Physical Scientist (Program Director)

Division: Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (GEO/AGS)
Directorate: Geosciences (GEO)
Job Type:
Appointment Type:
Temporary / Rotator
Pay Grade/Scale:
Salary Range:
$148,933 - $190,947
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

NSF’s Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) seeks candidates for the position of the Program Director within the Geospace Section (GS) in the Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS).  The incumbent will be assigned under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) provisions.

Position Description

The Geospace Section is comprised of the Aeronomy, Magnetospheric Physics, Solar Terrestrial, Space Weather, and Geospace Facilities programs (GS Programs). The Geospace Section also runs several cross-program solicitations, such as CEDAR, GEM,  the CubeSat-based Science Missions for Geospace and Atmospheric Research, DASI, and ANSWERS.

The Geospace Section Rotator (GS Rotator) will have the following duties.  They will work closely with other Program Officers (POs) within GS on various aspects of the GS Programs. This will include merit review of proposals submitted to GS Programs, particularly in response to the ANSWERS solicitation, the oversight and management of current GS awards, coordination with other federal agencies and work on Interagency Agreements (IAAs), as well as providing backup for other aspects of GS Programs. 

The GS Rotator will have the primary responsibility for the implementation of recommendation 9.13 of the Geospace Portfolio Review (GPR), which calls for the creation of a data systems program to enhance data exploitation within the field.  The current data infrastructure is inadequate for the increasing demands both for accessibility to a larger user base and to preserve and archive data. The need for this program is further justified by the growing importance of data science investigations throughout broad scientific endeavor and the FAIR data principles that are being implemented by journals that publish geospace science, e.g. AGU journals, Science, and Annales Geophysicae.  A key step in implementing this recommendation will be to organize a community workshop to discuss options for addressing the field’s needs for data infrastructure and potential options.  The GS Rotator will need to engage with counterparts in the NASA Heliophysics Division, as they are also currently assessing their data infrastructure needs. Potential leveraging of assets will be essential for a cost-effective path forward. The GS Rotator will then need to develop a program solicitation and evaluate the proposals submitted.  In addition to the data systems program responsibilities, the GS Rotator will coordinate with the geosciences cyberinfrastructure efforts including the EarthCube program and the NSF-wide programs related to data including but not limited to the Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR) Big Idea and the Cyberinfrasturcture for Sustained Innovation (CSSI) program overseen by the Office of Cyberinfrastructure.


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 geoscience or related field 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 successful applicant will have knowledge in the appropriate scientific discipline as well as a commitment to high scientific standards, considerable breadth of scientific interest, and receptivity to new ideas. Also necessary are a strong sense of fairness, good judgment, and a high degree of personal integrity and ethics, decisiveness, and an ability to effectively lead teams across a variety of institutional cultures within Federal and state government agencies, legislative bodies, and private sector organizations.

Individuals interested in applying for these Program Director positions should send a current CV and letter of interest to:

Dr. Candace O. Major

Division Director

Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS)

National Science Foundation 2415 Eisenhower Ave Alexandria, VA 22314


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