The Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL) within the Education and Human Resources Directorate (EHR) announces a nationwide search for a full time temporary Program Director at the National Science (NSF) with expertise in research and evaluation or practice in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning in informal environments.Learn more about this agency
The incumbent for this Program Director position will work primarily in the Advancing Informal Science Learning (AISL) and the Innovative Technology Experiences for Teachers and Students (ITEST) programs. AISL and ITEST support innovative research, evaluation, and practice across in informal learning settings in any age group. This includes the development of theory, methods, measurement development, and application in informal STEM learning environments. A major goal of both programs is to enhance the science and practice of broadening participation in STEM.
NSF Program Directors have an unparalleled opportunity and responsibility to ensure NSF funded activities are at the forefront of advancing fundamental knowledge. In support of that, Program Directors are responsible for extensive interaction with informal and formal educational organizations, academic research communities, industry as well as interaction with other Federal agencies that may lead to development of interagency collaborations. Within this context, Program Directors solicit and receive and review proposals, make funding recommendations, administer awards, and undertake interaction with research communities in these fields. They are also responsible for service to the Foundation-wide activities and initiatives that together accomplish NSF’s strategic goals to;
1) Transform the Frontiers of Science and Engineering
2) Stimulate Innovation and Address Societal Needs through Research and Education
3) Excel as a Federal Science Agency.
The position requires a commitment to high intellectual and ethical standards, a considerable breath of interest, receptivity to new ideas, an understanding of and commitment to broadening participation, and a strong sense of fairness, good judgement, and a high degree of personal integrity.
Job family (Series)
Conditions Of Employment
- Background investigation.
- Selective Service registration required for male applicants, unless exempt.
You will need to successfully complete a background security investigation before you can be appointed into this position.
All online applicants must provide 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.
This position is in the bargaining unit.
Please preview "Evaluations" section and "Qualifications" for additional requirements and Quality Ranking Factors.
Candidates must have a Ph.D., Ed.D., or equivalent degree in an appropriate 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 appropriate field plus after award of the degree, eight or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position.
Learning in informal environments may include, but are not limited to, exhibitions and programs in museums, zoos, aquaria, botanic gardens/arboreta, planetariums, nature centers, parks, libraries, and other environments; science communication; after-school and out-of-school time (OST) programs; community-based organizations, radio, television, film, or media programs or series; Do-It-Yourself (DIY)/maker initiatives; opportunities for the public to engage in research including crowd-sourcing and citizen science; and on-line and other digital experiences (e.g., games, simulations, social media, mobile computing, distributed networks, and massive online open courses).
This position is outside the competitive civil service.
You must meet eligibility and qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement.
Relocation expenses MAY be paid contingent upon the availability of funds
This announcement is open to (All US Citizens OR current NSF employees) who meet citizenship and eligibility requirements.
Federal Appropriations Law requires that Non-Citizens 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.
This announcement may be used to fill like positions in other organizations within the National Science Foundation.
NSF has determined that all of its positions are eligible for telework. Work suitable for telework depends on job duties; therefore, employees must receive approval from their supervisor for telework and have a telework agreement in place. Entering into a telework agreement is voluntary.
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
- Knowledge of and contributions, to research or evaluation, or to practice in STEM learning in informal environments including experience in conceptualizing, researching or implementing innovative approaches.
- Understanding of and commitment to broadening participation in STEM.
- Research, analytical, and/or technical writing expertise as evidence by publications, presentations or other documents.
- Ability to interact, on a peer basis, with practitioners, administrators, senior scientific and managerial personnel in governmental agencies, academia, non-profits, and the private sector.
- Expertise in one or more areas of research supported by NSF.
- Ability to organize, implement and manage the review of proposals, articles or other documents related to STEM education.
To preview questions please click here.
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
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. This also applies to individuals considered for Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) assignments to NSF. 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 email@example.com; 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.
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 Ave. Metro Station in Alexandria, VA, a few miles from downtown D.C. There are shops and restaurants within walking distance, as well as historic Old Town Alexandria a short trip away.
Under the provisions of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act, assignees remain on the payroll of his/her home institution and the home institution will continue to administer pay and benefits. NSF will reimburse the home institution for NSF's negotiated share of the cost of the assignment. Individuals eligible for an IPA assignment include employees of State and local government agencies, institutions of higher education, Indian tribal governments, federally funded research and development centers, and qualified nonprofit organizations. Under the provisions of the IPA Act, non-citizens may be considered as long as the individual is employed at an IPA-eligible institution. For more information regarding an IPA assignment, visit our website.
For Visiting Scientist appointments, individuals are in a non-pay leave status from their home institutions and are appointed to NSF's payroll as Federal employees. NSF withholds Social Security and provides reimbursement to the home institution for fringe benefits. For information regarding Visiting Scientist appointments, visit our website.
For more information regarding Federal Temporary Appointments, visit OPM's website.
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.
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 assistance.
IMPORTANT NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER OR DATE OF BIRTH ON YOUR APPLICATION DOCUMENTS.
Agency contact information
AddressNATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
2415 Eisenhower Ave
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
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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.
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. 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.
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 to a job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done that enables an individual with a disability to apply for a job, perform job duties or receive equal access to job benefits.
Under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, federal agencies must provide reasonable accommodations when:
- 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.
You can request a reasonable accommodation at any time during the application or hiring process or while on the job. Requests are considered on a case-by-case basis.
Legal and regulatory guidance
This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/515712200. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.