Physical Scientist (Program Director)

Directorate: Geosciences (GEO)
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 Directorate for Geosciences (GEO), Office of the Assistant Director at the National Science Foundation, announces a nation-wide search for a Program Director for its Diversity and Education programs. Home to NSF’s atmospheric and geospace, earth, and ocean research activities and providing coordination and administrative oversight to the Office of Polar Programs, GEO investigates diverse Earth processes including the planet's water cycle, interactions across the land/ocean interface, the behavior of ice sheets, and geologic processes responsible for hydrocarbon energy sources and strategic minerals. GEO also supports activities designed to advance the education and talent base for these research areas.

Position Description

NSF Program Directors have the primary responsibility for carrying out the Foundation’s overall mission to support innovative and merit-reviewed activities in fundamental research and education that contribute to the nation's technological strength, security, and welfare. They are also responsible for service to NSF-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 at NSF operations and management.

In support of these strategic goals, NSF Program Directors interact extensively with the academic research community, industry, and other Federal agencies. Program Directors solicit, receive and review research and education proposals, make funding recommendations, and administer awards to implement the NSF Merit Review Process in a thorough and transparent manner. This work requires expertise in education, talent development, outreach, and broadening participation as well as strong skills in written and oral communication. Successful candidates should be receptive to new ideas, have a strong sense of fairness, excellent judgment, and a high degree of personal integrity.

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 science, technology/engineering, education, or mathematics, plus after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position, or a master's degree in an NSF-relevant field, plus eight or more years post award of the degree of successful research, research administration and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position.

In addition, demonstrated vision and leadership to identify and support long-term research and education that enhances the mission of GEO and NSF are highly desired. The chosen individual will work with a team of GEO Program Directors, analysts, specialists, and other NSF Program Directors in formulating education and broadening participation strategies, developing collaboration and cooperation across NSF and among government, academia, and industry, while fostering outreach to members of communities historically underrepresented in geosciences.

Applications of interest should be submitted electronically and must include contact information, a current CV, and a statement briefly describing the candidate’s background that specifically relates to the position duties and requirements. Applicants may also wish to include their timeframe of availability and a list of references.


Vacancy Contact:

Dr. Lina Patino

(703) 292-5047


Apply by Email