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    The National Science Foundation is seeking qualified candidates for an Astronomer (Program Director) position within the Division of Astronomical Sciences (AST), Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), in Alexandria, VA. 

    For more information on MPS please click here.

    For more information on AST please click here.

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    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 Academies decadal surveys and reports, and by federal advisory committees.

    The candidate selected for this position will have responsibility in one or more of the following areas: 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) 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 employ include developing intellectual capital, strengthening the physical infrastructure, integrating research and education, and promoting partnerships. Duties include the following:

    • 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.
    • Providing advice to the MPS/AST Division Director on all aspects of major facilities planning, construction, and management of operations, as well as coordination of mid-scale activities.
    • Working closely with peers and agency officials to plan, facilitate, evaluate, and oversee broad and complex directorate-wide activities related to major MPS scientific facilities.
    • Overseeing and participating in the preparation of major facility award and decision packages to be presented to the National Science Board and internal review boards, potentially requiring the formation of internal/external advisory structures and coordination with other agencies.
    • Developing and executing partnerships with other federal agencies, international organizations, and private/university entities within the United States, for both mid-scale and large facilities.
    • 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 Academies studies, into the development of these plans.
    • Working with the Office of the Director in developing processes for assessing priorities of large projects across MPS disciplines.

    Supervisory status


    Promotion Potential


This job originated on www.usajobs.gov. For the full announcement and to apply, visit www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/525217600. Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at www.usajobs.gov will be considered.