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Dear Colleague Letter: Division of Chemistry, Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences

SUBJECT: Dear Colleague Letter - Division of Chemistry, Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences

Dear Colleagues:

The Division of Chemistry within the Directorate of Mathematical and Physical Sciences at the National Science Foundation announces a nationwide search for a senior-level researcher to serve as Program Director in the new Environmental Chemical Sciences Program. The desired starting date for the position is September 2009. Formal consideration of interested applicants will begin June 30, 2009 and the position will remain open until filled.

The Division of Chemistry (CHE) addresses fundamental research and education in the chemical sciences. Modes of support include single investigator and multi-investigator awards, as well as funding for shared instrumentation, instrumentation development, and educational projects that leverage the division's research investments to build research capacity. The Division supports research in all traditional areas of chemistry and in multidisciplinary fields that draw upon the chemical sciences. Projects that help build infrastructure and partnerships that advance the chemical sciences are also supported. The management of CHE's programs involves a team approach by Program Directors within the Division to reflect disciplinary topics as well as interdisciplinary approaches to new problems areas. For further information, please visit the CHE web site at

The Program Director opportunity within the Environmental Chemical Sciences Program requires an individual with broad expertise and demonstrated experience in the molecular understanding of natural and anthropogenic chemical processes in our environment, including relevant aspects of energy research. Applicants must have a Ph.D. or equivalent experience in chemistry or a closely-related field, demonstrated expertise in Environmental Chemical Sciences, plus six or more years of successful research, research administration and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position.

NSF Program Directors bear the primary responsibility for carrying out the Agency’s overall mission to support innovative and merit-evaluated activities in fundamental research and education that contribute to the nation’s technological strength, security, and welfare. This requires knowledge in the appropriate disciplines as well as a commitment to high standards, considerable breadth of interest and receptivity to new ideas, strong sense of fairness, good judgment, and a high degree of personal integrity. The position provides a challenging experience and an excellent opportunity to encourage and support chemistry research and education. The individual will work with other Program Directors in formulating research strategies, developing cooperation among government, academia and industry, fostering outreach to underrepresented groups, and providing leadership within NSF and the research community. Desirable attributes are knowledge of the general scientific and engineering communities and strong skills in written and oral communication.

The Program Director position recruited under this announcement may be filled under the following rotational appointment option for a period of one year and may be extended for an additional one or two years by mutual agreement. All options include generous support to allow the holders to maintain active research programs at their home institutions.

  • 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. 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 for up to three additional years.
  • Visiting Scientist Engineering Educator - Appointment to this position will be made under the Excepted Authority of the NSF Act. A Visiting Scientist is on non-paid leave status from the home institution and appointed to NSF’s payroll. 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 for one year and may be extended by mutual agreement for up to an additional year.
  • 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 appointment may not exceed three years.

For additional information on NSF’s rotational programs, please see “Programs for Science, Engineering and Science Education Positions” on the NSF website at:

Should you or your colleagues be interested in this position, or wish to nominate suitable candidates, please contact the Division Director, Dr. Luis Echegoyen (, and forward curriculum vitae to him by June 30, 2009.


Dr. Luis Echegoyen, Division Director
Division of Chemistry
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 1055
Arlington, VA 22230
Phone: (703)-292 4960
FAX: (703)-292 9037