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:
$160,889 - $195,000
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 Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, Directorate for Geosciences at the National Science Foundation (NSF) is conducting a nationwide search for qualified candidates to fill Program Director positions in the Atmosphere Section detailed below. Positions are expected to become available in the atmospheric science programs on a periodic basis as IPA rotators complete their stint and leave the Foundation.


Formal consideration of applications will begin immediately and will continue as need arises and until a selection is made.


Activity seeking IPA candidates with a wide range of expertise in subject matters covered in the following Atmospheric Science programs:


    • The Climate and Large-Scale Dynamics Program supports research on processes that force and regulate the synoptic and planetary circulations, weather, and climate of the atmosphere.
    • The Physical and Dynamic Meteorology Program supports research involving studies of cloud physics; atmospheric electricity; radiation; boundary layer and turbulence; the initiation, growth, and propagation of gravity waves. The Program also supports research in all aspects of mesoscale meteorological phenomena. Additionally, the program sponsors the development of new techniques and devices for atmospheric measurements.
    • The Atmospheric Chemistry Program supports research to measure and model the concentration and distribution of gases and aerosols in the atmosphere. The Program also supports research on the chemical reactions among atmospheric species; the sources and sinks of important trace gases and aerosols; the aqueous-phase atmospheric chemistry; the transport of gases and aerosols throughout the atmosphere; and the improved methods for measuring the concentrations of trace species and their fluxes into and out of the atmosphere.
    • The Paleoclimate Program supports research on the natural evolution of the Earth's climate with the goal of providing a baseline for present variability and future trends through improved understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological processes that influence climate over the long-term.

Information about AGS and its programs can be found at

Position Description

The responsibilities of the NSF Program Director include long-range planning and budget development for the program, the administration of the merit review process and proposal recommendations, the preparation of press releases, feature articles and material describing advances in the research supported, and coordination and partnership with other programs in NSF, other Federal agencies and organizations.

As a Program Director you will likely:

  • Assist in implementing the proposal review and evaluation process for the Program including submissions that are co-reviewed across other programs in NSF, that are unsolicited proposals and/or submissions to solicitations (e.g., cross-NSF initiatives, interagency, or with international cooperation).
  • Conduct scientific/technical analyses of proposals received in the relevant program in the Atmospheric 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 evaluation, 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 programs in the Atmosphere Section, 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 Programs in the Atmosphere Section.

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 the atmospheric sciences or related disciplines, plus after award of the Ph.D, six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position post-degree; OR a Master's degree in the atmospheric sciences or related disciplines, plus after award of the Master's degree, eight or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position.


In addition, a successful applicant requires not only knowledge in the appropriate scientific discipline but also a commitment to high scientific standards, considerable breadth of scientific interest, and receptivity to new ideas. Also necessary are a strong sense of fairness, 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.


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 subject line of your email should note that the application is for Atmosphere Section Program Director recruitment.



General professional inquiries should be directed to with a subject line that notes Attn.: Atmosphere Section Head.

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