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IIP 13-002

Dear Colleague Letter - Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) Employment Opportunity

Date: January 9, 2013

The Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) announces a nationwide search to fill the Program Director position for the Partnerships for Innovation (PFI): Accelerating Innovation Research (AIR) program.

The NSF Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) program is an umbrella for two complementary subprograms, one of which involves an early stage that focuses on Building Innovation Capacity and the other, which involves a later stage that focuses on Accelerating Innovation Research.  The goals of the PFI: AIR program are to motivate the translation and transfer of fundamental research discoveries, to encourage synergistic public-private partnerships between academia and industry, and to educate and train students to understand the innovation and entrepreneurial processes.

Program Directors at the National Science Foundation (NSF) are in charge of specific research areas.  They solicit, receive and review research and education proposals, make funding recommendations and administer awards.  They are also responsible for interaction with other Federal agencies, forming and guiding interagency collaborations, and for service to Foundation-wide activities.

Persons wishing to apply for this position are referred to the Divisional web page,, for a description of the program. 

Qualifications of a successful candidate include a Ph.D. or equivalent professional experience in a relevant discipline, plus six or more years of successful research, research administration and or/substantial managerial experience in academe, industry, or government.  The position requires effective oral and written communication skills, and familiarity with NSF programs and activities is highly desirable.  The incumbent is expected to function 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 within NSF and across government agencies to promote NSF activities and to leverage program funds through interagency collaborations.  NSF is an equal opportunity employer, and makes special efforts to attract applicants who are women or members of underrepresented minorities.

NSF Program Directors bear the primary responsibility for carrying out the Foundation’s overall mission to support innovative and merit-evaluated activities in fundamental research and education that contribute to the nation’s technological strength, security and welfare.  The positions require a commitment to high standards of intellectualism and ethical conduct, a considerable breadth of interest, receptivity to new ideas, a strong sense of fairness, good judgment, and a high degree of personal integrity.

The position will be filled under an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Appointment.  Under an IPA appointment, a candidate’s home institution receives a grant to cover the appointee’s salary and benefits, and the candidate remains an employee of his/her home institution while performing duties at NSF.  Persons 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 of up to two years, with a possible extension for up to an additional two years.

For additional information on Intergovernmental Personnel Act assignments at NSF, please see

Candidates will be ranked in accord with the following factors:

  1. Knowledge of and experience with university-industry partnerships,
  2. Experience with translation of fundamental research to the market place,
  3. Knowledge and understanding of research directions and literature in the broad area of the program to which the applicant is applying,
  4. Analytical skills and judgment to make sound and scholarly decisions,
  5. Oral and written communication skills, and the ability to clearly document decisions and actions,
  6. Ability to organize, implement and manage a Federal, proposal-driven grant program, and to allocate resources effectively to meet program goals, and
  7. Ability to cooperate and work effectively with peers in other science and engineering disciplines, and to present and advocate program plans and policies to individuals within the Foundation, other government agencies, academic institutions, private organizations and the research community at large.

Evaluation of applications will begin in February and applications will be accepted until the position is filled.  Applicants should indicate in their cover letter that they are applying to the PFI/AIR program.  Please submit your application to:

PFI/AIR Program Director Search Committee
Rathindra DasGupta
National Science Foundation
Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships - Room 590
Arlington, VA 22230

Although paper applications will be accepted at the above address, it is preferred that they be received electronically.  Please send electronic submissions to