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Title: Division of Materials Research (DMR)
        Employment Opportunities for Program Directors--Dear Colleague Letter

Date: 30 May 2003

Dear Colleague:

The Division of Materials Research announces a nationwide search for a number of Program Director positions at the National Science Foundation (NSF).

NSF Program Directors bear the primary responsibility for carrying out the Agency's overall mission: to support innovative and merit-reviewed activities in basic research and education that contribute to the nation’s technical strength, security, and welfare. To discharge 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.

Qualification requirements include a Ph.D. or equivalent professional experience in materials science and engineering, condensed-matter or materials physics, solid-state or materials chemistry or allied disciplines, plus six or more years of successful research, research administration and/or substantial managerial experience in academe, industry, or government. Also desirable is knowledge of the general scientific community, skill in written communication and preparation of technical reports, an ability to communicate orally, and several years of successful independent research of the kind normally expected of the academic rank of professor or associate professor. All appointees are expected to function effectively both within specific programs and in a team mode, contributing to and coordinating with organizations in the Directorate, across the Foundation, and with other Federal and State government agencies and private-sector organizations. Research and education areas supported by the Division include materials theory, condensed-matter and materials physics, solid-state and materials chemistry, polymers, ceramics, electronic and photonic materials, metals, and materials education. Periodic assignments to leadership of interdivisional, inter-directorate and interagency programs may be made.

We are particularly interested in attracting women and underrepresented minority candidates to these positions.

Program Director positions recruited under this announcement may be filled under one of the following appointment options:

Visiting Scientist Appointment. Appointment to this position will be made under the Excepted Authority of the NSF Act. Visiting Scientists are on non-paid leave status from their home institution and appointed to NSF’s payroll as Federal employees. NSF withholds Social Security taxes and pays the home institution’s contributions to maintain retirement and fringe benefits (i.e., health benefits and life insurance), either directly to the home institution or to the carrier. Appointments are usually made for up to one year and may be extended for an additional year by mutual agreement.

Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Assignment. Individuals eligible for an IPA assignment with a Federal agency include employees of State and local government agencies or institutions of higher education, Indian tribal governments, and other eligible organizations in instances where such assignments would be of mutual benefit to the organizations involved. Initial assignments under IPA provisions may be made for a period up to two years, with a possible extension for up to an additional two-year period. The individual remains an employee of the home institution and NSF provides funding toward the assignee’s salary and benefits. Initial IPA assignments are made for a one-year period and may be extended by mutual agreement.

Temporary Excepted Service Appointment. Appointment to this position will be made under the Excepted Authority of the NSF Act. Candidates who do not have civil service status or reinstatement eligibility will not obtain civil service status if selected. Candidates currently in the competitive service will be required to waive competitive civil service rights if selected. Usual civil service benefits (retirement, health benefits, life insurance) are applicable for appointments of more than one year. Temporary appointments may not exceed three years.

For additional information on NSF’s rotational programs, please see “Programs for Scientists, Engineers and Educators” on the NSF website at www.nsf.gov/jobs.

Applications and questions concerning Program Director positions should be directed to:

Dr. Thomas A. Weber, Director (tweber@nsf.gov)
Dr. W. Lance Haworth, Executive Officer (lhaworth@nsf.gov)
Division of Materials Research
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 1065
Arlington, Virginia 22230
Phone: 703/292- 4915
Fax: 703/292-9035