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Job Opportunity: NSF Office of Polar Programs seeks Program Directors for Arctic Sciences

December 11, 2020

The Office of Polar Programs (OPP), Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) at the National Science Foundation, reserves several Program Director positions to be filled by Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) assignments. These IPA positions come available periodically, and the Arctic Sciences Section is currently looking to fill openings. NSF Program Directors bear the primary responsibility for carrying out the agency's overall mission to support innovative, merit-reviewed activities in basic research and education that contribute to the nation's technical strength, security, and welfare. To fulfill 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. OPP 18-001, “Dear Colleague Letter: Office of Polar Programs (OPP), Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) Employment Opportunities – Program Directors (Open Until Filled)” contains additional details about the positions and application process.

The Arctic Sciences Section seeks an IPA to serve as a Program Director for the Arctic Natural Sciences (ANS) Program. The ANS Program supports projects focused on processes that are important to understanding the Arctic system, which covers a broad set of scientific disciplines, including physics, chemistry, and biology of the atmosphere, land, and ocean. To complement existing expertise, the program is currently seeking candidates with a background in physical, biological, or chemical oceanography. Please see OPP 18-001 for additional qualification criteria and application instructions. Questions can be directed to Marc Stieglitz ( or Colene Haffke (

The Arctic Sciences Section also seeks an IPA to serve as a Program Director for the Arctic Observing Network (AON) Program. The AON Program supports field observations to detect and understand Arctic system change and generate data intended for wider use by the scientific research community. To assist with program management and the increasing scope of interagency and international activities in Arctic observing across local to circumpolar scales, the program is seeking diverse candidates with a broad background in Arctic observing; specific disciplinary expertise is open, and early-career investigators are encouraged to apply. Questions can be directed to Roberto Delgado (

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2021 budget of $8.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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