Job Overview


This job opportunity announcement has been AMENDED to extend the closing date to July 31, 2013.

Applicants wishing to apply for a Permanent Appointment should see Job Announcement CMMI-2013-0005.

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 a Program Director in the Directorate for Engineering (ENG), Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) Division, Materials and Surface Engineering (MSE) Program, Arlington, VA.

The Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) Division is one of the four research divisions in the Directorate for Engineering at the National Science Foundation. Its mission is to fund fundamental research and education in support of the Foundation’s strategic goals directed at advances in the disciplines of civil, mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering, and material design. In addition, the Division has a focus on the reduction of risks and damage resulting from earthquakes and other natural and technological hazards. The Division encourages cross-disciplinary research partnerships at the intersections of traditional disciplines to promote transformative advances in civil mechanical and industrial systems and manufacturing technologies. It also encourages discovery enabled by the use of cross-cutting technologies such as adaptive systems, across all programs of the Division.

The Materials and Surface Engineering (MSE) Program supports experimental and theoretical research to advance the understanding of interrelationships among composition and microstructure and the resulting effects of properties of materials in the solid state. The program supports fundamental research on bulk materials intended for use in structural and functional applications, as well as research on materials surfaces and interfaces. The candidate must demonstrate in-depth fundamental materials engineering research expertise associated with engineered functional materials system, surfaces and interfaces. Furthermore, the CMMI division is presently evaluating the alignment of its materials engineering research programs and the candidate is expected to have an active role in this process. The MSE program and related CMMI materials engineering programs are highly interdisciplinary and participate in several cross-cutting initiatives within the National Science Foundation. Thus, the MSE Program Director will be expected to work independently as well as cooperatively as a member of a team-based program structure, and consummate experience working in interdisciplinary teams is highly desired.

More information about CMMI and its programs can be found here.


The responsibilities of the NSF Program Director are constantly evolving. Program Directors are guided by the goals of NSF’s Strategic Plan: (1) Transform the frontiers, (2) Innovate for society, and (3) Perform as a model organization. NSF fulfills its mission through: visionary, dedicated to excellence, learning, growing, and broadly inclusive core strategies.

Responsibilities of the Program Director include:

  • Maintain a healthy balance of support for the needs of the research and education enterprise either through program, division, directorate, Foundation, or interagency activities.
  • Manage program resources and exercise scientific judgment to ensure integrity and consistency in the grant award/declination process while avoiding conflicts-of-interest and obtaining balance among appropriate sub-fields and institution.
  • Manage an effective, timely peer review process, with attention to increasing the size and quality of the reviewer pool and ensuring participation by woman, minorities and disabled scientists.
  • Provide scientific expertise, evaluation and advice for other programs in NSF, including international programs, and cross-directorate programs