Sally J. Rockey, Ph.D.

Deputy Director for Extramural Research

Dr. Rockey is the Deputy Director for Extramural Research, leading extramural research activities at NIH. The Office of Extramural Research (OER), which she also serves as Director, is the focal point for policies and guidelines for extramural research administration within NIH and in partnership with the biomedical research community.

Dr. Rockey received her Ph.D. in Entomology from Ohio State University, and has spent the majority of her career in the area of extramural research administration and information technology. She leads or is active on a number of Federal committees related to science, research administration, and electronic government and collaborates closely with academic and scientific communities.

In 1986 she joined the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Extramural Research arm, where she quickly rose to the post of Deputy Administrator for the Competitive Research Grants and Award Management Unit of the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service, overseeing the extramural grants process and portfolio. In 2002, she became Chief Information Officer, applying her breadth of government knowledge to IT, aligning state-of-the-art information technologies with the department’s goals and objectives. In 2005, Dr. Rockey was appointed to the position of Deputy Director of OER within the Office of the Director at NIH to bring her extensive experience in research administration and federal assistance to the biomedical research community. She assumed the role of Acting NIH Deputy Director for Extramural Research on October 31, 2008, and became permanent in that position on August 15, 2010.

Dr. Rockey is a skilled public speaker, giving countless presentations on extramural research priorities and policies, grantsmanship, the competitive peer review process, scientific integrity, and IT.

Along with her many professional accomplishments, such as receiving the Presidential Rank Award in 2004, Dr. Rockey is an active member of the community and has numerous outside interests. She encouraged the science education of young children by giving presentations on insects to local elementary schools, where she was known as the “Bug Doctor.” 

This page last reviewed on August 7, 2015