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    This job opportunity announcement has been amended to extend the closing date to Thursday July 2, 2015.

    Applicants wishing to apply for a Permanent Appointment should see Job Announcement AST-2015-0004.

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) is seeking to fill multiple qualified candidates for the position of Program Director in the Division of Astronomical Sciences (AST), Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), Arlington, VA.

    The mission of AST is to support forefront research in ground-based astronomy; to help ensure the scientific excellence of the U.S. astronomical community; to provide access to world-class research facilities through merit review; to support the development of new instrumentation and next-generation facilities; and to encourage broad understanding of the astronomical sciences by a diverse population of scientists, policy makers, educators, and the public at large. The Division supports research in all areas of astronomy and astrophysics as well as related multidisciplinary studies. Because of the scale of modern astronomical research, the Division engages in numerous interagency and international collaborations. Areas of emphasis and the priorities of specific programs are guided by community recommendations, which have been developed and transmitted by National Research Council (NRC) decadal surveys and by federal advisory committees. In the near term, AST will be developing strategies in response to the recent NRC study on the ground-based optical/infrared telescope system and the upcoming NRC mid-decadal survey.

    For more information about AST and its programs, please visit here.

    The job location is NSF’s headquarters, which is presently located in Arlington, Virginia, but is expected to be relocated to Alexandria, Virginia in 2017.

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    The candidate(s) selected for this position will have responsibility in one or more of the following areas: coordination of the merit review of individual research proposals or instrumentation proposals; management oversight of one or more mid-scale instrumentation/science awards; management oversight of facilities; and interacting with other NSF programs, Federal and international agencies and organizations. Program Directors are expected to bring their scientific expertise to the activities of the Division, and to serve as a liaison between the astronomical community and NSF, disseminating information about NSF and Division activities and opportunities. Candidates are expected to work with the astronomical research and education community to broaden the diversity of participants in NSF programs.

    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 employ include developing intellectual capital, strengthening the physical infrastructure, integrating research and education, and promoting partnerships.

    Duties related to managing AST programs may include:

    • Managing program resources for individual investigator programs to ensure an effective, timely merit review process that (1) providing appropriate scientific judgment to insure integrity and consistency in the grant/declination process without conflict of interests, and (2) balancing among appropriate sub-fields and institutions, including participation of all qualified proposers;
    • Increasing the size and quality of the reviewer pools and insure participation by women, minorities and disabled scientists in the review process as part of core program administration;
    • Planning the science strategy and budget for any individual investigator programs being managed, considering past, present and future fiscal years; allocating resources within that budget so as to distribute scarce resources among the most compelling scientific proposals, and manage post-award evaluation. Programs may focus on scientific research, instrumentation, training, or education;
    • Conducting appropriate oversight of facilities in operation or under construction, including activities such as review of budgets and annual program plans, and possible divestment or re-purposing of individual facility components;
    • Developing and executing partnerships with other federal agencies, international partners, and private/university entities within the United States, for both mid-scale and large facilities, as well as smaller-scale individual investigator programs;
    • Maintaining a healthy balance of support for all the needs of the research and education enterprise through program, Division, Directorate, Foundation, and interagency activities;
    • Providing scientific expertise, evaluation and advice for other programs in NSF, including international programs, other research programs, cross-directorate and cross-agency programs; and
    • Advising and assisting in the development of short and long range plans, establishing goals and objectives for research programs. As appropriate, incorporating the recommendations of Federal advisory committees (Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee; Mathematical and Physical Sciences Advisory Committee) and their subcommittees, as well as input from National Research Council studies, into the development of these plans.

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


    Who May Apply

    This job is open to…

    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.

    Questions? This job is open to 1 group.

This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/403689100. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.