Special Programs

Incentive Awards Program

The Foundation operates an active incentive awards program to recognize employees who demonstrate exceptional ability and efficiency. Your contributions and achievements at NSF are important to us and will count! Successful performance and significant contributions are recognized with cash awards, special salary increases, and other honorary citations.

Merit Promotion and Placement Program

The NSF Merit Promotion and Placement Plan is designed to identify qualified candidates for positions and give them an opportunity for promotion based on merit. Actual selection for promotion is recommended by the supervisor and will largely depend on the quality of your past performance and potential to take on higher level work. With the appropriate experience or education, you can compete for higher level jobs in any field where you meet the qualifications required.

Presidential Management Intern Program

For graduate students seeking a career involving the analysis and management of public policies and programs, you may be interested in entering our Presidential Management Intern (PMI) Program upon college graduation. Internships are for two years. As an intern, you will participate in such activities as on-the-job training, rotational assignments, mentoring, and attendance at seminars and conferences that will enhance your skills and prepare you to qualify for a career position upon completion of the PMI Program requirements. Many of our PMI graduates are now serving in Program Analyst and Program Manager positions at NSF. To be eligible for the Presidential Management Intern Program, you must be nominated by your graduate school and pass a highly competitive selection process administered by the U. S. Office of Personnel Management. PMI finalists may apply directly to NSF, as well as other Federal agencies, for selection consideration.

Outstanding Scholars Program

The Outstanding Scholars Program is a special hiring authority established for the recruitment of a variety of entry level positions at the GS-5 and GS-7 grade levels. Eligibility is based strictly on academic achievement at the bachelor's degree level. If you are a college graduate with a grade point average of 3.5 or above, on a 4.0 scale, for all undergraduate coursework, or have graduated in the upper 10 percent of your class, we encourage you to apply for consideration under the Outstanding Scholars Program.

Selective Placement Program

The Foundation is committed to providing equal opportunity for employment to all individuals. In addition to regular competitive appointing procedures, special appointing authorities are available to aid in the employment of individuals who have severe physical impairments, mental and emotional disabilities. Our Selective Placement Program Coordinator will work closely with supervisors and vocational rehabilitation counselors to match your skills and qualifications with available job openings. Upon selection, NSF will make reasonable accommodations in the duties of the job or in the worksite to make it easier for you to perform the responsibilities of your position.

Disabled Veterans Program

If you are a disabled veteran with a compensable service-connected disability of 30 percent or more, you are eligible for this program. Basic eligibility requirements are that you meet the minimum requirements of the position for which you are applying; that you are certified as eligible from the Department of Veterans Affairs or Department of Defense; and, that you are willing to serve under a temporary appointment scheduled for longer than 60 days. Such an appointment may lead to conversion to permanent status.

Veterans Readjustment Appointment Program

If you are a Vietnam-era or post-Vietnam-era veteran who served more than 180 days active duty and have other than a dishonorable discharge, you may be eligible for appointment under the Veterans Readjustment Appointment (VRA) Program. (The 180+ day requirement does not apply to disabled veterans or reserve and guard members who served on active duty during a war or military operation for which a campaign or expedition metal is authorized.) VRA appointees initially are hired for a 2-year period. Those with less than 15 years of formal education are placed in a training program. Successful completion of the VRA Program may lead to a permanent appointment.

Student Educational Employment Programs

Employment opportunities are available on a recurring basis for part-time and full-time students attending high school and higher educational institutions. Our Student Career Experience Program provides you an opportunity to gain work experience related to your academic major and career goal. These are salaried positions and appointments are subject to a written agreement with your educational institution. As an alternative, you may seek unpaid career-enhancing experience through our Student Volunteer Program. For those who are in need of temporary employment that will enable you to earn a salary while continuing your studies, office support positions are usually available under our Student Temporary Employment Program. Additionally, students may participate in our Summer Employment Program. Our summer jobs vacancy announcement is usually posted in January and job applications are generally accepted for Office Automation Clerk, Computer Specialist, Science Aide and Science Assistant positions. Students hired under most of these programs generally work part-time during the school year and may work full time during school vacation periods. All students must: be a citizen or national of the United States; be at least 16 years of age; be enrolled in an accredited educational institution; be in good academic standing; and, meet the qualification requirements for the specific vacancy.


The National Science Foundation is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to employing a highly qualified staff that reflects the diversity of our nation.

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National Science Foundation

Arlington, VA 22230

NSF 97-17

(Replaces NSF 95-135)