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DGE 14-002

Dear Colleague Letter: Division of Graduate Education (DGE) Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) - Employment Opportunity

February 26, 2014

The NSF Division of Graduate Education (DGE) announces a nationwide search for individuals to serve as Program Directors. Formal consideration of interested applicants responding to this announcement will begin March 26, 2014 and will continue until the positions are filled. The rotational assignments will be made for one year, and may be extended for an additional one to two years by mutual agreement. This announcement will be used to fill three positions beginning in the summer/fall 2014 timeframe.

Applicants are encouraged to visit the NSF website at to find information about NSF, the Directorate of Education and Human Resources, DGE, and the programs managed by DGE, which include currently the Graduate Research Fellowship Program and the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship/NSF Research Traineeship Program, Cyber Corps: Scholarship for Service Program, and the Project and Program Evaluation. 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.

Two of the assignments will support the Graduate Research Fellowship Program and the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship/NSF Research Traineeship Program, Cyber Corps: Scholarship for Service. 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 support graduate training, promote innovations and build the knowledge base to inform improvements in graduate education in science and engineering. Duties of the NSF Program Directors include development of program strategies, modeling and planning program budgets, and overseeing the merit review process for their respective programs.

One additional assignment will support the Project and Program Evaluation program and serve as an expert on evaluation and management of the evaluation projects of the division. The Division of Graduate Education expects to launch an evaluation activity for new NSF programs and will begin a long-term data collection activity for existing programs. The candidate being recruited for this position will assume these duties as well as assist with the staffing and coordination of the Project and Program Evaluation (PPE) program

Candidates must have a Ph.D. or Ed.D. in an appropriate field plus after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position. Ideal candidates will be highly knowledgeable in the field of graduate education, participate actively in the science and engineering community, have strong organizational, teamwork and collaborative skills, excellent oral and written communication skills, and will be 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.

NSF's rotational positions become available throughout the year. In addition to addressing current openings, our intention is to develop a candidate pool for future consideration as other openings at the Program Director level become available in DGE.

The position may be filled with 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 rotational programs, please see "Programs for Scientists, Engineers and Educators" on the NSF website at

Applications are accepted from US Citizens. Recent changes in Federal Appropriations Law require Non-Citizens to meet certain eligibility criteria to be considered. Therefore, Non-Citizens must certify eligibility by signing and attaching this Citizenship Affidavit to their application. Non-citizens who do not provide the affidavit at the time of application will be considered as an IPA only.

Applicants should send a copy of their CV and a cover letter explaining the reasons they are interested in the position. This letter should describe how their experiences fit with the position of program officer in DGE (referencing the CV), why this position would be of mutual benefit to NSF and to their institutions, and how they foresee this assignment benefiting their careers. Application materials and questions should be sent to the Division of Graduate Education via email to with "Program Officer Position" in the subject line. 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