Email Print Share
BFA 13-001

Dear Colleague Letter - Large Facilities Office, Office of Budget, Finance, and Award Management (BFA) - Employment Opportunities for Program Director

December 4, 2012

The Large Facilities Office, within NSF's Office of Budget, Finance, and Award Management (BFA), announces an opportunity for an individual with demonstrated experience in project management - applied to the construction or operation of a large scientific facility - to assist BFA's Deputy Director for Large Facility Projects in strengthening NSF's capabilities in project management. The LFO is the NSF's primary resource for all policy or process issues related to the development, implementation, and oversight of Major Research and Facilities Construction Projects, and are NSF-wide resources on project management.

This position is a term appointment under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act. Periodically rotating individuals with project management experience into NSF is intended to bring fresh insights that will synergistically strengthen NSF's administrative partnership with the research community in fostering the planning, construction, and operation of large research facilities. It will also help to ensure that NSF's oversight practices are in line with the best available procedures and practices utilized by large research laboratories for strategic planning, budgeting, risk planning, and other facility related issues.

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 scientific and technical strength, security, and welfare. For Program Directors to discharge this responsibility effectively requires not only technical knowledge in appropriate disciplines; it also requires access to specialized resources such as project management expertise that Program Directors can call on to supplement their own expertise. The incumbent will work closely with BFA staff, NSF Program Directors and other program staff from the various research Directorates, and the Office of Polar Programs, as an advisory resource in the development of NSF plans for oversight and assessment of large facility projects in the planning, construction, and operational phases. Duties will include:

  • Providing assistance to teams of NSF staff developing plans and strategies to conduct effective oversight, assess and minimize project risks, and develop risk-adjusted budgets appropriate to the work scope, drawing on the incumbent's experience dealing with these issues in a management setting;
  • Assisting with the planning of NSF-organized external reviews of large facility projects in planning, construction, and operation, as well as participating in those reviews and providing an assessment, independent of the sponsoring NSF Directorate or Office, of the project management-related aspects of the project under review;
  • Visiting NSF-funded large facilities, and providing reports to the Foundation on project management related issues, including project status reporting and tracking using Earned Value management;
  • Participating in developing new or improved procedures that enhance NSF's capabilities to cost-effectively undertake the planning, construction, and operation of major research facilities.

Applicants should have a Ph.D. in a field of science or engineering, or equivalent training, as well as broad knowledge in a capital-intensive field of research supported by NSF and six years or more of experience in a position entailing significant management responsibility for either construction or operation of a major research facility.

The position recruited under this announcement will be filled under the 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.

For additional information on NSF's rotational programs, please see "Programs for Scientists, Engineers and Educators" on the NSF website at

The desired starting date for the position is negotiable. Formal consideration of applications will begin on January 2, 2013 and will continue until a selection is made.

Applicants should send a letter of interest and vitae to:

Dr. Mark Coles
Deputy Director, Large Facility Office - Office of Budget, Finance, and Award Management
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 405N
Arlington, Virginia 22230
Phone: 703/292- 8200
Fax: 703/292-9255