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EEC 12-002

Dear Colleague Letter - Employment Opportunity for Engineering Education Program Director in the Division of Engineering Education and Centers (EEC), Directorate for Engineering (ENG)

DATE: July 24, 2012

The Division of Engineering Education and Centers (EEC), in the Directorate for Engineering, is seeking a Program Director in the area of Engineering Education through a temporary ("rotator") appointment. The appointment will be made for one year, and it may be extended for additional years by mutual agreement. Formal consideration of interested applicants will begin October 30, 2012 and will continue until a selection is made. The selected applicant is expected to start in January 2013.

Through its funding portfolio the Engineering Education Program focuses on informing the creation of a more agile engineering education ecosystem that offers diverse pathways to engineering careers to all members of society and that dynamically and rapidly adapts to meet the changing needs of society and the nation's economy. The objective of the program is to improve the quality and the impact of engineering education through investments that inform the Nation's understanding of the complex, distributed engineering education system at all scales.

Currently, EEC supports research in engineering education by awarding grants through three major funding programs:

  • The Research in Engineering Education program focuses on achieving systemic improvements by exploring: how to broaden pathways into and through engineering; how engineering learning is credentialed; understanding how to scale engineering education innovations; advancing learning in educational ecosystems; and developing engineering-specific learning theories.
  • The Research Initiation Grants in Engineering Education program seeks to enable engineering faculty who are renowned for teaching, mentoring, or leading educational reform efforts on their campus to initiate collaborations with colleagues in the learning and cognitive sciences to address difficult, boundary-spanning problems in how we educate engineers.
  • The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program recognizes exceptional junior faculty in the area of engineering education research and practice.

NSF Program Directors bear the primary responsibility for carrying out the overall mission of the agency. 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.

Required qualifications include a Ph.D. degree or equivalent professional experience in an engineering discipline, plus six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience in academe, industry, or government. The appointee is expected to have knowledge of research in an engineering and/or engineering education discipline. Leadership experience in engineering education (departmental, college, university, societies, journals, etc.) is required. In addition, demonstrated achievements in classroom teaching and student advising are important attributes for the successful applicant. Also desirable are knowledge of the general scientific and engineering community and strong skills in written and oral communication. The appointee is expected to function effectively both within specific programs and as part of a team, contributing to and coordinating with offices throughout NSF and with other Federal and state government agencies and private sector organizations. This position may be filled through one of the following appointment options:

Intergovernmental Personnel Assignment (IPA) Act: 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 the negotiated 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.

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 placed on the NSF 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 usually made for a one-year period and may be extended for an additional year 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 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, and life insurance) are applicable for appointments of more than one year. Temporary appointments may not exceed three years.

For additional information on NSF's rotator programs, please visit

Applications will be accepted from U.S. Citizens. Due to a recent change in Federal Appropriations Law, only Non-Citizens who are permanent U.S. residents and actively seeking citizenship can be considered. Therefore, you are required to provide documentation that confirms you are actively seeking citizenship at the time you submit your application. Non-citizens who do not provide documentation will not be considered.

Individuals interested in applying for this Program Director position should send a current CV and statement of interest to:

Division of Engineering Education and Centers,
Suite 585 National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Blvd., Arlington, VA 22230
Phone: 703-292-8380
Fax: 703-292-9051/2
Attn: Dr. Theresa A. Maldonado, Division Director