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This Position Is No Longer Available

Job Title:  Section Head, Polar Environment, Safety and Health Section
Agency:  National Science Foundation
Job Announcement Number:  PLR-2014-0011

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

The contents of the announcement can still be viewed.
$157,000.00 to $174,100.00 / Per Year
Wednesday, May 14, 2014 to Friday, August 15, 2014
Full-time. - SES Career, SES Limited-Term (1-3 years), or Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) assignment.
1 vacancy - Arlington, VA   View Map
Applications 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 be considered for IPA only.
Q - Sensitive


About the Agency


This job opportunity announcement has been amended to extend the closing date to August 6, 2014.

Please DO NOT USE the APPLY ONLINE BUTTON when applying for this announcement. Your application material should be sent to the email address indicated in the How To Apply section below.

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 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.

This position may also be filled on a one-to-three year Senior Executive Service (SES) Limited Term Appointment or on an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) assignment basis.  Under the provisions of the IPA, assignees remain on the payroll of his/her home institution and the institution continues to administer pay and benefits.  The National Science Foundation (NSF) will reimburse the home institution for NSF's negotiated share of the costs.



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    The Head of the Polar Environment, Safety and Health (PESH) Section is responsible to the Director of the Division of Polar Programs (PLR) for the overall planning, management, and oversight of environmental, safety and health (including medical) aspects of research and operations supported by NSF and conducted in polar regions. The responsibilities extend to the activities of all Federal agencies in Antarctica.

    Additional duties include the following:

    • Develop environmental, safety and health program plans for the U. S. programs in polar regions in support of long-range scientific and national goals.
    • Oversee the planning, coordination and management of policy and direction for all aspects of safety and health (including medical care) related to PLR-supported activities.
    • Establish priorities for environmental, health and safety activities and provide the Division Director with the technical, budgetary, and programmatic information needed for the formulation of Division-wide budgets and long-range plans.
    • Provide oversight of medical practices and facilities of the U. S. Antarctic Program, including those at three land-based medical clinics, in the isolated sick bays aboard research vessels, and at remote field stations, together with associated emergency response coordination.
    • Oversee the development, review and evolution of health screening criteria for participants in the U.S. Antarctic Program and an appropriate subset of participants in projects supported by the Arctic Section
    The PESH Section Head serves as a member of the PLR leadership team and promotes liaison between the Section and other units of the Division and NSF, and other agencies and international organizations involved in support of environmental, safety and health goals in polar regions. PLR consists of four sections with a staff of approximately 60, and administers an annual budget of $450 million. PLR supports research in all areas of fundamental science and engineering in polar regions through research grants and awards to universities and other research organizations and through the provision for logistics support and infrastructure in the remote polar regions. Additional information about PLR can be found here.


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    1. Leading Change. Demonstrated ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals.  Includes the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.
    2. Leading People.  Demonstrated ability to lead people toward meeting the organization’s vision, mission, and goals.  Includes the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution conflicts.
    3. Results-Driven Leadership.  Demonstrated ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations.  Includes the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.
    4. Business Acumen.  Demonstrated ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.
    5. Building Coalitions.  Demonstrated ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals.

    Applicants currently serving under a career Senior Executive Service (SES) appointment, eligible for reinstatement into SES, or have successfully completed a SES Candidate Development Program (CDP) approved by OPM are not required to address the Executive/Managerial Qualifications (ECQs/EMs); but a narrative statement for each of the Professional/Technical Qualifications (PTQs) is recommended.

    For detailed guidance on ECQs, applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Office of Personnel Management's Guide to Executive Qualifications.


    1. Advanced degree in an area of public health/health administration, public health/preventative medicine, occupational medicine or occupational safety. Applicants who are physicians should be certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties in an appropriate specialty.
    2. Demonstrated record of success in overseeing and managing a complex set of public health and industrial safety activities, with additional experience in environmental issues desirable.
    3. Demonstrated record of success in developing and implementing long range plans for workplace safety, medical care and/or environmental stewardship.


    Applicants will be screened for basic eligibility according to the qualification requirements. Eligible applicants will be reviewed by an Evaluation Panel according to the criteria based on the qualification requirements. The best qualified candidates will be referred to the appropriate official who will recommend selection. All applicants will be considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, political affiliation, marital status, physical disability, age, membership in an employee organization, or other non-merit reason.
    There are no questions to preview in the link below.
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    You must submit all required information by the closing date.  If materials are not received, your application will be evaluated solely on the information available and you may not receive full consideration or may not be considered eligible.

    The individual selected will be required to file an "Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure Report" (OGE-278) in accordance with the Ethics in Government Act of 1978.

    Appointment is contingent on satisfactory completion of a physical examination according to the standards used for the USAP’s medical/dental screening for travel to Antarctica.


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    You must submit your application so that it will be received by 11:59 PM Eastern time on the closing date of the announcement.

    Ensure that your application includes the documents listed below and reflects your background in terms of the qualification requirements for the position.

    1. Resume or other application format of your choice. Your application should contain the following information: Announcement number and your country of citizenship (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 be considered for IPA only.); Information about your education, your major, and type and year of degree(s); and Information about all your work experience, including job titles, duties, and accomplishments, employer's name and phone number, number of hours worked per week, starting and ending dates (month and year), and salary. If you have held various positions with the same employer, describe each separately.

    2. Narrative statement addressing your background in terms of (a)the executive/managerial, and (b)the professional/technical requirements.

    3. NSF Form 1232, Applicant Survey. 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.

    4. Appointment is contingent on satisfactory completion of a physical examination according to the standards used for the USAP’s medical/dental screening for travel to Antarctica.

    APPLICATION SUBMISSION: Applications must be received by the closing date on this announcement. Applications may be transmitted electronically to or mailed or delivered to the following address:

    National Science Foundation
    Division of Human Resource Management
    Executive Personnel, Room 315
    ATTN: PLR-2014-0011

    4201 Wilson Blvd.
    Arlington, VA 22230

    Inquiries or questions should be directed to: Executive Personnel Staff at (703) 292-4345; hearing impaired individuals should call TDD (703) 292-5090 for assistance.

    Additional information on the NSF mission, structure, programs, and operations may be accessed through our website. The NSF provides reasonable accommodations to applicants with disabilities on a case-by-case basis. If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of this application and hiring process, please notify the point of contact on this job opportunity announcement.



    Please review your application packet to ensure that you have submitted all documentation that you want considered.


    Krystal Mendenhall
    Phone: 703-292-4345
    Fax: 703-292-9279
    TDD: 703-292-5090
    Agency Information:
    4201 Wilson Blvd.
    Rm 315
    Arlington, VA
    Fax: 703-292-9279


    The Evaluation Panel will rate and rank each eligible applicant based on the qualification requirements and refer the top candidate to the selecting official.

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