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OCE 14-001

Dear Colleague Letter: Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE), Directorate of Geosciences (GEO) Employment Opportunity – Chemical Oceanography (Open Until Filled)

October 31, 2013

The Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE) announces a nationwide search for a researcher to serve as Program Director in the Chemical Oceanography Program. Formal consideration of applications will begin on November 15, 2013 and continue until a selection is made.

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. To fulfill this responsibility requires not only knowledge in the appropriate disciplines, 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.

This specific position requires an individual with broad expertise and demonstrated experience in chemical oceanography or the related fields of marine chemistry, biogeochemistry, geochemistry, or chemical engineering. Applicants must have a Ph.D. in chemical oceanography or related field, plus six or more years of successful research, research administration and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position.

The Chemical Oceanography Program supports research into the chemical components, reaction mechanisms, and geochemical pathways within the ocean and at its interfaces with the solid earth and the atmosphere. Major emphases include: studies of material inputs to and outputs from marine waters; orthochemical and biological production and transformation of chemical compounds and phases within the marine system; and the determination of reaction rates and study of equilibria. The Program encourages research into the chemistry, distribution, and fate of inorganic and organic substances introduced into or produced within marine environments including those from estuarine waters to the deep sea. The program director will also be expected to represent the program on cross-divisional, cross-foundational, and interagency initiatives as needed. Further information about the Division of Ocean Science and its programs can be found here.


Interested individuals are encouraged to contact the lead Program Director for Chemical Oceanography, Don Rice (703-292-7708 or To apply for the position, please submit a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and the names of three references to Don Rice ( with the subject line – Application for Chemical Oceanography Program Director. Applications are first reviewed by the program and a committee composed of 3-4 program directors from programs throughout NSF. Hiring recommendations will be made to the Section Head of the Ocean Section with final approval by the Division Director.

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 U.S. Citizens. Recent changes in Federal Appropriations Law requires 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 the application will be considered as an IPA only.