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DMR 13-001

Dear Colleague Letter - Division of Materials Research (DMR), Directorate of Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) Employment Opportunity

DATE: November 15, 2012

The Division of Materials Research (DMR) announces a nationwide search for senior-level researchers to serve as Program Directors. Formal consideration of interested applications will begin December 2, 2012 and will continue until selections are made. We are interested in a variety of experts that span the Division's multidisciplinary scope; we anticipate six specific areas of need within the next year timeframe:

  • Biomaterials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computational and Data-Driven Materials Research
  • Electronic and Photonic Materials
  • Metals and Metallic Nanostructures
  • Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers (MRSEC)

All positions require an individual with broad expertise and demonstrated success in the subdisciplinary area of materials research indicated, or for the MRSEC position, interdisciplinary experience in materials. Applicants must have a Ph.D. or equivalent experience in the physical sciences or a closely-related field, plus six or more years of successful research, research administration and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position. For the DMR mission statement and additional information about the above programs, please see

Applicants must be familiar with a broad spectrum of the materials research community, as well as with the issues being addressed in the field. Applicants with accomplishments in the integration of research and education and with multidisciplinary experience and interest are desired. The position requires effective oral and written communication skills, and familiarity with NSF programs and activities is highly desirable. The incumbent is expected to work effectively both as individual within the specific NSF program and as a member of crosscutting and interactive teams. The incumbent must also demonstrate a capability to work across government agencies to promote NSF activities and to leverage program funds through interagency collaborations.

Nominations from the community are encouraged.

The position 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.

How to Apply: Applicants should indicate which program they are applying to within their cover letter and subject line of the email. Please submit a curriculum vitae to Applications are first reviewed by the recruitment working group (typically composed of 3-5 Program Directors) and recommendations are made to DMR's Division Director and Deputy Division Director. A few candidates are selected for telephone and/or NSF on-site interviews. Applicants will receive an acknowledgement of their applications and a status update by email when selections occur. For more information about these openings, you may send an inquiry to or contact the Deputy Division Director, Janice Hicks by telephone (703) 292-4956 or via e-mail: