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DGE 13-001

Dear Colleague Letter - Division of Graduate Education (DGE) Employment Opportunities for Program Directors (Open until filled)

Date: March 8, 2013

The Division of Graduate Education (DGE) announces a nationwide search for senior-level researchers to serve as Program Directors. Formal consideration of interested applications will begin in March 2013 and continue until selections are made. It is anticipated that respondents to this announcement will start in the Summer/Fall 2013 timeframe.

NSF Program Directors have the primary responsibility for carrying out the Agency's overall mission. Discharging this responsibility requires a commitment to high standards, breadth of knowledge and interest, receptivity to new ideas, a strong sense of fairness, good judgment, and a high degree of personal integrity. DGE has a leadership responsibility in NSF in the development of programs that promote innovations and build the knowledge base to inform improvements in graduate education in science and engineering.

Qualification requirements include a Ph.D. or equivalent professional experience in the relevant discipline, plus six or more years of successful research in graduate education, research administration and/or substantial managerial experience in academe, industry, or government. Also desirable are candidates who are highly knowledgeable in the field of graduate education, participate actively in the science and engineering community, have strong teamwork and collaborative skills, excellent oral and written communication skills, and effective spokespersons in the science and engineering community. Selectees are expected to function effectively both within specific programs and in teams, contributing to and coordinating with organizations in the Directorate, across the Foundation, and with other Federal and State government agencies and private-sector organizations, as necessary.

The positions may be filled with one of the following appointment alternatives:

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 rotational programs, please visit:

Applications will be accepted from US Citizens. Due to a recent change in Federal Appropriations Law, only Non-Citizens who are permanent US residents and actively seeking citizenship can be considered for Federal appointments (i.e., Visiting Scientists, Engineers and Educators (VSEE) program, Temporary Excepted Service). 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 be considered only for the IPA program.

NSF's rotational positions become available throughout the year. Therefore, interested individuals are encouraged to first contact the Division (contact information below) about the availability of positions. Applicants are encouraged to visit the NSF website at to find information about NSF, the Directorate of Education and Human Resources (EHR), Division of Graduate Education (DGE), and the two programs currently managed by the Division: Graduate Research Fellowship Program and Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship Program. Selected individuals will have primary responsibilities in one of these programs, but will also participate in other efforts to advance NSF's goals in graduate education.

How to Apply: Interested applicants should send an e-mail to with the following information: A subject line stating "Application for Program Director position in [Name of Program]"; a cover letter highlighting specific qualifications that address the position requirements and duties outlined above, and current curriculum vitae. Please include experience that fits with the position of Program Director in DGE (referencing the curriculum vitae), why this position would be of mutual benefit to NSF and your institution, and how you foresee this assignment benefiting your career.

Applications may also be sent to:
Division of Graduate Education
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 875
Arlington, Virginia 22230
Phone: (703) 292-8630