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Job Opportunity: Program Director (IPA) for the Office of Polar Programs, Atmosphere/Oceans, Antarctic Sciences

April 21, 2022

Brief Synopsis

The Antarctic Sciences Section at the National Science Foundation is recruiting a Program Director under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) to lead oceanic, atmospheric, and sea ice related research. These are one-year appointments, renewable for a period not to exceed 4 years. Program Directors are expected to have a PhD plus six years of experience in a field of science related to Antarctic research. More details are available in this Dear Colleague Letter that provides general information about the IPA role. 

Position Details

The Antarctic Sciences Section (ANT) is seeking a Program Director who will lead oceanic, atmospheric, and sea ice related research. The Program Director will be responsible for managing a dynamic proposal driven research grants program through the Antarctic Research Opportunities solicitation (NSF 21-567). The Program Director manages a research portfolio directed at all levels of ocean, atmosphere, sea ice, and related processes that occur within and around Antarctica, as well as their interactions with ecosystems, biogeochemical cycling, ice sheets, and more. Investigators use a wide variety of techniques, from theory to land- and sea-based field observations to global climate models to explore the high latitude physical environment and how it might respond to climate change. The successful candidate should have expertise in a relevant polar geoscience discipline, including experience pertinent to the management challenges presented by covering the broad scope of ocean, atmosphere, and sea ice related research encompassed by the program. The Program Director also coordinates with the Antarctic Infrastructure and Logistics (AIL) section, other programs in OPP and throughout NSF, other funding agencies and international partners to achieve program goals. Through interactions with the community and related programs within ANT and across NSF, the Program Director will have the opportunity to shape future research directions.

Preferred qualifications include: 

  • Expertise in one or more fields of inquiry related to oceanic, atmospheric, and sea ice research in polar regions;
  • Broad recognition of diversity, equity, and inclusion issues facing the polar sciences and experience in developing solutions to tackle these challenges;
  • Experience in outreach and mentorship;
  • Knowledge of field work challenges inherent to Antarctic-related research; and
  • Ability to work collaboratively with representatives of other NSF programs and agencies to enhance interdisciplinary research and the mission of NSF.

Antarctic Sciences at NSF

The Antarctic Sciences Section is a small, dynamic group of professionals dedicated to supporting research about the Antarctic and surrounding Southern Ocean. The incumbent will join a group of more than ten program officers who create a collaborative environment that fosters a growing science community and supports new ideas, innovations, and different knowledge systems. In addition to managing the merit review process for proposals, Program Directors develop funding opportunities, work with colleagues in other parts of NSF, collaborate with other federal agencies, and find other ways to increase research and funding opportunities for Antarctic researchers. More information about the Antarctic Sciences Section is available from the OPP website and in the Antarctic Research Opportunities solicitation.

Interested applicants should provide their curriculum vitae (CV) and cover letter to Dr. Dave Sutherland at CVs will be accepted until the position is filled. This position is telework eligible based on agency policy. 

Application deadline: May 31, 2022

For more information, read the Dear Colleague Letter or email Dr. Dave Sutherland with questions at

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 2023 budget of $9.5 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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