General Engineer (Program Director)

Division: Engineering Education and Centers (ENG/EEC)
Directorate: Engineering (ENG)
Job Type:
Appointment Type:
Temporary / Rotator
Pay Grade/Scale:
Salary Range:
$160,889 - $206,279
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 Engineering Education and Centers (EEC) in the Directorate for Engineering is seeking a Program Director to work jointly with the Engineering Education cluster and the Engineering Workforce Development cluster, through a temporary ("rotator") appointment. The selected individual will work with, and support, the lead Program Directors of the two clusters. The appointment will be made for one year, and it may be extended for additional years by mutual agreement. Formal consideration of interested applicants will begin February 8, 2023 and will continue until a selection is made. The selected applicant is expected to start in May 2023.

Position Description

NSF Program Directors bear the primary responsibility for carrying out the Foundation's overall mission to support innovative and merit-evaluated activities in fundamental research and education that contribute to the nation's technological strength, security and welfare. This responsibility requires knowledge in the appropriate disciplines along with: a commitment to high standards, a considerable breadth of interest and receptivity to new ideas, a strong sense of fairness, good judgment, and a high degree of personal integrity.

The individual selected will support the funding portfolios of both Engineering Education (EE) and Engineering Work Force Development (WFD) Programs. 

Engineering Education Program

The EE program supports the Professional Formation of Engineers initiative. Professional Formation of Engineers (PFE) refers to the formal and informal processes and value systems by which people become engineers. It also includes the ethical responsibility of practicing engineers to sustain and grow the profession in order to improve quality of life for all peoples. The engineering profession must be responsive to national priorities, grand challenges, and dynamic workforce needs; it must be equally open and accessible to all.

EEC supports research in engineering education by awarding grants through four major funding programs:

  • Research in the Formation of Engineers - focuses on achieving systemic improvements by supporting research to: advance holistic engineering formation; diversify pathways to and through engineering; explore citizen engineering, credentialing, and expertise; develop engineering-specific theories of how engineers are formed; and understand how change in engineering formation processes travels, translates, transfers, diffuses, and/or scales.
  • Research Initiation in Engineering Formation - seeks to support research in PFE and increase the community of investigators conducting PFE research by providing funding to support engineering faculty to develop expertise in engineering education research.
  • Revolutionizing engineering and computer science Departments - convenes teams comprising a department head or chair, an engineering education researcher, and a social scientist with expertise in department cultures to drive long-term systemic change at the department level as part of both the agency-wide IUSE initiative (Improving Undergraduate STEM Education) and the PFE initiative in engineering.
  • Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) - recognizes exceptional junior faculty in the area of engineering education research and practice.

Workforce Development Program

The WFD portfolio supports expanding the engineering workforce through research experiences and large-scale initiatives that foster a robust and inclusive engineering education ecosystem.  WFD supports capacity building across all areas of engineering research.  The portfolio includes the ENG Directorate Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program, Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) Program, ERC precollege initiatives, and the Veterans Research Supplements program. The individual selected will ensure that award portfolios are carefully selected to ensure that they increase the involvement and interaction of a diverse cohort of undergraduate students,  K-12 STEM teachers and community college faculty and their students in engineering research, bring knowledge of engineering and technological innovation to the classroom, support new strategies for enhancing science and engineering literacy, help prepare the workforce for emerging technologies, and attract a diverse group of talented students to the workforce.

Please visit the EEC Divisional web page,, for additional information regarding the EEC Division.

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.

Successful candidates must have a Ph.D. or equivalent degree in an Engineering discipline, including Engineering Education, plus after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position.

The appointee is expected to have knowledge of research in engineering education or related discipline-based education, and the development of a diverse engineering workforce. Leadership experience in engineering education (departmental, college, university, societies, journals, etc.) is a plus. Demonstrated achievements in classroom teaching and student advising are important attributes for the successful applicant. Knowledge of the general scientific and engineering community and strong skills in written and oral communication are also desirable. The appointee is expected to function effectively as part of a team, contributing to and coordinating with offices throughout NSF and with other Federal and state government agencies and private sector organizations.

Individuals interested in applying for this Program Director position should send a current CV, statement of interest, and the names and contact information of three references to:

Division of Engineering Education and Centers,
Suite 585 National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22230
Phone: 703-292-8380
Attn: Dr. Jose Zayas-Castro, Division Director

Although paper applications will be accepted at the above address, it is preferred that they be received electronically. Please send electronic submissions to