Job Overview

Summary

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 in the Systematics and Biodiversity Sciences (SBS) Cluster within the Division of Environmental Biology (DEB), Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) in Arlington, VA.

The DEB supports fundamental research on populations, species, communities, and ecosystems. Scientific emphases range across many evolutionary and ecological patterns and processes at all spatial and temporal scales. Areas of research include biodiversity, phylogenetic systematics, molecular evolution, life history evolution, natural selection, ecology, biogeography, ecosystem services, conservation biology, global change, and biogeochemical cycles. Research on origins, functions, relationships, interactions, and evolutionary history may incorporate field, laboratory, or collection-based approaches; observational or manipulative experiments; synthesis activities; as well as theoretical approaches involving analytical, statistical, or simulation modeling.

The SBS Cluster supports research that advances our understanding of the diversity, systematics, and evolutionary history of organisms in natural systems. This research addresses fundamental questions in biodiversity, taxonomy, and phylogenetics, such as: What kinds of organisms exist in the natural world? How are they related? How did evolution lead to patterns of global biodiversity in time and space? How can phylogenetic history shed light on evolutionary patterns and processes in nature? Example topics include: expeditionary biodiversity research and discovery; identification and classification of organisms; and phylogeny and comparative phylogenetic biology. The SBS Cluster seeks to fund projects that are transformative - that is, those that innovatively and fundamentally transform our approaches to analyzing and understanding global biodiversity, its origins, distribution, and evolutionary history. The Cluster places a high value on integrative and holistic approaches to systematics research and training - i.e., those approaches and projects that integrate across all the components within the cluster (biodiversity discovery, organismal biology, taxonomy, phylogenetics, and evolution) and that train highly integrative systematists who can conduct research across the entire spectrum of these activities.

More information about DEB and its Programs can be found here.

Duties

The responsibilities of the Program Director include long-range planning and budget development for the areas of science represented by the program or program cluster, the administration of the peer 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. Additional duties and responsibilities include the following:

PROGRAM PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT

  • Maintains a healthy balance of support for all the needs of the research and education enterprise through program, division, directorate, Foundation, or interagency activities.
  • Manages program resources to provide optimal appropriate scientific judgment to insure integrity and consistency in the grant/declination process without conflicts of interest, and with balance among appropriate sub-fields and institutions, and participation of all qualified scientists.
  • 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, and other research programs, and cross-directorate programs.
  • Advises and assists in the development of short-and-long range plans, establishing goals and objectives for support of research programs.
  • Plans the budget for the program considering past, present and future fiscal years, allocates resources within the budget by distributing scarce resources among competitive projects, and manages post-award evaluation.
  • Controls waste, fraud and abuse. 

REPRESENTATION, COMMUNICATION AND LEADERSHIP

  • Represents the Program, Division and the 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 Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) goals.
  • Pursues and/or is responsive to assignment on special projects and temporary function teams across the Foundation to solve problems, improve staff communication, and effect coordination for special programs.
  • Contributes ideas and effort to improving the quality of policies and NSF's performance of the overall mission.
  • Prepares and disseminates a variety of informational documents which may include data on progress being made toward NSF goals, trends and opportunities papers, and budget plans.

PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT

  • 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.