Email Print Share

This document has been archived.

Candidate Search - Assistant Director for Biological Sciences (AD/BIO)


Dear Colleague:

The National Science Foundation is initiating a national search for the Assistant Director for Biological Sciences (BIO). We seek your assistance in the identification of visionary candidates to lead the Directorate during the coming years. Dr. James Olds has served in this position with distinction since October 2014. He has worked with his colleagues on new initiatives in Understanding the Brain, the Rules of Life, from genome to phenome, and continental-scale ecology. The next Assistant Director will have similar opportunities to shape future research and education in the biological sciences as well as ensure that BIO is a key participant in NSF’s expanding efforts to support convergence research.

The Assistant Director, BIO, manages a budget of approximately $750.0M and a portfolio comprising the various fields of biology, including the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB), the Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI), the Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS), the Division of Environmental Biology (DEB), and the Emerging Frontiers Office (EF). Shown below are information sheets that summarizes the Directorate's activities and the responsibilities of the position, together with the criteria that will be used in the search. Employment may be on a temporary or permanent basis in the Federal Service or by temporary assignment under provisions of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act.

We are very pleased to announce that Dr. Roger Beachy, National Science Board member and Professor at Washington University in St. Louis will Chair the Search Advisory Committee. Both the Committee and I seek your help in identifying candidates with the following qualifications: outstanding leadership; a deep sense of scholarship; and a grasp of the issues facing the biological sciences, especially in the areas of education and fundamental research. Candidates must also have the ability to serve effectively as a key member of the NSF senior management team, teaming with the NSF Director and other Assistant Directors on cross-directorate activities and interactions with executive and legislative branches of government. When opportunities arise, the candidate must be able to communicate effectively with leaders of business and industry as well as the philanthropic community. Recommendations of individuals from any sector — academic, industry, or government — are welcome.

Please send your recommendations, including any supporting information which you might be able to provide, to the AD/BIO Screening Committee via e mail ( or at the following address: National Science Foundation, Office of the Director, 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA, 22314. We would appreciate receiving your recommendations by January 8, 2017.

Your assistance in this very important task is appreciated.

          /// signed ///
          France A. Córdova


[Candidate Review Criteria]

[Overview of the Directorate for Biological Sciences]

[PDF version of Letter and Enclosures]

[Return to O/D home page]