Science Education Administrator (Program Director)

Division: Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (EDU/DRL)
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

Position Summary

The Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL), within the Directorate for STEM Education (EDU), is actively seeking Program Directors with demonstrated expertise in education research or development within preK-12 formal and or informal learning environments. DRL supports innovative research, development, and evaluation of learning and teaching across all science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) areas, catering to learners of any age group in diverse educational settings. We specifically seek candidates with specialized knowledge in one or more of the following areas: 1) advanced technologies in education including, but not limited to, Artificial Intelligence (AI), quantum, microelectronics, immersive and/or augmenting technologies; 2) computer science education; 3) education research methods; 4) equity in STEM education; 5) math education; 6) science education. 

Position Description

Successful candidates will be expected to work collaboratively with staff and other program directors in one or more of the DRL programs: Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL), Discovery Research preK-12 (DRK-12), Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST), and Research on Innovative Technologies for Enhanced Learning (RITEL). They may also work on cross-division or cross-directorate programs such as the Racial Equity in STEM Education (EDU Racial Equity) program, the EDU Core Research (ECR) program, the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program, or the Computer Science for All (CS for ALL) program.

NSF Program Directors have an unparalleled opportunity and responsibility to ensure NSF-funded research and development activities are at the forefront of advancing fundamental knowledge. In support of that, Program Directors are responsible for extensive interaction with academic research communities, formal and informal educational organizations, industry, and interaction with other Federal agencies that may lead to development of inter-agency collaborations. Within this context, Program Directors solicit, receive, and review research and education proposals; make funding recommendations; administer awards; and interact with research communities in STEM fields. The position requires a commitment to the highest research standards and ethical conduct, a considerable breadth of interest, receptivity to new ideas, a strong sense of fairness, good judgment, and a high degree of personal integrity.

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 STEM-related field or STEM Education plus six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position after the award of the degree or a Masters degree in a STEM-related field or STEM Education plus eight or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position after the award of the degree. 

  Quality Ranking Factors:

  • Knowledge of and contributions to preK-12 or informal STEM education research and development in at least one of the specialized knowledge areas listed above.
  • Evidence of expertise or commitment to equity in STEM teaching and learning.
  • Research, analytical, and/or technical writing expertise as evidence by publications, presentations, or other documents.
  • Ability to interact, on a peer basis, with practitioners, administrators, senior scientific and administrative professionals in governmental agencies, academia, non-profits, and the private sector.
  • Ability to organize, implement and manage the review of proposals, articles, or other documents related to STEM research or development.

Candidates for the position should send the following information via email to with "DRL Program Director position" in the subject line:

(1) a current curriculum vita.

(2) a statement highlighting relevant expertise in relation to the Quality Ranking Factors. We encourage a concise overview, typically spanning 2-4 pages.

Vacancy Contact:

Dr. Alicia Santiago

Apply by Email