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AGS 15-001

Dear Colleague Letter - Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences for Program Directors, Geospace Section

November 9, 2015

Dear Colleague:

The Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS) announces a nationwide search to fill several Program Director rotator positions within the Geospace Section. This is a modified version of the original DCL (released July 17, 2015) to include the possibility of a broader range in types of rotator and temporary assignments considered and to indicate program areas that are the intended current focus for the open positions. Rotator positions can be either Intergovernmental Personnel Assignment (IPA) or Visiting Scientist, Engineer, and Educator (VSEE) assignments. For more information regarding rotator assignments and eligibility, visit our website at Fed Temp employment is also a possibility.

The current positions of highest priority are Program Director for Aeronomy and Space Weather Research. However, we also seek a program director with broad knowledge of geospace science, to enable contribution to multiple programs within the Geospace Section. In the longer term, this letter is intended to serve as an ongoing mechanism for recruiting program directors to fill positions vacated by rotators who have returned to their home institutions.

At the National Science Foundation (NSF), Program Directors help administer specific research areas as well as research infrastructure and education programs. NSF Program Directors help solicit, receive, and review 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.

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. To fulfill these responsibilities in the Geospace Section requires a broad understanding of the science needs and opportunities in the Geospace Sciences; a commitment to high standards; receptivity to a breadth of new ideas; and good judgment. In this process, you will get unique opportunities to influence, and help lead, the direction of research and infrastructure investments in Geospace sciences. In turn, the experiences this provides, and the knowledge gained in the process, will contribute to your professional development and to your understanding of best practices at the National Science Foundation and the community it serves.

Candidates must possess a Ph.D. in a field of Physical Sciences pertaining to the broad area of geospace sciences plus, after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to these positions. Effective oral and written communication skills, and familiarity with NSF/AGS programs and activities is highly desirable. The incumbent is expected to function effectively, both as an individual within the Geospace section, and as a member of crosscutting and interdisciplinary teams in the AGS Division and more broadly with other parts of NSF. The incumbent must also demonstrate a capability to work across government agencies to promote NSF activities and to leverage program funds through interagency collaborations and partnerships.

As a Program Director you will likely:

  • Assist in implementing the proposal review and evaluation process for the Division, including regular solicited proposals as well as special focused solicitations (e.g., cross-NSF, interagency, or with international cooperation).
  • Conduct scientific/technical analyses of proposals received in the Geospace program.
  • Select individuals to provide objective reviews of proposals either as ad hoc experts or as members of a panel.
  • Conduct programmatic reviews, determine funds availability, and evaluate similar or related projects, including internal and external liaison.
  • Negotiate technical and financial revisions of proposals as required.
  • Conduct final review and evaluations of proposals and recommend awards or declinations based on knowledge or resources availability, program goals, and peer reviewer comments.
  • Evaluate projects, activities, and national multi-user facilities that are proposed or funded by conducting site visits and reviewing interim and final reports.
  • Negotiate interagency agreements with other Federal agencies for transfer of funds to assist in the support of research, education, and research infrastructure.   
  • Assist within the Geospace programs, across the Division, with other agencies, international partners, and the science community, in the development of new research infrastructure initiatives and opportunities. 
  • Assist in the improvement and development of internal management systems for use in the Geospace Programs. 

Formal consideration of interested applicants will begin August 17, 2015, as specified in earlier versions of this DCL, and will continue until selection is made. Individuals interested in applying for this position should send a current CV and letter of interest to:

Therese Moretto Jorgensen, Head Geospace Section
Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, Suite 775
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22230
Phone: 703-292-8
Fax: 703-292-9022
Email: tjorgens@nsf.govThose who have already applied in response to the earlier version of the DCL need not re-apply. Questions about the positions can be directed to the above or any of the Geospace program directors:
Janet Kozyra, Magnetospheric Physics <>
Ilia Roussev, Solar-Terrestrial Research <>
Sunanda Basu, Aeronomy <>
John Meriwether, Geospace Facilities <jmeriwet@nsf.go>