Science Education Administrator (Program Director)

Division: Graduate Education (EDU/DGE)
Directorate: STEM Education (EDU)
Job Type:
Appointment Type:
Temporary / Rotator
Pay Grade/Scale:
Salary Range:
$169,430 - $204,000
This job is open to the public

Application timeline

Date Posted:
Closing date: Open until filled
Formal consideration of interested applicants will begin and will continue until a selection is made.

Position Summary

The Directorate for STEM Education (EDU), Division of Graduate Education (DGE) at the National Science Foundation (NSF) announces a nationwide search for graduate education experts to fill one or more temporary Program Director. Interested candidates should review this letter closely and identify the program(s) for which they would like to be considered. Formal consideration of interested applicants will begin immediately upon receipt of applications and will continue until selections are made.

Position Description

NSF Program Directors bear the primary responsibility for carrying out the Agency’s overall mission to capitalize on new concepts in science and engineering and provide global leadership in advancing research and education. Successful Program Directors have a broad interest in research and education, are open to new ideas, exercise good judgment, and are committed to ethical behavior, fairness, and possess strong personal integrity. 

Program Directors in DGE have an unparalleled opportunity to ensure that NSF funding supports graduate training, promotes innovations, and builds the knowledge base to inform improvements in STEM graduate education. Program Directors manage merit review of research and development proposals, make funding recommendations, administer awards, and interact with research and education communities across the nation.

Applicants should review the following groups of DGE programs and identify one or more programmatic interests in a cover letter. The cover letter should also specify how the applicants’ prior training or experience prepares them for success as a DGE Program Director. Program descriptions are set forth on our website

  1. The Cyber Corps ®: Scholarship for Service (SFS) and Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) Programs
  2. The Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) and  
  3. The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) and Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) Programs  
  4. Programs spanning the Directorate for STEM Education, including the Racial Equity Program, the Education Core Research Program (ECR) Program, the Building Capacity in STEM Education Research Program,, and the STEM Education Research Post-doctoral Fellowship Program


The position recruited under this announcement will be filled under the following appointment option(s):

Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Assignment: Individuals eligible for an IPA assignment with a Federal agency include employees of State and local government agencies or institutions of higher education, Indian tribal governments, and other eligible organizations in instances where such assignments would be of mutual benefit to the organizations involved. Initial assignments under IPA provisions may be made for a period up to two years, with a possible extension for up to an additional two-year period. The individual remains an employee of the home institution and NSF provides the negotiated funding toward the assignee's salary and benefits. Initial IPA assignments are made for a one-year period and may be extended by mutual agreement. 

Temporary Excepted Service Appointment: Appointment to this position will be made under the Excepted Authority of the NSF Act. Candidates who do not have civil service status or reinstatement eligibility will not obtain civil service status if selected. Candidates currently in the competitive service will be required to waive competitive civil service rights if selected. Usual civil service benefits (retirement, health benefits and life insurance) are applicable for appointments of more than one year. Temporary appointments may not exceed three years.

Visiting Scientist, Engineer, and Educator (VSEE) Program: Appointment to this position will be made under the Excepted Authority of the NSF Act. Visiting Scientists are on non-paid leave status from their home institution and placed on the NSF payroll. NSF withholds Social Security taxes and pays the home institution's contributions to maintain retirement and fringe benefits (i.e., health benefits and life insurance), either directly to the home institution or to the carrier. Appointments are usually made for a one-year period and may be extended for an additional year by mutual agreement.

It is NSF policy that NSF personnel employed at or IPAs detailed to NSF are not permitted to participate in foreign government talent recruitment programs.  Failure to comply with this NSF policy could result in disciplinary action up to and including removal from Federal Service or termination of an IPA assignment and referral to the Office of Inspector General.

Applications will be accepted from U.S. Citizens. Recent changes in Federal Appropriations Law require Non-Citizens to meet certain eligibility criteria to be considered. Therefore, Non-Citizens must certify eligibility by signing and attaching this Citizenship Affidavit to their application. Non-Citizens who do not provide the affidavit at the time of application will not be considered eligible. Non-Citizens are not eligible for positions requiring a security clearance.

To ensure compliance with an applicable preliminary nationwide injunction, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of ongoing litigation, the Federal Government will take no action to implement or enforce the COVID-19 vaccination requirement pursuant to Executive Order 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. Federal agencies may request information regarding the vaccination status of selected applicants for the purposes of implementing other workplace safety protocols, such as protocols related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine.

Candidates must have a Ph.D. in a NSF-relevant STEM discipline, which includes STEM education, plus after award of the Ph.D., at least six years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position.

Experience as a faculty member and/or administrator in graduate education is particularly desirable. The ideal candidate will be highly knowledgeable about current trends and challenges in graduate education, have experience mentoring graduate students, have excellent organizational, collaborative, and communication skills, and be able to serve as an effective spokesperson for DGE within the national science and engineering community. DGE is particularly interested in individuals with experience in data analytics, program evaluation, and/or innovative strategies for graduate education and training. Successful candidates are expected to function effectively as a member of the DGE team, contributing to and coordinating with other individuals in the STEM Education Directorate, NSF as a whole, other Federal and State government agencies, private-sector organizations, and professional societies and organizations that contribute to the STEM and/or graduate education enterprise.

Position start dates are negotiable and dependent on workforce needs within DGE but may begin as early as January 2023.

Applications should be sent to Charisse Carney-Nunes at