Email Print Share
IIP 14-001

Dear Colleague Letter: Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) - Employment Opportunity (Open Until Filled)

January 8, 2013

Dear Colleague:

The Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP), within the Directorate for Engineering at the National Science Foundation (NSF), announce a nationwide search to fill a Program Director position for the Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers Program (I/UCRC). Program Directors at the NSF are in charge of specific research areas and program activities. They solicit, receive and review research and education proposals, make funding recommendations, administer awards, conduct site visits and execute programs activities. They are also responsible for interaction with other Federal agencies, forming and guiding interagency collaborations, and service to Foundation-wide activities.

Persons wishing to apply for this position are referred to the IIP Divisional web page,, for a description of the Division; and to the webpage, for a description of the I/UCRC program.

You are encouraged to contact the current I/UCRC Program Directors, who are identified on the I/UCRC web pages, for more information.

Qualifications of a successful candidate include a Ph.D. in the relevant discipline such as science, engineering, biology or other relevant scientific fields, plus after the award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration and/or substantial managerial experience in academe, industry, or government. The position requires familiarity with NSF programs and activities, and effective oral and written communication skills. The incumbent is expected to serve as an effective program manager and is expected to provide oversight for the centers in the I/UCRC program. The incumbent must demonstrate the capability to work effectively with I/UCRC and their constituencies. The incumbent is expected to function effectively both as an 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 promotion 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 contributes to the nation’s technological strength, security and welfare. The position require a commitment to high standards of intellectualism and ethical conduct, a considerable breadth of interest, receptivity to new ideas, and strong sense of fairness, good judgment, and a high degree of personal integrity.

This position may be filled by 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.

Candidates will be evaluated in accordance with the following factors:

  1. Knowledge of and experience with university-industry partnerships,
  2. Knowledge of and experience with cooperative research centers and precompetitive research,
  3. Experience leading diverse teams in or among academe, industry or government,
  4. Experience in project management and knowledge of program evaluations,
  5. Knowledge and understanding of research directions and literature in the broad area of the program to which the applicant is applying,
  6. Analytical skills and judgment to make sound and scholarly decisions,
  7. Oral and written communication skills, and the ability to clearly document decisions and actions,
  8. Ability to organize, implement and manage a Federal, proposal-driven grant program, and to allocate resources effectively to meet program goals, and
  9. 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.

Formal consideration of interested applicants will begin February 1, 2014, and will continue until the position is filled.

For additional information on NSF’s rotational programs, please see “Programs for Scientists, Engineers, and Educators” on the NSF website at:

Applications 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 current CV accompanied by a cover letter explaining the reason they are interested in the position. This letter should describe how their experiences fit with the position of I/UCRC program officer (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. It is preferred that application
materials and questions be sent to the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships via email to with “I/UCRC Program Director” in the subject line. Paper application may also be sent to:

I/UCRC Program Director Search Committee
Larry Hornak, Chair
National Science Foundation
Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnership - Suite 590
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22230