disorders

The National Institute on Drug Abuse, Bethesda, Maryland

Position Description:

The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Division of Therapeutics and Medical Consequences (DTMC), Chemistry and Pharmaceutics Branch is currently recruiting for a Chemist. The Chemistry and Pharmaceutics Branch is responsible for planning and directing research aimed at the discovery of new chemicals and structural classes with potential for development into pharmacotherapies for the treatment of Substance Use Disorders (SUDs); research in pharmacokinetics and metabolism associated with drugs under development; and studies on the interactions of target compounds with known drugs of abuse. The Branch is responsible for large scale (bulk) chemical preparation, dosage form development, and generation of pharmacokinetic information on all drugs under investigation by NIDA’s Medications Development Program.

The chemist in this position would be responsible for managing a research program of grants and contracts evaluating chemical design, synthesis, formulation, metabolism, pharmacokinetic and pharmacodynamic, and biopharmaceutics related to the discovery and development of new medications for SUD treatment. While not exclusive to, the focus of this position is the formulation of drug products, which includes design, manufacturing, quality control, packaging, labeling, storage, and stability. The chemist would also execute key aspects of the research and production of novel chemical compounds with potential for drug abuse treatment. He or she will establish and maintain liaisons with prominent members of the scientific community to continually evaluate the adequacy of pharmaceutical research in the area of SUDs and initiate efforts to direct research to underrepresented areas in the field.

Responsibilities include:
  • Directing a comprehensive research and development program for new and improved methods for the formulation of chemical compounds targeted for use in the treatment of SUDs.
  • Developing new approaches or improving current pharmaceutical technology
  • for the design of dosage forms to maximize therapeutic effectiveness of a
  • drug.
    Monitoring all aspects of the pharmaceutical process
  • (including design, formulation, manufacturing, quality
  • control, packaging, labeling, storage, and stability testing). o Establishing product specifications to ensure the quality,
  • potency, and stability of drug dosage forms prepared for the
  • NIDA’s Medications Development Program.
    Collaborating with medicinal chemistry experts regarding
  • the design, synthesis, and production of new chemical
  • compounds.
    Ensuring that Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)
  • requirements are met for the manufacturing of clinical dosage forms and drug substances, and that Chemistry, Manufacturing and Control (CMC) data included in the IND and NOA submissions meet FDA requirements for approval.
  • Monitoring all aspects of the GMP and non-GMP large scale manufacturing of new chemical entities/drug substances for use in preclinical and clinical development program.
  • Coordinating formulation activities with the FDA, drug manufacturers, and contractors responsible for development, production, packaging, acquisition, and supply of drug products to clinical researchers.
  • Serving as Project Officer or Contracting Officer Representative (COR) on grants, contracts, and interagency agreements in pharmaceutical research on new drug products and novel drug delivery systems. 


  • Knowledge of and/or background in Substance Use Disorders, and medication development is highly beneficial.
  • The ideal candidate must possess a PhD in chemistry or in a relevant discipline and demonstrate successful experience in research or research management.
  • Salaries are competitive and commensurate with experience; excellent benefits are offered. All applicants will receive consideration without regard to ethnicity, gender, national origin, age, religion, disability, or sexual orientation. The position will be posted at the GS-13 and GS-14 federal government salary grade.

To Apply:

The Chemist vacancy announcement is posted on USAJOBS and will remain open for 10 day. Selection for this position is dependent upon successful candidate referral from the Chemist announcement posted on USAJOBS.
This position is subject to a background check. Applicants must be U.S. citizens or U.S. nationals. Foreign nationals or legal permanent residents are not eligible for the position.
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), NIH, and NIDA are equal opportunity employers committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion. Applications from women, minorities, and persons with disabilities are strongly encouraged.