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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Biological Science Administrator (Program Director)
Agency:  National Science Foundation
Job Announcement Number:  DEB-2014-0004

This position is closed and no longer accepting online applications through USAJOBS.

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$106,263.00 to $165,596.00 / Per Year
Wednesday, April 30, 2014 to Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Full-time. - Permanent.
Few vacancies in the following location:
Arlington, VA View Map
Applications will be accepted from US Citizens. Recent changes in Federal Appropriations Law requires Non-Citizens to meet certain eligibility criteria to be considered. Therefore, Non-Citizens must certify eligibility by signing and attaching this Citizenship Affidavit to their application. Non-citizens who do not provide the affidavit at the time of application will not be considered.
Public Trust - Background Investigation


About the Agency

The NSF is seeking candidates for Program Director in the Evolutionary Processes Cluster within the Division of Environmental Biology (DEB), Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) in Arlington, VA.

The Division of Environmental Biology (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 Evolutionary Processes Cluster supports research on microevolutionary processes and their macroevolutionary consequences. Topics include mutation, gene flow, recombination, natural selection, genetic drift, assortative mating acting within species, speciation, and long-term features of evolution. These investigations attempt to explain causes and consequences of genetically-based change in the properties of groups of organisms (at the population level or higher) over the course of generations as well as large-scale patterns of evolutionary change, phylogeography, origin and maintenance of genetic variation, and molecular signatures of evolution at the population or species level. The cluster seeks to fund projects that are transformative -- that is, those that will change the conceptual bases of evolutionary biology and have broad implications for future research.  Both empirical and theoretical approaches are encouraged. The Cluster is comprised of two programs, Evolutionary Genetics and Evolutionary Ecology; proposals should be submitted to one of these programs.

For more information about DEB and its Programs, please visit here.


  • Background investigation.
  • Preview questions at bottom of Qualifications & Evaluations--see tab above


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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:


  • 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. 

  • 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.

  • 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.


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Candidates must have a Ph.D. in biology or a related field with an emphasis in evolutionary biology, plus after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience beyond the Ph.D. in this scientific area.

You will need to successfully complete a background security investigation before you can be appointed into this position.

You must meet eligibility and qualification requirements before 11:59 PM Eastern time on the closing date of the job announcement. You must answer all job-related questions in the NSF eRecruit questionnaire.

All online applicants must provide a valid email address. If your email address is inaccurate or your mailbox is full or blocked, you may not receive important communication that could affect your consideration for this position.


You will be evaluated on the extent and quality of your experience, expertise, education, and research activities relevant to the duties of the position. We strongly encourage you to specifically address the Quality Ranking Factors below. This will ensure that you receive full consideration in the evaluation process.

Quality Ranking Factors

  1. Demonstrated broad knowledge and understanding of scientific principles, theories and technologies applicable to the biological sciences in general, evolutionary biology in particular.
  2. Research, analytical and technical writing skills, evidencing the ability to perform extensive inquiry into a wide variety of significant issues and to make recommendations and decisions based on findings.
  3. Ability to organize, implement and manage a proposal-driven grant program, allocating resources to meet a broad spectrum of program goals.
  4. Knowledge of management and organizational concepts, principles, practices and techniques, with expertise in research administration.
  5. Ability to interact with the scientific community and peers, and to advocate program policies and plans.
  6. Understanding of, and dedication to, the promotion of both intellectual merit and broader impacts of research and education activities.

To preview questions please click here.


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You can review our benefits at:

A GREAT LOCATION!  The National Science Foundation is conveniently located one block from the Ballston Metro Station, a few blocks from Routes 66 and 50, and about three miles from downtown Washington.  Employees may rent parking spaces in the building garage.  There are many shops and restaurants within easy walking distance.  Employees receive the Federal benefits package and NSF offers:

•        Pre-tax parking
•        Public transportation subsidy
•        Child development center on site
•        Child care subsidy
•        Flexible working hours
•        Telecommuting
•        Physical fitness facility on site
•        NSF Federal Credit Union on site
•        Health services unit on site
•        Employee assistance program


If you do not have civil service status or reinstatement eligibility, you will not obtain civil service status if selected.

If you are currently in the competitive civil service, you will be required to waive competitive civil service rights if selected.

This Program Director position is in the bargaining unit.

Relocation expenses will be paid, contingent upon availability of funds.

For additional information on the NSF eRecruit system, please visit our NSF eRecruit Frequently Asked Questions.


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Your application should be submitted online and must be completed and all required documents successfully faxed or uploaded before 11:59 PM Eastern time on the closing date. You must answer all of the job-related questions to ensure full consideration for this position. For more detailed information, please review our NSF eRecruit Frequently Asked Questions.

WARNING! Applications submitted online must have a valid email address. If your email address is inaccurate or your mailbox is full or blocked, you may not receive important communication that could affect your consideration for this position.

If you are unable to apply electronically, please use the Contact Information below for special instructions on how to submit your application materials. Hearing impaired individuals may call TDD (703) 292-5090 for assistance.



In order to be considered for federal appointments, Non-Citizens must affirm that they meet the Appropriations Law eligibility criteria by signing and attaching this Citizenship Affidavit  to their application.  Non-Citizens who do not provide the affidavit at the time of application will not be considered. Non-Citizens who are exempt from the Appropriations Law requirements due to their status as officers or employees of the U.S. government on December 16, 2009 must provide a statement with their application noting their exemption with documentation of proof of status as officers or employees of the U.S. government on that date.

You are strongly encouraged to submit a current performance appraisal and/or letter(s) of recommendation and a supplemental statement that describes how your background relates to the Quality Ranking Factors (QRFs) listed in the Qualifications and Evaluation Requirements section of this announcement. This information will be used in the evaluation process.

We also ask that you complete and submit the Applicant Survey Form. This will help NSF to ensure that our recruiting efforts are attracting a diverse candidate pool; it will be used for statistical purposes only.

You can fax or upload your letter of recommendation(s) or the individual(s) can email the letter of recommendation(s) to; please ask him/her to put your name and the job announcement number in the subject line.

Transcripts are not required; however, please indicate the year that each degree was obtained on your application materials.

All faxing/uploading must be completed before 11:59 PM Eastern time on the vacancy closing date. If you are faxing your information, please use extreme care in dialing the fax number to assure we receive your information. You will receive an email confirmation of receipt of your faxed/uploaded document(s).


Phone: 703-292-7493
Fax: 703-292-7478
TDD: 703-292-5090
Agency Information:
4201 Wilson Blvd
Room 315
Arlington, VA
Fax: 703-292-7478


Shortly after the announcement closes, you will be notified as to whether or not you meet the basic qualification requirements. If you do, you will receive further consideration and evaluation. If the position is in the bargaining unit, and your application is referred to the selecting official, you will be contacted for an interview. Interviews for positions not in the bargaining unit may be conducted at the discretion of the selecting official. All qualified applicants will receive final notification of the outcome of the job opportunity announcement.

You may check the status of your application at any time on the USAJOBS website.

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