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Dear Colleague Letter: Program Director/Associate Program Director, Office of Polar Programs (OPP)

Title:    Program Director/Associate Program Director, Office of Polar Programs (OPP)
           Employment Opportunities--Dear Colleague Letter

Date:    November 20, 2009

Dear Colleague:

The Office of Polar Programs announces opportunities for scientists to assist in research program management through an assignment under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) in the Divisions of Arctic Sciences and Antarctic Sciences within the Office of Polar Programs, at the National Science Foundation (NSF).

Program Director and Associate Program Director positions in both the Divisions of Arctic and Antarctic Sciences come available periodically as specific rotator appointments come to an end. The incumbent will work principally with one program area but would also be expected to work with other program directors in the division and office to bring new ideas to the programs in order to explore possible areas for emphasis. The incumbent will infuse ideas and foster actions to increase diversity in the polar science community. While the discipline area is not pre-defined, preference will be given to scientists who have broad interests and broad experience in research and teaching and whose expertise aligns with needs in both Divisions. Please consult the descriptions of the research areas supported in each Division that are available on our web site: .

OPP anticipates that these positions would be limited two or three year appointments because a long term goal is to enrich all geo- and bio-science discipline areas within the Division through rotators with differing interests and experience.

NSF program officers 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.

Applicants should have a Ph.D. or equivalent training and broad knowledge in a field of geo- or bio-sciences supported by NSF’s Divisions of Arctic and Antarctic Sciences, knowledge of the general scientific community, skill in written communication and preparation of technical reports, ability to effectively communicate orally, and successful independent research experience normally expected of the academic rank of assistant professor or higher. Skills in multidisciplinary research and in integrating research and education are highly desirable. The interest and ability to undertake activities to increase diversity in polar sciences is also desirable. Prior experience in polar research is useful but not required.

The positions recruited under this announcement will be filled under the following appointment option:

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.

For additional information on NSF’s rotational programs, please see “Rotational Programs for Scientists, Engineers and Educators” on the NSF website at


Please ensure that your application includes the documents listed below and reflects your background in terms of the qualification requirements for the position.

Resume or other application format of your choice.  Your application should contain the following information:  Country of citizenship.  Information about your education, your major, and type and year of degree(s). Information about all your work experience, including job titles, duties and accomplishments, employer’s name and phone number, number of hours worked per week, starting and ending dates (month and year), and salary.  If you have held various positions with the same employer, describe each separately.  


Formal consideration of interested applicants will begin January 1, 2010 and will continue until a selection is made.  

Dr. Scott Borg, Director
Division of Antarctic Sciences
National Science Foundation
Office of Polar Programs, Room 755
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA  22230
703-292-9081 (fax)

Mr. Simon Stephenson, Director
Division of Arctic Sciences
National Science Foundation
Office of Polar Programs, Room 755
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA  22230
703-292-9081 (fax)