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EEC 15-002

Dear Colleague Letter: Division of Engineering Education and Centers (EEC), Directorate of Engineering (ENG) - Employment Opportunity for Engineering Research Center Program Director (Open Until Filled)

This document has been archived.

August 12, 2015

Dear Colleague:

The Division of Engineering Education and Centers, within the Directorate for Engineering at the National Science Foundation (NSF), announces a nationwide search for an Engineering Research Center Program Director. Formal consideration of interested applications will begin September 21, 2015 and will continue until a selection is made. The selected candidate will be expected to start by June 2016.

Program Directors have an unparalleled opportunity and responsibility to ensure NSF-funded research is at the forefront of advancing fundamental knowledge. In support of that, Program Directors are responsible for extensive interaction with academic research communities and industry, as well as interaction with other Federal agencies that may lead to development of interagency collaborations. Within this context, Program Directors solicit, receive and review research and education proposals, make funding recommendations, administer awards, and undertake interaction with research communities in these fields. They are also responsible for service to Foundation-wide activities and initiatives that together accomplish NSF's strategic goals to: 1) Transform the Frontiers of Science and Engineering, 2) Stimulate Innovation and Address Societal Needs through Research and Education, and 3) Excel as a Federal Science Agency. The position requires a commitment to high standards of intellectualism and ethical conduct, a considerable breadth of interest, receptivity to new ideas, a strong sense of fairness, good judgment, and a high degree of personal integrity.

Qualification requirements for the position are a Ph.D. in the discipline of engineering, plus after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration and/or managerial experience in academe and industry. The position requires effective oral and written communication skills, and familiarity with NSF programs and activities is highly desirable. The incumbent is expected to function effectively both as individual within the specific NSF program and as a member of crosscutting and interactive teams. The incumbent must also demonstrate a capability to work across government agencies to promote NSF activities and to leverage program funds through interagency collaborations.

The successful candidate will be a member of the team of Program Directors and staff responsible for the selection and post-award oversight of centers. The position combines ERC program level functions in post-award oversight and assessment with responsibility for selected centers. The incumbent will coordinate with the other ERC program directors to synthesize dynamic metrics from research, professional formation, and innovation in ERC and Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN) activities using data analytics tools. A description of the ERC and NCN programs are described below.

The ERC program was launched in 1985, and it continues to be a landmark program in federal support for university research and education in partnership with industry. These centers provide an interdisciplinary environment where academe and industry focus together on advances in complex engineered systems that can transform industrial processes, develop new product lines, and/or build new infrastructures important for the Nation's future. They create an interdisciplinary culture that joins discovery to innovation to explore technological realities through proof-of-concept testbeds and prepare the future engineering professional workforce. Now in their third generation, ERCs establish innovation ecosystems, which include: partnerships with center member firms/practitioners to strengthen the ERC and streamline technology transfer; translational research partnerships with small firms to accelerate commercialization of high risk ERC advancements; and innovation partnerships with local organizations to stimulate entrepreneurship and job creation as well as enable technological innovation. For more information, please visit the Division's website at:

NSF established the Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN) in 2002 as part of the National Nanotechnology Initiative (NNI). The NCN offers researchers and the tools to explore nanoscale phenomena through theory, modeling, and simulation while also developing enhancements to science and engineering education.

The Program Director position recruited under this announcement may be filled under one of the following rotational programs:

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 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. For additional information regarding IPA positions, please visit the NSF website at:

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 institutions 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 institutions 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 will be 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 for IPA only. We also ask that you complete and submit the Applicant Survey Form. This will help NSF to ensure that our recruiting efforts are attracting a diverse candidate pool; it will be used for statistical purposes only.

Persons wishing to apply for this position are referred to the Division's web page for a description of the program. These persons are also encouraged to contact current Program Directors, identified on the program web page, for more information.

Individuals interested in applying for this Program Director position should send a current CV and statement of interest to:

Don Millard, Ph.D.
Deputy Division Director
Division of Engineering Education and Centers
Directorate for Engineering
4201 Wilson Blvd., Suite 585N
National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230
Telephone: 703-292-4620
Fax: 703-292-9051