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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Atmospheric Physicist (Program Director)
Agency:  National Science Foundation
Job Announcement Number:  AGS-2013-0003

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$105,211.00 to $163,957.00 / Per Year
Monday, November 05, 2012 to Friday, December 14, 2012
Full-time. - This position will be filled as a one- or two-year VSEE, IPA, or as a Fed Temp Appointment
Few vacancies in the following location(s):
Arlington, VA, USView Map
22230View Map
Applications will be accepted from US Citizens. Due to a recent change in Federal Appropriations Law, only Non-Citizens who are permanent US residents and actively seeking citizenship can be considered for Federal appointments. Therefore, you are required to provide documentation that confirms you are actively seeking citizenship at the time you submit your application. Non-citizens who do not provide documentation will only be considered for the IPA program.


This job opportunity announcement has been AMENDED to extend the closing date to December 14, 2012.

Applicants wishing to apply for a permanent appointment should see Job Opportunity Announcement AGS-2013-0002.

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.

The National Science Foundation is seeking qualified candidates for the position of Program Director for the Solar Terrestrial Program, in the Geospace Section, Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS), Directorate for Geosciences (GEO).  The Solar Terrestrial Program supports research on the processes by which energy in diverse forms is generated by the Sun, transported to the Earth, and ultimately deposited in the terrestrial environment.  Major topics include space weather impacts, the solar dynamo, the solar activity cycle, magnetic flux emergence, solar flares and eruptive activity, coronal mass ejections, solar wind heating, solar energetic particles, interactions with cosmic rays, and solar wind/magnetosphere boundary problems. 

Being an NSF Program Director requires not only knowledge in the appropriate scientific discipline but also a commitment to high scientific standards, considerable breadth of scientific interest and receptivity to new ideas, strong sense of fairness, good judgement, and a high degree of personal integrity and ethics.

For more information about the Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, please visit here.



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    The Program Director for the Solar Terrestrial Program is responsible for the planning and administration of the program within the framework of legislation, agency policies, missions, objectives and resources and serves as spokesperson for the program with regard to the scientific community.  The Program Director is responsible for the planning, coordination, and management of basic and applied research, facilities, and other scientific activities primarily through Federal grants and contracts to academic institutions, non-profit, non-academic research institutions, professional organizations and the private sector.  The Program Director is also responsible for initiating new programs, organizing symposia, and changing objectives of research efforts which have impact on major areas of science.  The Program Director serves as the NSF's representative on permanent or ad hoc committees to assess the scientific quality and validity of ongoing research and to plan future approaches.  The activities of the program are broad in scope and require close coordination with related programs, both within and outside the agency having national and international scope and impact.  Contacts are typically with eminent scientists.

    The Program Director of this position serves as a recognized authority in the area of solar physics.

    Additional duties and responsibilities include:


    Designs and implements the proposal review and evaluation process for the program to assure quality of research proposals and the adequacy of review.

    Conducts scientific/technical analyses of proposals.

    Establishes or modifies the system for selecting ad hoc reviewers to meet Foundation objectives and program needs.

    Negotiates revision of proposal budgets when appropriate, and serves as ongoing advisor to applicants and grantees concerning NSF policies, requirements, regulations, and program objectives.

    Conducts final review of proposals and evaluations and recommends awards or declinations, based on scientific merit and continuing evaluation of the availability of resources, priorities, and knowledge of NSF policies and goals.

    Coordinates with other Federal agencies on duplicate proposals, joint funding of and cooperative support of proposals, and cooperative support of sub-areas of the program.  Serves as NSF spokesperson for the program on these interagency committees.


    Serves as the primary consultant within NSF on scientific matters related to the solar terrestrial research and serves as the NSF spokesperson in this area.  Provides authoritative and expert advice, interacts with other scientific experts and speaks for the Section Head and Division Director in coordinating the efforts of others.  Works with Advisory Committees as necessary.

    Represents the NSF at professional meetings and seminars.

    Provides advice to the other agencies and institutions in his/her scientific discipline.  Advises prospective applicants and institutional representatives regarding program objectives and NSF policies, and practices.

    Acts as spokesperson for the agency and advises top management, peers at NSF and other Federal Agencies, and the scientific community in matters relating to program areas of responsibility.  Advice is regarded as authoritative.

    Responsible for coordinating with other Directorates' programs designed to enhance the involvement of women, minorities, and the handicapped, the industrial sector, international science, and primary undergraduate institutions in the program area.

    Keeps abreast of relevant scientific research by attending processional meetings, conferences and reviewing scientific literature.


    Manages/monitors grant/contracts/cooperative agreements under his/her purview to ensure fulfillment of commitments to NSF.  Evaluates program content by site visits and by review or evaluation of reports and publications.  Revises budgets and project descriptions as necessary and provide guidance to program staff and oversees management of the program.

    In consultation with the supervisor, prepares program budget and operating requirements for the program and serves in a lead capacity for coordinating the budget request plan for the Section Head.

    Establishes program goals and objectives; initiates new program thrusts and phases out old projects.

    Allocates resources among sub-fields and projects with the program.

    Recommends new management practices to higher echelon management and devises/implements improved management procedures with the Program.

    Plans and implements new or revised policies and plans in scientific, fiscal and administrative matters to improve the activities and management of the program.

    Recommends and implements new or revised policies and plans in scientific, fiscal, and administrative matters to improve the activities and management of the program.

    Determines the need for and directs the preparation of technical and administrative guides, to accomplish program research objectives.


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    Applicants must have a Ph.D. or equivalent experience in a relevant field, plus six or more years of successful research, research administration, leadership, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position.

    The Solar terrestrial Program is particularly interested in candidates who have a strong background in solar physics.

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


    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. Ability to communicate effectively and work productively with the scientific community, peers, and co-workers at all levels to advocate program policies and plans and to fulfill NSF's mission.

    2. Ability to organize, implement and manage a proposal-driven grant program, allocating resources to meet a spectrum of goals, including ensuring integrity and consistency in the grant award/declination management process.

    3. Knowledge of management and organizational concepts, principles, practices and techniques with expertise in large project management and/or research administration.

    4. Ability to develop and manage cross-disciplinary research opportunities in addition to developing and evaluating education and training opportunities for undergraduates, graduate students, post-doctoral researchers.

    5. Experience with building coalitions with different elements of the Federal, academic and private sector research and education communities.

    6. Ability to provide the intellectual leadership to achieve results that significantly enhance the strength and potential of the national atmospheric and geospace science research community.

    To preview questions please click here.


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    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.  For more information regarding an IPA assignment, visit our website.

    Under the provisions of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA), non-citizens may be considered as long as the individual is employed at an IPA-eligible institution.

    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.


    Relocation expenses will be paid subject to funds availability.


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    Your application should be submitted online and must be completed and all required documents successfully faxed or uploaded before 11:59 PM Eastern time on the 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) 292-5090 for assistance.



    Non-Citizens who are permanent US residents and actively seeking citizenship are required to provide documentation that confirms you are actively seeking citizenship at the time you submit your application. Non-Citizens who do not provide documentation will not be considered.

    You are strongly encouraged to submit information regarding relevant awards received in the previous five years; a current performance appraisal; and/or letters(s) of recommendation. Additionally, you are strongly encouraged to submit a supplemental statement that describes how your background relates to the Quality Ranking Factors listed in the Qualifications and Evaluation Requirements section of this announcement. This information will be used in the evaluation process.

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

    Faxing Instructions: Please print out the appropriate fax coversheet(s) and follow the instructions carefully. All faxing must be completed before 11:59 PM Eastern time on the job announcement closing date. 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 document(s).

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

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

    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).


    Johane Pace
    Phone: 703-292-7493
    Fax: 703-292-9279
    TDD: 703-292-5090
    Agency Information:
    4201 Wilson Blvd
    Room 315
    Arlington, VA
    Fax: 703-292-9279


    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.

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