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
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 Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL) announces a nationwide search for temporary Program Directors in wide range of areas supported by the division.  Formal consideration of applications will begin March 2, 2020 and will continue until selections are made. 


Position Description

DRL invests in projects to improve the effectiveness of STEM learning for people of all ages.  Its mission includes promoting innovative research, development, and evaluation of learning and teaching across all STEM disciplines by advancing cutting-edge knowledge and practices in both formal and informal learning settings.  DRL also promotes the broadening and deepening of capacity and impact in the educational sciences by encouraging the participation of scientists, engineers and educators from the range of disciplines represented at NSF.  Therefore, DRL’s role in the larger context of Federal support for STEM education research is to be a catalyst for change – advancing theory, methodology, measurement, development, and application in STEM education.

Program Directors have an unparalleled opportunity and responsibility to ensure that NSF-funded mathematics education research is at the forefront of advancing fundamental and applied knowledge. The candidate is expected to function effectively as a member of crosscutting and interactive teams as well as an individual contributor. The position requires effective oral and written communication skills. Familiarity with NSF programs and activities is highly desirable.

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.

Applicants must have a Ph. D or Ed.D. in a STEM related field or STEM Education, plus after award of the Ph.D. or Ed.D., six or more years of successful research and development experience.

Successful candidates will have research and/or development expertise in at least one of the following areas:

*K-12 math teaching and learning;

*K-12 science teaching and learning;

*K-12 computer science education;

*K-12 engineering education;

*Learning technologies; applications of artificial intelligence to education;

*Education research methodology (computational, quantitative, or qualitative);

*English language learners and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics);

*Early childhood STEM learning; or

*Adult education/learning for and in the workplace.

In a statement of interest, please address the following:

Quality ranking factors:

  1. Knowledge of and contributions to STEM education research and development in at least one of the areas listed above.
  2. Research, analytical, and/or technical writing expertise as evidence by publications, presentations or other documents.
  3. Ability to interact, on a peer basis, with practitioners, administrators, senior scientific and managerial personnel in governmental agencies, academia, non-profits, and the private sector.
  4. Ability to organize, implement and manage the review of proposals, articles or other documents related to STEM learning.

How to Apply: Applicants should apply by email. Please use the header: “STEM education research program officer vacancy” in the subject line of the email. Please submit a current CV and statement of interest to