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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Biological Science Administrator (Program Director)
Agency:  National Science Foundation
Job Announcement Number:  MCB-2013-0002

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
Tuesday, January 08, 2013 to Friday, February 08, 2013
Full-time. - Permanent.
Few vacancies in the following location:
Arlington, VA, USView 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.  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 not be considered.


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 NSF is seeking candidates for Program Director within the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB), Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) in Arlington, VA. The Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB) supports fundamental research and related activities designed to promote understanding of complex living systems at the molecular, subcellular, and cellular levels.  

The Division supports research across a broad spectrum of experimental systems, ranging from organisms, such as plants and microbes, to the use of in silico approaches.  As stated in the Grant Proposal Guide, proposals to conduct research motivated primarily by relevance to human diseases and health are not appropriate for the division and will be returned without review.

Typical research in areas supported by MCB integrates theory and experimentation and utilizes technologies derived from biological, physical, mathematical, computational and engineering sciences. Projects that address the emerging areas of single molecule or single cell studies, molecular dynamics, small RNA biology, and synthetic biology are particularly welcome.  The Division is also interested in projects aimed at understanding and predicting the molecular and cellular underpinnings of adaptation to environmental change. 

MCB continues to forge partnerships to support research at the interfaces of biology and physical sciences or engineering, to introduce new analytical and conceptual tools for biological research, and to provide unique education and training opportunities for the next generation of researchers, scientific educators, and scientifically literate citizens.

For more information about MCB and its Programs, please visit here.


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


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As Program Director you are responsible for the management of research and other scientific activities primarily through Federal grants and contracts to: academic, non-profit, and non-academic institutions such as professional organizations and the private sector.  You will be responsible for administration of the merit review of submitted proposals, managing an effective, timely peer review process, ensuring broad participation of reviewers and increasing involvement of under-represented groups, and making building an award portfolio that supports the vision and goals of NSF and MCB.  You will process awards and declinations, contacting successful applicants prior to the award of the grant and unsuccessful applicants as necessary.  You will also be responsible for encouraging and supporting integrative, synthetic, and interdisciplinary research involving the biological sciences.  Additional duties and responsibilities include the following:

  1. Managing resources so as to insure: a) integrity and consistency in the grant/declination process without conflict-of-interest, b) balance among appropriate sub-fields and institutions, and c) participation of all qualified scientists.  You will be responsible for planning and administration of programs within the framework of legislation, agency policies, missions, objectives, and resources.  You will serve as spokesperson for the Division to the scientific community.  You will be responsible for long-range planning and budget development for the areas of science assigned to you within the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences.
  2. Coordinating and serving as liaison with other programs in NSF and other Federal agencies and organizations.  You will provide scientific expertise, evaluation and advice for other programs in NSF, including international programs, other research programs, and cross-directorate programs. You will maintain a healthy balance of support for all the needs of the research and education enterprise either through Program, Division, Directorate, Foundation, or interagency activities.
  3. Providing assistance to investigators whenever feasible.  You will follow the progress of grantees through site visits, progress and fiscal reports, and correspondence.


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Applicants must possess a Ph.D. in a field with an emphasis in any of the scientific areas encompassed by MCB. In addition applicants must have six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience beyond the Ph.D. in one of these scientific areas.  

Preference will be given to candidates who are tenured faculty members with a strong record of research accomplishments and a progressive vision for the emerging areas in molecular and cellular biology.  All qualified individuals are encouraged to apply, but MCB is particularly interested in individuals with expertise appropriate for the cellular dynamics and function cluster.

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

You must meet eligibility and qualification requirements before 11:59 PM Eastern time on the closing date of the job announcement. You must answer all job-related questions in the NSF eRecruit questionnaire.

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.


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. Demonstrated  record of original scientific investigation in research areas relevant to the Molecular and Cellular Biosciences as evidenced by a strong record of peer-reviewed publications.
  2. Demonstrated ability to sustain a successful, competitively-funded and independent research program.
  3. Demonstrated leadership within the scientific community as evidenced by e.g. service on editorial boards, on grant review panels and advisory boards, and service to professional societies.
  4. Understanding and promotion of the broader impacts of scientific research and education.

To preview questions please click here.


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A GREAT LOCATION!  The National Science Foundation is conveniently located one block from the Ballston Metro Station, a few blocks from Routes 66 and 50, and about three miles from downtown Washington.  Employees may rent parking spaces in the building garage.  There are many shops and restaurants within easy walking distance.  Employees receive the Federal benefits package and NSF offers:

•        Pre-tax parking
•        Public transportation subsidy
•        Child development center on site
•        Child care subsidy
•        Flexible working hours
•        Telecommuting
•        Physical fitness facility on site
•        NSF Federal Credit Union on site
•        Health services unit on site
•        Employee assistance program


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 will be paid, contingent upon availability of funds.

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


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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; 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.

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