The National Science Foundation is seeking qualified candidate for a Physical Scientist (Program Director) position for the Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future (DMREF) Program, in the Division of Materials Research (DMR) within the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), Alexandria, VA.
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Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future (DMREF) is the primary program by which NSF participates in the Materials Genome Initiative (MGI) for Global Competitiveness. MGI recognizes the importance of materials science to the well-being and advancement of society and aims to “deploy advanced materials at least twice as fast as possible today, at a fraction of the cost.” DMREF integrates materials discovery, development, property optimization, and systems design and optimization, with each employing a toolset to be developed within a materials innovation infrastructure. The toolset will synergistically integrate advanced computational methods and visual analytics with data-enabled scientific discovery and innovative experimental techniques to revolutionize our approach to materials science and engineering.
The responsibilities of the NSF Program Director are constantly evolving. The Program Director is guided by the goals of NSF's Strategic Plan: 1) enable the United States to uphold a position of world leadership in all aspects of science, mathematics, and engineering, 2) promote the discovery, integration, dissemination, and employment of new knowledge in service to society, and 3) achieve excellence in U.S. science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education at all levels. The core strategies NSF staff employ include developing intellectual capital, strengthening the physical infrastructure, integrating research and education, and promoting partnerships.
The responsibilities of the NSF Program Director include, for example, long-range planning and budget development for DMREF, 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 liaison with other programs in NSF, other Federal agencies and organizations.
Additional duties and responsibilities include:
PROGRAM PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT
• Maintains a healthy balance of support for all the needs of the research and education enterprise through program, division, directorate, Foundation, or interagency activities.
• Manages program resources to provide optimal appropriate scientific judgment to ensure integrity and consistency in the grant/declination process without conflict of interests, and with balance among appropriate sub-fields and institutions, and participation of all qualified scientists.
• Incorporates cross-directorate responsibilities into program administration.
• Manages an effective, timely merit review process, with attention to increasing the size and quality of the reviewer pools and insuring participation by women, minorities and disabled scientists.
• Provides scientific expertise, evaluation and advice for other programs in NSF, including international programs, and other research programs, and cross-directorate programs.
• Advises and assists in the development of short-and-long range plans, establishing goals and objectives for support of research programs.
• Plans the budget for the program/programs considering past, present and future fiscal years, allocates resources within the budget by distributing scarce resources among major competitive programs, and manages post-award evaluation.
• Controls waste, fraud and abuse.
REPRESENTATION, COMMUNICATION AND LEADERSHIP
• Represents the Program, Division and the Foundation within the scientific community.
• 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 area and/or Division.
• Pursues affirmative action and EEO goals.
• Pursues and/or is responsive to assignment on special projects and temporary function teams across the Foundation to solve problems, improve staff communication, and effect coordination for special programs.
• Contributes ideas and effort to improving the quality of policies and NSF's performance of the overall mission.
• Develops policies and plans for strengthening support of research and education programs.
• Provides information to the community on how NSF is pursuing its mission and gathers data and impressions from the community on the effectiveness of NSF's performance of its mission.
• Prepares and disseminates a variety of informational documents which may include data on progress being made toward NSF goals, trends and opportunities, and budget plans.
• Establishes contacts and maintains active involvement in Program and related areas through participation in professional activities.
• Maintains familiarity with salient current research developments.
• Pursues individual research as workload and travel funds permit.
• Expands administrative capabilities through training courses or assumption of new management.
Job family (Series)
Conditions Of Employment
- Background investigation.
- Selective Service registration required for male applicants, unless exempt.
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. Foreign Talent Definitions
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. in the chemical, materials, physical sciences, or a closely-related field, plus after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position.
Expertise and/or interest in computational approaches and data-centric techniques are desirable.
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.
The Selected Candidate(s) may be subject to a background investigation.
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. In some cases, additional assessment processes may also be used.
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
- Serving as the liaison to your scientific community on behalf of the NSF and as your community’s representative to the federal government.
- Establishing effective communication with the members of the scientific community to identify new directions and trends, and to convey a vision for shaping the leading edge of science.
- Developing ideas for new workshops and/or solicitations which take advantage of new technologies and new interdisciplinary linkages.
- Selecting top researchers and experts for the peer review process and managing proposal review at all junctures, including orchestrating advisory panels, sending proposals our for external review, ensuring compliance with NSF regulations and procedures with potential principal investigators and award grantees.
- Making funding decisions and recommending awards to the most worthy 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).
- Participating in NSF-wide and interagency meetings, coordinating groups, conferences, special task groups, and other initiatives with peers and experts across disciplines, Federal and state agencies, and private sector organizations.
To preview questions please click here.
Background checks and security clearance
Drug test required
All applicants must submit a resume in any format, and may also submit a cover letter.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org; 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 Avenue 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 for 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
Become a part of our mission to maintain and strengthen the vitality of the US science and engineering enterprise. For over 60 years, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has remained the premier Federal agency supporting basic research at the frontiers of discovery across all fields, as well as science and engineering education at all levels.
Applicants wishing to apply for a Permanent Appointment should see Job Announcement DMR-2020-0001.
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/549062200. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.