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    This announcement has been amended until Monday, December 18, 2017.

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) is seeking a qualified candidate for the position of Program Director for Catalysis Program, Division of Chemistry (CHE), Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), Alexandria, VA.

    National Science Foundation (NSF) Program Directors bear the primary responsibility for carrying out the agency’s overall mission to support innovative and merit-reviewed activities in basic research and education that contribute to the nation’s technical strength, security, and welfare. To fulfill this responsibility requires not only knowledge in the appropriate disciplines, but also a commitment to high standards, a considerable breadth of interest and receptivity to new ideas, a strong sense of fairness, good judgment, and a high degree of personal integrity.

    A Program Director position in the Directorate of Mathematical and Physical Sciences, Division of Chemistry (CHE) is available. The goals of the Division are to help the Division promote the health of academic chemistry and enable basic research and education in the chemical sciences through the support of proposals submitted to NSF. Modes of support provided via the NSF CHE Division include single investigator and multi-investigator awards, as well as funding for shared instrumentation, instrumentation development, and educational projects that leverage the division's research investments to build research capacity. The Division supports research in all traditional areas of chemistry and in multidisciplinary fields that draw upon the chemical sciences. Projects that help build infrastructure and partnerships that advance the chemical sciences are also supported.

    More information about the Division and its programs can be found on the CHE webpage at Chemistry.

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    Duties of the Program Director are guided by the goals of NSF’s Strategic Plan: (1) Transform the Frontiers of Science and Engineering, (2) Stimulate Innovation and Address Societal Needs through Research and Education, and (3) Excel as a Federal Science Agency. The incumbent Program Director will be knowledgeable in the scientific areas covered by the program and will help identify emerging opportunities. In addition, the incumbent will be required to undertake the design, development, analysis, documentation, management and implementation of programs and activities within the program and across disciplinary boundaries.

    The responsibilities of the Program Director include:

    Program Planning and Management

    • Uses exceptional professional scientific judgment to maintain a healthy balance of support for the research and educational needs of the chemical sciences.
    • Manages program resources with integrity and consistency. Balances considerations for appropriate sub-fields, institutions, and participation of qualified scientists.
    • Conducts effective and timely merit review processes, with attention to increasing the size and quality of the reviewer pool and insuring participation of women, minorities and disabled scientists. Recommendations are made without conflicts of interest.
    • Develops a well-articulated and well-justified award portfolio consistent with NSF values and Divisional goals.
    • Effectively handles a heavy and/or complex workload, demonstrating efficiency in the review and award process and timely responses for the scientific community.
    • Develops exceptional research programs using feedback from appropriate reviewers, advisory committees, workshops, and other sources.
    • Provides reliable, high-quality post-award direction and stewardship, to including effective guidance and monitoring on use funds, supplements, extensions, to set the foundation for project success.
    • Advises and assists in the development of short- and long-range plans, establishing goals and objectives for research.
    • Plans the budget for the program considering past, present and future fiscal years.
    Stakeholder Interactions
    • Supports NSF’s goal of preparing of a diverse, globally-engaged scientific and technical workforce.
    • Maintains close interaction with NSF stakeholders in recognition of the Foundation’s role in the Nation’s innovation enterprise.
    • Represents the Program, division and Foundation within the scientific community. Constructively interacts with other NSF Divisions, appropriate agencies and organizations, and the public, accurately reflecting NSF's mission, policies and priorities.
    • Proactively fosters a wide range of productive partnerships throughout the scientific community and effectively leverages intellectual investments. Creates and maintains linkages to other NSF units and other Federal agencies in pursuit of the overall NSF mission.
    • Participates in staff, panel, committee and other meetings, providing input relevant to Program and/or Division.
    • Proactively reaches out to historically underrepresented groups, resulting in broader participation in a wide range of NSF activities.
    • Responds to community queries regarding key deadlines/target dates and provides timely, accurate information.
    Teamwork and Collaboration
    • Serves as a representative of CHE by building and maintaining collaborative and constructive relationships across all levels of the Foundation.
    • Maintains an active network of colleagues across NSF and initiates efforts to promote program goals and disseminate best practices to benefit CHE and all of NSF.
    • Shares knowledge with colleagues inside and across divisions; works collaboratively to identify issues, solve problems, and ensure co-review and co-funding of relevant proposals.
    • Engages in the open exchange of ideas and opinions and demonstrates appreciation for diverse points of view. Uses professional language and a respectful and courteous tone in oral and written communications.
    • Keeps others, including management, informed of major issues and/or changes to tasks or schedules that could significantly affect their ability to complete work within established timelines.
    Professional Development
    • Seeks and completes a wide variety of developmental opportunities, such as workshops and professional conferences, and demonstrates proficiency applying new skills and knowledge to support NSF at the forefront of scientific knowledge and discovery.
    • Develops extensive knowledge of research trends in relevant scientific discipline and applies this knowledge to professional development and/or research activities; proactively shares significant new techniques, research methods, or scientific content with others.
    • Expands administrative capabilities through training courses or assumption of new management responsibilities.

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


    Who May Apply

    This job is open to…

    Applications will be accepted from U.S. Citizens. Recent changes in Federal Appropriations Law requires 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.

    Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

  • Job family (Series)

    1320 Chemistry

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    Conditions Of Employment

    • Background investigation.
    • Preview questions at bottom of Qualifications & Evaluations--see tab above.

    You will need to successfully complete a background security investigation before you can be appointed into this position.

    Please preview "Evaluations" section and "Qualifications" for additional requirements and Quality Ranking Factors.


    A Ph.D. in Chemistry or a closely related field is required, with addition of six or more years of independent research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position.

    The position requires demonstrated experience in chemical catalysis, including expertise in homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysis of inorganic, organic and organometallic compounds. Industrial experience is a positive, as is prior grant management experience.

    This position is outside the competitive civil service.


    Additional information

    If you do not have civil service status or reinstatement eligibility, you will not obtain civil service status if selected. If you are currently in the competitive civil service, you will be required to waive competitive civil service rights if selected.

    This Program Director position is in the bargaining unit.

    Relocation expenses may be paid subject to funds availability.

    For additional information on the NSF eRecruit system, please visit our NSF eRecruit Frequently Asked Questions.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    You will be evaluated on the extent and quality of your experience, expertise, education, and research activities relevant to the duties of the position. We strongly encourage you to specifically address the Quality Ranking Factors below. This will ensure that you receive full consideration in the evaluation process.

    Quality Ranking Factors

    1. Demonstrates a broad knowledge of current research in chemical catalysis.
    2. Serves as a liaison to scientific community on behalf of NSF and as the chemical community's representative to the Federal government.
    3. Communicates with members of the scientific community about what they envision- identifying new directions and trends in the field.
    4. Selects top researchers and experts for the peer review process and manages proposal review at all junctions, including conducting fair and objective reviews and ensuring compliance with NSF regulations and procedures.
    5. Manages grant programs by making funding decisions and recommending awards to the worthiest proposals, ensuring that those funded reflect a diverse range of scientific opportunities and strong broader impacts (e.g., advancing discovery and understanding; promoting teaching, training, and learning; broadening participation of underrepresented groups; enhancing infrastructure for research and education).
    6. Demonstrates experience in developing a national research strategy in chemical catalysis through participation in coordination groups, special working groups, and initiatives to collaborate with peers and experts across disciplines, Federal and state agencies and/or private sector organizations.

    To preview questions please click here.

    Background checks and security clearance

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    Required Documents

    In order to be considered for federal appointments, Non-Citizens must affirm that they meet the Appropriations Law eligibility criteria 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. Non Citizens who are exempt from the Appropriations Law requirements due to their status as officers or employees of the U.S. government on December 16, 2009 must provide a statement with their application noting their exemption with documentation of proof of status as officers or employees of the U.S. government on that date.

    You are strongly encouraged to submit a current performance appraisal and/or letter(s) of recommendation and a supplemental statement that describes how your background relates to the Quality Ranking Factors (QRFs) listed in the Qualifications and Evaluation Requirements section of this announcement. This information will be used in the evaluation process.

    We also ask that you complete and submit the Applicant Survey. This will help NSF to ensure that our recruiting efforts are attracting a diverse candidate pool; it will be used for statistical purposes only.

    You can fax or upload your letter of recommendation(s) or the individual(s) can email the letter of recommendation(s) to adsearch@nsf.gov; please ask him/her to put your name and the job announcement number in the subject line.

    Transcripts are not required; however, please indicate the year that each degree was obtained on your application materials.

    All faxing/uploading must be completed before 11:59 PM Eastern time on the vacancy closing date.If you are faxing your information, please use extreme care in dialing the fax number to assure we receive your information. You will receive an email confirmation of receipt of your faxed/uploaded document(s).

    If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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    A career with the U.S. Government provides employees with a comprehensive benefits package. As a federal employee, you and your family will have access to a range of benefits that are designed to make your federal career very rewarding.

    A GREAT LOCATION! The National Science Foundation Headquarters is conveniently located across the street from the Eisenhower Avenue Metro Station, right in Alexandria, VA, a few miles from downtown Washington, DC. There are shops and restaurants within walking distance, as well as historic Old Town Alexandria a short trip away. Employees receive the
    Federal benefits package and NSF offers:

    Pre-tax parking
    Public transportation subsidy
    Child care subsidy
    Flexible working hours
    Physical Fitness Facility on site
    Health Services Unit on site
    Employee Assistance Program


    Eligibility for benefits depends on the type of position you hold and whether your position is full-time, part-time, or intermittent. Contact the hiring agency for more information on the specific benefits offered.

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    How to Apply

    Your application must be submitted online and all document faxing/uploading must be completed before 11:59 PM Eastern time on the vacancy closing date.

    You must answer all of the job-related questions to ensure full consideration for this position. For more detailed information, please review our NSF eRecruit Frequently Asked Questions.

    WARNING! Applications submitted online must have a valid email address. If your email address is inaccurate or your mailbox is full or blocked, you may not receive important communication that could affect your consideration for this position.

    If you are unable to apply electronically, please use the Contact Information below for special instructions on how to submit your application materials. Hearing impaired individuals may call TDD (703) 292-8044 for assistance.


    Agency contact information

    Dominique McCracken










    2415 Eisenhower Avenue
    Alexandria, Virginia 22314
    United States
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    Learn more about what it's like to work at National Science Foundation, what the agency does, and about the types of careers this agency offers.


    Next steps

    Shortly after the announcement closes, you will be notified as to whether or not you meet the basic qualification requirements. If you do, you will receive further consideration and evaluation. If the position is in the bargaining unit, and your application is referred to the selecting official, you will be contacted for an interview. Interviews for positions not in the bargaining unit may be conducted at the discretion of the selecting official. All qualified applicants will receive final notification of the outcome of the job opportunity announcement.

    You may check the status of your application at any time on the USAJOBS website or by tweeting @NSF_Vacancies.

Fair & Transparent

The Federal hiring process is setup to be fair and transparent. Please read the following guidance.

Equal Employment Opportunity Policy

The United States Government does not discriminate in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, sex (including pregnancy And gender identity), national origin, political affiliation, sexual orientation, marital status, disability, genetic information, age, membership in an employee organization, retaliation, parental status, military service, or other non-merit factor.

Reasonable Accommodation Policy

Federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Applicants requiring reasonable accommodation for any part of the application process should follow the instructions in the job opportunity announcement. For any part of the remaining hiring process, applicants should contact the hiring agency directly. Determinations on requests for reasonable accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis.

A reasonable accommodation is any change in the workplace or the way things are customarily done that provides an equal employment opportunity to an individual with a disability. Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) must provide reasonable accommodations:

  • An applicant with a disability needs an accommodation to have an equal opportunity to apply for a job.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to perform the essential job duties or to gain access to the workplace.
  • An employee with a disability needs an accommodation to receive equal access to benefits, such as details, training, and office-sponsored events.

Legal and regulatory guidance

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/485092700. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.