Interdisciplinary Program Director (Rotator)

Division: Research, Innovation, Synergies, and Education (GEO/RISE)
Directorate: Geosciences (GEO)
Job Type:
Appointment Type:
Temporary / Rotator
Pay Grade/Scale:
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), Division for Research, Innovation, Synergies, and Education (RISE), announces a nation-wide search for a Program Director in the human dimensions of climate change. Formal consideration of interested applications will begin on October 15th, 2023, and will continue until a selection is made.

RISE supports novel, complex, or partnership projects in both research and education. These investments cut across traditional boundaries within the geosciences, encouraging interdisciplinary activities and responding directly to critical needs of the entire geoscience community. RISE’s principal goals are to develop innovative means to initiate and support geoscience education, attract underrepresented groups to careers in the geosciences, foster the interchange of scientific information nationally and internationally, and join with other parts of NSF in major integrative research and education efforts. The division makes strategic investments in multidisciplinary research areas, international activities, education, diversity, and human resource development.


Position Description

GEO is seeking a highly motivated and experienced individual to fill the role of Program Director with expertise in the human dimensions of climate change and resultant increased environmental variability. Applicants with research experience or expertise in societal impacts of climate change, environmental social sciences, including environmental politics, climate psychology, geography, sustainability studies, climate economics, climate resilience, and the anthropology or sociology of climate change, and allied disciplines are especially encouraged to apply. The successful candidate will play a pivotal role in the new RISE Division by leading and managing research programs focused on understanding and addressing the complex human challenges posed by climate change.

Responsibilities will include working with new initiatives, solicitations, and funding strategies to address the human and societal dimensions of climate change, cultivating partnerships with stakeholders, and overseeing the evaluation and selection of research proposals. Candidates should demonstrate understanding of the social, behavioral, economic, and cultural factors influencing climate change responses through, for example, research and publications, collaborative or applied work in the climate solution space with local, state, or federal government, non-profit or for-profit entities, and intergovernmental, interagency, or international experience. As a Program Director, the candidate will ensure that funding is directed towards innovative projects that promote sustainability, resilience, and societal well-being. Successful candidates will also be expected to work closely with Program Directors in GEO and coordinate with Programs in the Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences.

A description of the Directorate for Geoscience can be found at

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 an appropriate social science, natural science or engineering field, plus after award of the degree, six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position; OR a Master’s degree  in an social science, natural science or engineering field, plus after award of the degree, eight or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position. Candidates must identify the date of degree conferral.

A successful candidate for this position must have effective oral and written communication skills, the capacity to function effectively as a member of crosscutting and interactive teams, and demonstrate leadership abilities to guide investments that enhance the mission of NSF and GEO.  An understanding of the social, economic, and cultural factors influencing climate change responses, as well as the ability to organize, implement, and manage an externally reviewed, proposal-driven grants program, allocating resources to meet a spectrum of program goals.

To apply, email a single PDF document that includes (i) a cover letter outlining qualifications and reason for interest in the position (ii) a curriculum vitae, (iii) and Citizenship affidavit, as applicable, to the Acting RISE Deputy Division Director Dr. Shree Mishra (


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