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DRL 16-003

Dear Colleague Letter: Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR), Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL), Cyberlearning Research - Employment Opportunity (Open Until Filled)

This document has been archived.

January 12, 2016

Dear Colleague:

The Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL) within the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) at the National Science Foundation (NSF) announces a nationwide search to fill a Program Director position for Cyberlearning Research. DRL seeks individuals with expertise in cyberlearning, advanced technology for learning, big data and/or data intensive research.

Formal consideration of applications will begin on February 21, 2016 and will continue until selections are made.

NSF Program Directors have an unparalleled opportunity and responsibility to ensure NSF-funded research and development activities are at the forefront of advancing fundamental knowledge. In support of that, Program Directors are responsible for extensive interaction with academic research communities, formal and informal educational organizations, 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.

DRL supports innovative research, development, and evaluation of learning and teaching across all science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines in both formal and informal learning settings, and in any age group. A major goal of DRL research and development awards is to enhance the science of broadening participation in STEM. DRL programs as whole support the development of theory, methods, measurement, development, and application in STEM education.

Requirements of the position include a Ph.D. or Ed.D in an appropriate field plus, after award of the Ph.D. or Ed.D, at least six years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position. The incumbent is expected to have experience in learning sciences, computer science, education research, evaluation, statistics or measurement, or any of the behavioral, cognitive, or social science bases of STEM learning. Successful candidates will have research or development expertise in cyberlearning, advanced technology for learning, big data or data intensive research.

Ideal candidates will have strong expertise in quantitative and/or qualitative research methodologies. Other important experiences include design, development, and study of innovative learning materials, instructional methods, assessment, teacher preparation and professional development programs, or education methodologies in physical science education. Experience can be in formal or informal educational environments, including but not limited to schools, colleges and universities, museums, film/radio/TV production, cyberlearning/online contexts, and community youth/family programming.

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

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. IPA appointments may not be converted to continuing appointments at NSF. 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, Engineers or Educators 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. VSEE appointments may be convertible to permanent appointment at NSF. See for additional information.

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; they may be convertible to permanent appointments at NSF.

For additional information on NSF's rotational programs, please see "Programs for Scientists, Engineers, and Educators" on the NSF website at and

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.

Applicants should indicate in their cover letter that they are applying to the Cyberlearning Program Director position. Applications (a current CV accompanied by a cover letter highlighting the background pertinent to the position) should be submitted electronically to:

DRL Program Director Search Committee
Dr. Elizabeth VanderPutten
Deputy Division Director
Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings
Directorate for Education and Human Resources
National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230