UnJa L. Hayes, Ph.D.

Scientific Review Officer
Biobehavioral & Behavioral Processes (BBBP) IRG
Center for Scientific Review, NIH


Dr. UnJa Hayes is a Scientific Review Officer at the National Institute of Health’s Center for Scientific Review, where she has served since 2016. In this role, she oversees the review of applications for the Biobehavioral Regulation, Learning and Ethology (BRLE) Study Section that focus on basic mechanisms underlying the development and organization of behavior in humans and animal models.

Prior to joining NIH, Dr. Hayes worked overseas as a Health Service Delivery Advisor and then became the PEPFAR Country Operational Plan (COP) Coordinator in the Office of Global Health at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)|Rwanda. In these positions, she advised on and managed health and social programs designed to improve maternal, newborn and child health and fight HIV/AIDS. Dr. Hayes began her work in global health as an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow at USAID|Washington, where she served as a health research scientist providing technical oversight of health research and technology development programs designed to improve maternal and newborn health in low resource areas.

Before entering federal service, Dr. Hayes was an assistant professor in psychology at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and director of the Parental Behavior Lab. Her basic and translational research program focused on the effects of pregnancy and obstetric experiences on parental caregiving and postpartum mental health. Dr. Hayes received her Ph.D. in psychology/behavioral neuroscience from the University of Southern California and was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Center for Neuroendocrine Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

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