About the Agency
Applicants wishing to apply for a Permanent Appointment should see Job Announcement BCS-2017-0007.
The BCS Division supports research to develop and advance scientific knowledge about humans spanning areas of inquiry including brain and behavior, language and culture, origins and evolution, and geography and the environment. BCS programs consider proposals that fall squarely within disciplines, but they also encourage and support interdisciplinary projects. These are evaluated either through joint review among programs in BCS, joint review with programs in other Divisions, or by NSF-wide multi-disciplinary panels. All programs in BCS consider proposals for research projects, conferences, and workshops. BCS participates in special initiatives and competitions on a number of topics including human-natural system interactions, children's research, cognitive neuroscience, human origins, and information technology. There is also infrastructure support to improve data resources, data archives, collaboratories, and centers. For more information on the division, please visit the BCS Home Page.
NSF Program Directors bear the primary responsibility for carrying out the agency's overall mission to support innovative and merit-reviewed activities in basic research and education that contribute to the nation's technical strength, security, and welfare. Fulfilling this responsibility requires not only knowledge in the appropriate disciplines, but also a commitment to high standards, a considerable breadth of interest and receptivity to new ideas, a strong sense of fairness, good judgment, and a high degree of personal integrity.
Human cognitive science encompasses a wide range of topics, including attention, learning, memory, decision-making, language, social cognition, and emotions. The Cognitive Neuroscience program supports highly innovative proposals that employ brain-based measurements in order to advance our understanding of the neural systems that mediate cognitive processes. Applicants are expected to be knowledgeable about the new frontiers in cognitive neuroscience research including investigations that integrate data at different spatial and temporal scales. Familiarity with recent methodological advances wherein computational cognitive models may directly inform neuroimaging results is also expected.
The responsibilities of the NSF Program Director are constantly evolving. The Program Director is guided by the goals of NSF's Strategic Plan: (1) transform the frontiers of science and engineering, (2) stimulate innovation and address societal needs through research and education, and (3) excel as a Federal Science Agency. The core strategies NSF staff employs include developing intellectual capital, strengthening the physical infrastructure, integrating research and education, and promoting partnerships. Responsibilities of the Program Director include, for example, long-range planning and budget development for the areas of science represented by the program or program cluster, the administration of the merit 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. The Program Director will have specific responsibilities that include the following:
- Articulate a vision for the future of the discipline and allocate program resources to maintain a balance of support to meet the field's needs and future development;
- Maintain an effective merit review system and post-award action process;
- Participate in one or more cross-cutting activities within the Foundation;
- Work cooperatively across the Division, Directorate, Foundation and with other agencies to accomplish the mission of NSF;
- Participate in interagency meetings, coordinating groups, special task groups, staff meetings, and site visits;
- Assess trends and opportunities in the field with assistance of advisory panels;
- Pursue affirmative action and EEO goals in selection of reviewers, panelist and grantees;
- Represent the program to the scientific community and the public;
- Establish contacts and maintain active involvement in the program field through participation in meetings and conferences and by undertaking other relevant activities;
- Pursue a personal scholarly research agenda, with results presented at professional meetings and published in academic journals, as workload permits.