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DUE 14-001

Dear Colleague Letter: Division of Undergraduate Education Program Director Positions Employment Opportunities (Open Until Filled)

February 12, 2014

Dear Colleague:

The Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) announces a nationwide search to fill a number of temporary Program Director positions at the National Science Foundation (NSF). Formal consideration of applications will begin March 10, 2014 and will continue until selections are made.

DUE manages a range of grant programs that constitute a comprehensive approach to improving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education at two- and four-year colleges and universities as well as links to K-12 education and education research. These programs support the research and development of innovative educational materials, courses, curricula, pedagogical techniques, and assessment instruments and methods; professional development for faculty; and scholarships for students. DUE's programs and other leadership efforts focus on promoting high-quality college-level STEM education research and development, along with increasing the diversity of students and faculty and fostering collaboration. Additional information about the division and its programs can be found at

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 technical strength, security, and welfare. Discharging this responsibility requires knowledge in the appropriate disciplines, knowledge and experience with research on educational innovations, but also a commitment to high standards, a considerable breadth of interest and receptivity to new ideas, a strong sense of fairness, good judgment, and a high degree of personal integrity.

Those selected will coordinate the management of undergraduate education proposals and awards in DUE programs. Successful candidates will participate in all phases of the solicitation, review and management of proposals submitted to assigned programs; conduct post-award monitoring of funded projects, including site visits and review of annual and final reports; represent the division at professional meetings and conferences; conduct analyses and prepare reports and internal budget plans for programs and other EHR and DUE activities; contribute to the Foundation-wide coordination of scholarly activities for undergraduate STEM education; provide leadership in broadening participation in STEM disciplines and in undergraduate STEM education; and represent the division in cross-directorate and interagency initiatives related to undergraduate education, including measures to keep both the content and teaching approaches current in and conforming with contemporary advances within the science and with current STEM education research findings.

Program Directors with expertise in the following disciplines are needed for appointments beginning in summer 2014:

  • Cognitive/Learning Science
  • Computer Science
  • Engineering
  • Mathematics
  • Physics

In addition to STEM disciplinary expertise and undergraduate teaching experience, DUE is especially interested in applicants who also bring experience with one of the following areas: cyberlearning, STEM education research, interdisciplinary approaches to undergraduate curriculum, K-12 teacher preparation or professional development, teaching in community college, or experience with assessment and project/program evaluation.

Applicants should have a Ph.D. in the relevant STEM discipline, plus after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position. Candidates must be knowledgeable about undergraduate education in STEM in order to participate in planning programs to improve undergraduate education. In addition, candidates must have sufficient teaching experience to determine whether a proposed project is likely to meet the needs of students and faculty. Also desirable are knowledge of the general scientific community, current literature and research, and strong skills in written and oral communication. All appointees are expected to function effectively both within specific programs and as part of a team, contributing to and coordinating with offices throughout the Foundation and with other Federal and state government agencies and private sector organizations.

Program Director positions recruited under this announcement may be filled through one of the following appointment options:

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 appointed to NSF's payroll as Federal employees. 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.

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. 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.

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 status 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 about NSF's rotational programs, please see "ROTATIONAL PROGRAMS FOR SCIENTISTS, ENGINEERS AND EDUCATORS" on the NSF website at

Individuals interested in applying for a Program Director position should send a current CV and statement of interest to the Division of Undergraduate Education via email to with “Program Director Position” in the subject line. Applications may also be sent to:

Division of Undergraduate Education
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Blvd., Suite 835
Arlington, VA 22230
Phone: 703-292-8496
Fax: 703-292-9015