Program Director, Geospace Section

Division: Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (GEO/AGS)
Directorate: Geosciences (GEO)
Job Type:
Appointment Type:
Temporary / Rotator
This job is open to the public

Application timeline

Date Posted:
Closing date: Open until filled

Position Description

The Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS), within the Directorate of Geosciences, at the National Science Foundation, announces a nationwide search to fill Program Director rotator positions within the Geospace Section.

We are actively seeking candidates with broad knowledge of Geospace science, to enable contribution to multiple programs within the Geospace Section. This letter is intended to serve as an ongoing mechanism for recruiting program directors to fill positions vacated by rotators who have returned to their home institutions. Therefore, consideration of applicants will be conducted on an ongoing basis.

For more information about the Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences please see

At the National Science Foundation (NSF), Program Directors help administer specific research areas as well as research infrastructure and education programs.

As a Program Director you will likely:

  •  Assist in implementing the proposal review and evaluation process for the Geospace Section in the Division, including regular solicited proposals as well as special focused solicitations (e.g., cross-NSF, interagency, or with international cooperation).
  • Conduct scientific/technical analyses of proposals received in the Geospace Section
  • Select individuals to provide objective reviews of proposals either as ad hoc experts or as members of a panel.
  • Conduct programmatic reviews, determine funds availability, and evaluate similar or related projects, including internal and external liaison
  • Negotiate technical and financial revisions of proposals as required.
  • Conduct final review and evaluations of proposals and recommend awards or declinations based on sound judgment, resource availability, program goals, and peer reviewer comments.
  • Evaluate projects, activities, and national multi-user facilities that are proposed or funded by conducting site visits and reviewing interim and final reports.
  • Negotiate interagency agreements with other Federal agencies for transfer of funds to assist in the support of research, education, and research infrastructure.
  • Assist within the Geospace programs, across the Division, with other agencies, international partners, and the science community, in the development of new research infrastructure initiatives and opportunities.
  • Assist in the improvement and development of internal management systems for use in the Geospace Programs.

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 field of Physical Sciences pertaining to the broad area of geospace sciences, plus after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position.

In addition, effective oral and written communication skills, and familiarity with NSF and/or AGS programs and activities is highly desirable. The incumbent is expected to function effectively, both as an individual within the Geospace section, and as a member of crosscutting and interdisciplinary teams in the AGS Division and more broadly with other parts of NSF. The incumbent must also demonstrate a capability to work across government agencies to promote NSF activities and to leverage program funds through interagency collaborations and partnerships.

Although paper applications will be accepted at the below mailing address, it is preferred that they be received electronically.

To apply, email a single PDF document that includes (i) statement of interest, (ii) a curriculum vitae, and (iii) Citizen Affidavit, as applicable, to the Attn: Dr. Michael Wiltberger, Geospace Section Head at or via mail to:

Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, National Science Foundation
Attn: Dr. Michael Wiltberger, Geospace Section Head
2415 Eisenhower Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: 703-292-8995
Fax: 703-292-9022

Questions about the positions can be directed to the above or any of the Geospace program directors:

Carrie Black, Geospace Facilities
Roman Makarevich, Aeronomy
Ilia Roussev, Solar-Terrestrial Research
Lisa Winter Magnetospheric Physics,