NIH Extramural Research Head Resigns

Sally Rockey, deputy director of extramural research at the National Institutes of Health, is leaving the agency this fall to lead an agriculture nonprofit.

Jef Akst
Jef Akst

Jef Akst is managing editor of The Scientist, where she started as an intern in 2009 after receiving a master’s degree from Indiana University in April 2009 studying the mating behavior of seahorses.

View full profile.


Learn about our editorial policies.

Jun 11, 2015

WIKIMEDIA, NIHSally Rockey, long-time deputy director of extramural research at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), is resigning to accept a position at a new nonprofit called the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, she announced today (June 11).

“It is bittersweet for me,” she wrote on her popular blog Rock Talk. “It has been an extraordinarily hard decision to leave NIH, an incredible agency with an incredible mission, one of which I have loved being part. Working with the extramural community has been an amazing experience, as your work contributes so much to improving lives around the nation, and around the world, through your research.”

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, which is just one year old, handles private donations to research at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA). “This is a newly formed foundation that I will lead through its formative first years,” Rockey...

Rockey will stay with the NIH through mid-September, to allow time for her replacement to be found. “I will greatly miss her wisdom, courage, and creativity as we tackle the knotty issues associated with extramural grant funding, especially in this particularly stark budget climate,” NIH Director Francis Collins said in a statement. “Sally has done an outstanding job of steering the NIH through many challenging times and we will be forever in her debt.”

Interested in reading more?

NIH Extramural Research Head Resigns

The Scientist ARCHIVES

Become a Member of

Receive full access to more than 35 years of archives, as well as TS Digest, digital editions of The Scientist, feature stories, and much more!
Already a member?