Job Overview

Summary

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Become a part of our mission to maintain and strengthen the vitality of the US science and engineering enterprise. For over 50 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 mission of the Division of Astronomical Sciences is to support forefront research in ground-based astronomy; to help ensure the scientific excellence of the U.S. astronomical community; to provide access to world-class research facilities through merit review; to support the development of new instrumentation and next-generation facilities; and to encourage broad understanding of and diverse participation in the astronomical sciences.

The Division supports research in all areas of astronomy and astrophysics and related multidisciplinary studies. Modes of support include single-investigator and collaborative awards, as well as funding for acquisition and development of astronomical instrumentation, technology development for future ground-based facilities, and educational projects that leverage the Division's research investments to build research and workforce capacity and to increase scientific literacy. Through the national observatories and international partnerships, the Division provides support for a system of multi-aperture, research-class telescopes as well as frontier facilities that enable transformational capabilities in both radio and optical/infrared astronomy.

The Senior Executive Service (SES) covers managerial positions above GS-15 in the Federal Service. Persons appointed to the SES are eligible for health benefits, life insurance, social security, Federal retirement and thrift savings plan coverage, and participate in the Federal leave system. Career appointees are eligible for bonuses based on performance in addition to base pay. Competitive status is not required, veterans preference does not apply and there are no grade restrictions. New appointees to the SES are required to serve a one-year probationary period. Final selection of career appointees requires the approval of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM). OPM approval will be based on the selectee's background in the following five executive core qualification areas: (1) Leading Change, (2) Leading People, (3) Results Driven Leadership, (4) Business Acumen, and (5) Building Coalitions. These areas are incorporated in the five executive/managerial requirements for the position. Information about the leadership requirements for SES-level positions is available on the OPM website.


Duties

The Division Director leads a team of program officers in managing a broad portfolio of investments in materials research and education. The incumbent has managerial and oversight responsibilities for the effective use of Division staff and resources in meeting organizational goals and objectives. This includes directing the activities of the Division, assessing the needs and trends in research and education related to the Division's programs, implementing overall strategic planning, and policy setting. The Director supervises and provides leadership and guidance to senior level AST staff (Deputy Division Director), AST program officers, administrative and support personnel. The Director determines funding requirements, prepares and justifies budget estimates, balances program needs, allocates resources, oversees the evaluation of proposals and recommendations for awards and declinations, and represents NSF to relevant external groups. The Director fosters partnerships with other Divisions, Directorates, Federal agencies, scientific organizations, and the academic community.