Program Officer, SmartTots Public-Private Partnership

The International Anesthesia Research Society (IARS) is seeking candidates for the position of Program Officer for the IARS-FDA SmartTots Public-Private Partnership.

The SmartTots program is a multi-year collaborative effort designed to increase the safety of anesthetic and sedative drugs for the millions of children who undergo anesthesia and sedation each year.  To address growing concerns about the potential adverse consequences of general anesthesia in young patients, the FDA established the SmartTots Public-Private Partnership with the IARS in 2009. The partnership is working together with multiple stakeholders, including academic research institutions, medical professionals and societies, and other government and nonprofit organizations to address scientific and clinical gaps regarding the safe use of anesthetics and sedatives in children. While non-human studies confirm a link between anesthesia use and damage to the developing brain in animals, currently there is insufficient clinical evidence to establish a clear link between the effects of these drugs on the development of the human brain. SmartTots is working to address the gaps in research and make anesthesia and sedation safer for children around the world.

Research funded through SmartTots investigates multiple aspects of existing anesthetics and their administration, including dosage and exposure. Findings from these studies will establish new practice guidelines and, as necessary, new age-appropriate anesthetic regimens.

The position of Program Officer is a new role created to support the SmartTots research direction and the design of new research studies. This is a part-time position to be funded by a contract between the IARS and the candidate’s academic institution.


  • Identify and analyze data relating to perinatal and pediatric surgeries and other medical procedures to support the design of preclinical and clinical research studies.
  • Lead the analysis of research results and the identification of future research strategy and direction. Serve as the focal point for collection and analysis of data to support the development of future research approaches.
  • Provide data support for the design of research studies and protocols, including methodology, data collection, laboratory procedures, randomization procedures, recruiting materials, data analysis, and outcome dissemination.
  • Track and monitor emerging research on SmartTots-related issues.
  • Identify potential sources of research funds, including within the public sector (federal and state government) and the private sector (foundations and corporations).
  • Develop relationships within the NIH and other federal agencies with the potential to support the SmartTots initiative with funding or other resources.
  • Plan, attend and participate in relevant scientific conferences and meetings.
  • Prepare reports and whitepapers on the status of research in pediatric anesthesia neurotoxicity.
  • Respond to questions from professionals and parents on medical and scientific issues relating to SmartTots.


The ideal candidate will have a strong background in research with a track record that includes writing grants, securing research funding, and publications. Candidates must be familiar with epidemiological databases and have experience in data mining.  Experience with anesthesiology research is a plus. Other requirements include:

  • Doctoral degree with research emphasis (MD, PharmD, PhD, or equivalent)
  • Hands-on experience with data mining, analysis, and interpretation.
  • Experience with preclinical and clinical research.
  • Understanding of research funding, including sources of funds, grant writing, proposal review and evaluation.
  • Experience in pharmacological epidemiology strongly preferred.  Background in neuroscience desirable.
  • Pediatric anesthesia knowledge desirable.
  • Ability to work independently and travel as necessary.


Interested individuals should submit a letter of interest and qualifications to along with a current curriculum vitae.

  • A succinct letter of interest and qualifications
  • A current curriculum vitae


Deadline for applications: Friday, March 31, 2017