A research scientist at the National Institutes of Health has been charged with selling to undercover drug agents about $3,500 worth of morphine reportedly taken from the facility in Maryland.

Raymond H. Menard, described as a senior scientist who works on a cancer research project at NIH, was released yesterday on personal bond. Menard, 38, who lives at 5500 Friendship Blvd., Chevy Chase, said in court documents that he had worked at NIH for three years.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Douglas Behr of the major crimes division asked that a minimum bond be set for Menard, since the drugs he allegedly sold "did come from his place of employment" - and, Behr noted, "he may not be returning there." No further information about Menards employment at NIH could be obtained late yesterday. But it was learned that he held a doctorate.

According to arrest records in the case, Menard met with undercover agents on June 19 and arranged to sell them 10 grams of morphine for $3,500 later in the week.

He allegedly met the officers in a Capitol Hill restaurant Thursday night about 7 o'clock and went with them to his car parked outside. They stopped in the 200 block of 4th Street SE, and he allegedly gave them two glass vials containing white powder, the arrest records showed.

Behr said the transaction was "one of several" between Menard and undercover agents, but did not elaborate. The charge covers only the Thursday incident.

U.S. Magistrate Jean F. Dwyer allowed Menard to be freed on personal bond.