Job Overview


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 currently seeking qualified candidates for the position of Program Director for Gravitational Physics, in the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), Division of Physics (PHY).

The Gravitational Physics Program supports both experimental and theoretical research at the frontiers of science aimed towards answering questions about the nature of space and time, the gravitational attraction at atomically small and cosmological large distances and the use of gravitational waves to explore the universe.

The Experimental Gravitational Physics program supports research that includes tests on the inverse distance square law of gravitational attraction, Lorentz invariance and Equivalence Principle as well as the direct detection of gravitational waves. This program oversees the management of the construction, commissioning, and operation of the Laser Interferometer Gravity Wave Observatory (LIGO), and provides support for LIGO users and other experimental investigations in gravitational physics and related areas. This includes tasks that range from instrument science, data analysis and detector characterization to source population calculations and the connection between the gravitational waves and the electromagnetic and neutrino signatures of astrophysical events.

The Theoretical Gravitational Physics program supports research on classical and quantum gravity theory, including gravitational wave source simulations and other phenomena associated with strong field gravity and the interface between gravitation and quantum mechanics. This includes formulating new approaches for theoretical, computational, and experimental research that explore the fundamental laws of physics and the behavior of physical systems and, in some cases, interpreting the results of experiments. The effort also includes a considerable number of interdisciplinary grants.

In addition, both programs infrastructure activities such as short- and long-term visitor programs, workshops, and research centers involving the participation of external scientists from universities, national laboratories, and industry, as well as graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.

For more information about PHY and its programs, please visit here.


The Program Director is responsible for planning, coordination, and management of resources for research and human resource development in the disciplinary area of gravitational physics.  He or she directs in the implementation, review, funding, post-award management, and evaluation of the Gravitational Physics program; contributes to the intellectual integration with other programs supported by the Division; designs and implements the proposal review and evaluation process for relevant proposals; selects well qualified individuals to provide objective reviews on proposals either as individuals or as members of a panel; conducts final review of proposals and evaluations, and recommends acceptance or declination; manages and monitors on-going grants, contracts, interagency and cooperative agreements; evaluates progress of awards through review and evaluation of reports and publications submitted by awardees and/or meetings at NSF and during site visits; serves as an integral part of the PHY staff; and recommends new or revised policies and plans in scientific, fiscal, and administrative matters to improve the activities and management of the Program and the Division.