Mechanical Engineer (Program Director)

Division: Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (ENG/CMMI)
Directorate: Engineering (ENG)
Job Type:
Appointment Type:
Temporary / Rotator
Pay Grade/Scale:
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 Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) in the Directorate for Engineering seeks to fill a Program Director position in the Mechanics and Engineering Materials (MEM) Cluster. The MEM Cluster is composed of two programs focused on the mechanical behavior of engineered and biological materials systems, respectively. 

  • Biomechanics and Mechanobiology: The Biomechanics and Mechanobiology (BMMB) program supports fundamental research that advances the understanding of the mechanical behavior of biological material systems, such as biomolecules, cells, and tissues. The program emphasizes the study of biological mechanics across multiple domains, from sub-cellular to whole organism, with advanced theoretical, computational, or experimental approaches, or a combination thereof. 
  • Mechanics of Materials and Structures: The Mechanics of Materials and Structures (MoMS) program supports fundamental research in mechanics related to the behavior of deformable solid materials and structures under internal and external actions. The MoMS program supports a diverse spectrum of research with emphasis on transformative advances in experimental, theoretical, and computational methods, including research that addresses deformation and failure phenomena across multiple length and time scales, potentially involving multiphysics considerations.

More information about the MEM Cluster is found on the website.

The cluster is managed by an interdisciplinary team of Program Directors, who participate in cross-cutting initiatives within the National Science Foundation, as well as in interagency working groups. The position requires a breadth of experience and interest in interdisciplinary initiatives, receptivity to new ideas, working collaboratively and effectively in teams, and a commitment to high standards of intellectualism and ethical conduct, a strong sense of fairness, and a high degree of personal integrity.

Position Description

Program Directors have an unparalleled opportunity and responsibility to ensure that NSF-funded research is at the forefront of advancing fundamental knowledge. In support of this, Program Directors are responsible for extensive interaction with academic research communities and industry, as well as interaction with other Federal agencies that may lead to the development of interagency collaborations. Within this context, Program Directors solicit, receive and review research and education proposals, make funding recommendations, administer awards, and undertake interaction with research communities in these fields. They are also responsible for service to Foundation-wide activities and initiatives that together accomplish NSF's strategic goals to: (1) Empower STEM talent to fully participate in science and engineering (2) Create new knowledge about our universe, the world and ourselves (3) Benefit society by translating knowledge into solutions and (4) Excel as a Federal Agency.

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. 

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 an appropriate science or engineering field, plus after award of the degree, six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position.

A competitive candidate should have a background or familiarity with a wide range of topics related to the scopes of both the BMMB and MoMS programs. However, candidates with exceptional expertise in only one program may also be considered. 

The position requires effective oral and written communication skills, and familiarity with NSF programs and activities is desirable. The candidate is expected to function effectively as a member of crosscutting and collaborative teams as well as an individual contributor. The candidate should also demonstrate a capability to work across government agencies to promote NSF activities and to leverage program funds through interagency collaborations. 

To apply, email a single PDF document that includes (i) a cover letter outlining qualifications for the position, (ii) a curriculum vitae, and (iii) Citizen affidavit, as applicable, to