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 the Atomic, Molecular, and Optical Physics Program, in the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), Division of Physics (PHY).
The Atomic Molecular and Optical Physics program encompasses four sub-areas of this broad discipline: Precision Measurements, Atomic and Molecular Dynamics, Atomic and Molecular Structure, and Optical Physics. Research supported in the first three sub-areas includes activities in quantum control, cooling and trapping of atoms and ions, low-temperature collision dynamics, the collective behavior of atoms in weakly interacting gases (Bose-Einstein Condensates and dilute Fermi degenerate systems), precision measurements of fundamental constants, and the effects of electron correlation on structure and dynamics. In Optical Physics, support is provided in areas such as nonlinear response of isolated atoms to intense, ultra-short electromagnetic fields, the atom-cavity interaction at high fields, and quantum properties of the electromagnetic field.
For more information about PHY and its programs, please visit here.
The Program Director position involves responsibility for planning, coordination, and management of resources for research and human resource development in a disciplinary area of experimental atomic, molecular, and optical physics.
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 employs include developing intellectual capital, strengthening the physical infrastructure, integrating research and education, and promoting partnerships.
Responsibilities of the Program Director include, for example, long-range planning and budget development for the areas of science represented by the program or program cluster, 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.
Major Duties and Responsibilities
PROGRAM PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT
- Maintains a healthy balance of support for all the needs of the research and education enterprise either through program, division; directorate, Foundation, or interagency activities.
- Manages program resources so as to provide optimal appropriate scientific judgment to insure 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. Incorporate 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, other research programs, and cross-directorate programs.
- Advises and assists in the development of short- and long-range plans, establishing goals and objectives for research programs. Plans the budget for the resources within that budget distributing scarce resources among major competitive programs, and manage post-award evaluation.
- Controls waste, fraud and abuse.
REPRESENTATION, COMMUNICATION, AND LEADERSHIP
- Represents the Program, Division and Foundation within the scientific community, with other NSF Divisions, with other appropriate agencies and organizations, and with the public, accurately reflecting NSF policy and positions.
- 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 be responsive to assignment on special projects and temporary functional teams from across the Foundation to solve problems, improve staff communication, and effect coordination for special programs.
- Contributes ideas and efforts to improving the quality of policies and NSF's performance of the overall mission. Develops policies and plans for strengthening research and education programs. Provides information to the community on how NSF is pursuing its mission and gather data and impressions form 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's goals, trends and opportunities papers, 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 responsibilities.