Job Overview


This position may be filled as a Physician (Psychiatrist); Psychologist; Nurse; Social Worker or Health Science Officer.

 Vacancy Identification Number (VIN) 945341

OUR MISSION: To fulfill President Lincoln's promise – "To care for him who shall have borne the battle, and for his widow, and his orphan" – by serving and honoring the men and women who are America's Veterans.

The VISN 17 Center of Excellence (COE) is committed to first class research to promote and improve mental health care, treatment and counseling services for returning war Veterans of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation New Dawn (OEF/OIF/OND). The focus of the COE is on the development and delivery of state-of-the-art care and treatment for mental health conditions and associated sequelae. We are looking for a dedicated leader with strong research and administrative skills to further grow and develop this research enterprise to its full potential!  A faculty appointment at the Texas A&M College of Medicine commensurate with professional experience will be available to facilitate this challenging, but extremely rewarding, opportunity. The COE has an annual operating budget of approximately $3M with permanent full-time staff and faculty positions available for recruitment of premier researchers. A $9.8M renovation construction project is currently underway which will be the new headquarters of the COE when activated in 2014.

The COE is well equipped with resources such as sophisticated MRI equipment, wet and dry lab space, training facilities, and videoconferencing equipment to support high caliber research. A joint Memorandum of Agreement between Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center, Fort Hood, and VA Central Texas Veterans Health Care System, and VISN 17 Center of Excellence provides significant opportunities for clinical research innovation as troops who may develop symptoms of psychological war-related trauma return to Ft. Hood, Texas.

Given the unique concentration of active military and Veterans in VISN 17, the strength of the Center's research and clinical mission, the commitment of VA, and federal/private sector funding, VISN 17 COE has an unparalleled opportunity to shape and influence not only the research and clinical agenda within VHA, but the ongoing national dialogue on how best to improve Veterans' health and quality of life.

About Central Texas: VISN 17 COE is located on the beautiful historic Waco Campus of the Central Texas Veterans Health Care System (CTVHCS). Central Texas is home of the world renowned “Texas Hill Country”, painted with exquisite landscape and relaxing quality of life with abundant settings for family activities. The beautiful lakes and streams of the Hill Country provide ample opportunity for water sports, hunting and outdoor recreation, while the moderate climate allows year-round outdoor access. Central Texas is famous not only for its barbeque but also for its friendly, hospitable people and its healthy environment. The region is home to some of the best public schools in the country. Real estate prices in Central Texas are among the lowest in the nation; and commute times to metropolitan housing as well as ranches and farms are nominal. The I-35 corridor provides access to the major metropolitan attractions of Dallas/Fort Worth and Austin, each within 90 minutes travel time. Waco is a thriving metropolitan city in Central Texas with an established entertainment district and is home to Baylor University, which provides the region with world class collegiate sporting events and entertainment opportunities -- and touts the successes of Heisman Award Trophy recipient Robert Griffin, III “RG3”! Central Texas is located Northwest of Houston, East of Austin and South of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Texas is the native birthplace of two US Presidents and home to another two US Presidents. Museums and other cultural venues present visitors with opportunities for learning about the rich heritage that helped to form present-day Texas. The neighboring communities of Temple, Belton, Killeen, Fort Hood and surrounding towns make for a diverse and well rounded Central Texas area with a very comfortable quality of life! NO STATE TAXES!!!

As a VA professional, your opportunities are endless. With many openings in the multiple functions of VA, you will have a wide range of opportunities and leadership positions at your fingertips. Not only is it the largest, most technologically advanced integrated health care system in the Nation, but we also provide many other services to Veterans through the Benefits Administration and National Cemeteries. VA professionals feel good about their careers and their ability to balance work and home life. VA offers generous paid time off and a variety of predictable and flexible scheduling opportunities.  For more information on the Department of Veterans Affairs, go to

NOTE:  Applicant's education and length of practice (experience) will be considered by a Professional Standards Board and Compensation Panel in determining the salary of the applicant selected. 

VA encourages persons with disabilities to apply.  The health related positions in VA are covered by Title 38, and are not covered by the Schedule A excepted appointment authority.

Relocation Expenses: Relocation expenses are authorized for this position.
The Department of Veterans Affairs offers Permanent Change of Station (PCS) relocation services. Permanent Change of Station is the relocation of a household due to government convenience in connection with a transfer between duty stations or facilities. For more information go to

Recruitment/Relocation Incentive may be authorized.


You will serve as the Director of the Veterans Integrated Service Network (VISN) 17 Center of Excellence (CoE) for Research on Returning War Veterans, with full programmatic authority for all professional, management and administrative aspects of the CoE. You will oversee and direct CoE research projects, educational programs, and clinical demonstration programs. The Director conducts relevant scientific research and is a recognized expert with a national and/or international reputation in the area of mental health research.

Duties performed by the Director require skill in directing and effectively managing the CoE.  You must use a high level of autonomy to organize work, set priorities and program goals, delegate tasks, meet multiple deadlines, and meet facility performance objectives.  You must be highly proficient in relating to superiors, peers, and subordinates in order to negotiate and implement program policies and find solutions to personnel and organizational challenges. 

Administrative Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Supervisory responsibility for subordinates and responsibility for all professional, management, and administrative aspects of the CoE.
  • Organizing work, setting priorities, delegating tasks, and meeting multiple deadlines.
  • Responsibility for the strategic development, implementation, staffing, budgeting and overall leadership of the CoE.
  • Ensuring that all research activities have been reviewed and approved by the relevant VA Institutional Review Boards and Research Committees.
  • Ensuring staff members follow requirements for performance of duties at VA work sites or approved alternatives and appropriate documentation is available.
  • Ensuring records of attendance and leave follow Veterans Health Administration (VHA) requirements.
  • Maintaining relationships that facilitate collaborative work with staff and other programs/centers, as well as resolving conflicts.
  • Communicating goals, objectives and priorities to subordinate staff.
  • Providing budget formation, justification and execution; financial management; and financial reporting.
  • Managing organizational changes throughout the CoE and approving the allocation and distribution of funds in the CoE's budget.

Research Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Engaging in and supporting scientific research programs, including accomplishing the scientific review and evaluation process for the research programs.
  • Developing policies, procedures and criteria for administration of the CoE Research program.
  • Promoting research initiatives designed to provide information regarding program planning and relevant treatment approaches.
  • Providing structured mentorship for developing research professionals within the CoE and collaborators across the nation.
  • Maintaining the CoE research focus on returning war Veterans in order to be maximally useful to current and future generations of Veterans and their families returning from conflict.
  • Serving as Principal Investigator in writing and obtaining grants from VA and external funding sources.
  • Developing effective collaborations with academic partners, VA and other research agencies.

Clinical Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Arranging and ensuring discipline-specific oversight for all clinical care delivered by psychology staff  and trainees not yet independently licensed.
  • Providing professional advice and consultation in areas related to professional practice and evidence-based interventions.

Academic/Teaching/Training Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Holding an appointment as an Associate or Full Professor at Texas A&M Health Science Center, College of Medicine.
  • Involvement in the facility Psychology Training Programs and Training Committee.
  • Providing mental health research leadership and mentoring.