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EAR 16-002

Dear Colleague Letter: Division of Earth Sciences (EAR), Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) - Employment Opportunities for Program Directors in Multiple Program Areas (IPA Positions) (Open Until Closed)

August 29, 2016

Dear Colleague:

The NSF is seeking qualified candidates to fill multiple Program Director positions in the Division of Earth Sciences (EAR), Directorate of Geosciences (GEO), Arlington, VA.

NSF is relocating to Alexandria, Virginia. In late summer of 2017, NSF will begin the transition from its current location in Arlington, Virginia to 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22314. The new location is adjacent to a Metro station (Eisenhower Avenue on the Yellow Line) and there is ample parking in the area. There are several amenities nearby, such as restaurants, hotels, and shops.

EAR supports research that improves understanding of the structure, composition, and evolution of the Earth, and the life it supports. In addition to programs administered in support of basic research, EAR supports workforce and education opportunities, facilities, and a wide spectrum of other scientific activities.

Information about EAR and its programs can be found at Programs in EAR include:

  • EarthScope
  • Education and Human Resources
  • Geobiology and Low-Temperature Geochemistry
  • Geophysics
  • Geomorphology and Land Use Dynamics
  • Hydrologic Sciences
  • Instrumentation and Facilities
  • Integrated Earth Systems
  • Petrology and Geochemistry
  • Sedimentary Geology and Paleobiology
  • Tectonics


Duties of the Program Director are guided by the goals of NSF's Strategic Plan: (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. Highly desirable candidates will be knowledgeable in one or more of the scientific areas covered by the Division and will help identify emerging opportunities in the Geosciences. In addition, the incumbent(s) will be required to undertake the design, development, analysis, documentation, management and implementation of programs and activities across disciplinary boundaries.

Responsibilities of the NSF Program Director include long-range planning for the assigned program and other programs in EAR, administration of the merit review process, preparation of material describing advances in supported research, and coordination with other NSF programs and those of other Federal agencies and organizations.


Candidates must have a Ph.D. in an appropriate field plus, after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position.

The successful applicant requires not only knowledge in the appropriate scientific discipline but also a commitment to high scientific standards, considerable breadth of scientific interest, and receptivity to new ideas. Also necessary are a strong sense of fairness, good judgment, and a high degree of personal integrity and ethics, decisiveness, and an ability to effectively lead teams across a variety of institutional cultures within Federal and state government agencies, legislative bodies, and private sector organizations.

The Program Director positions recruited under this announcement may only be filled under the 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 IPA assignments are made for a period of one-year and may be extended by mutual agreement. The individual remains an employee of the home institution and NSF provides the negotiated funding toward the assignee's salary and benefits. For more information regarding an IPA assignment, visit our website.

Formal consideration of interested applicants will begin October 15, 2016 and will continue until selections are made. Individuals interested in applying for these positions should send a current CV and letter of interest to:

Dr. Carol Frost
Division Director
Division of Earth Sciences, Suite 785
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22230