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HRD 16-002

Dear Colleague Letter: Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR), Division of Human Resource Development (HRD), EHR Core Research Program (ECR), Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP), & Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES), - Employment Opportunities for Program Director Positions (Open Until Filled)

September 8, 2016

Dear Colleagues:

The Division of Human Resource Development (HRD) at the National Science Foundation announces a nationwide search for two rotator Program Directors who will work in the ECR and INCLUDES, and TCUP and INCLUDES programs.

Formal consideration of interested applications will begin September 22, 2016.

Program Directors have an unparalleled opportunity and responsibility to ensure National Science Foundation (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. Within this context, Program Directors solicit, receive and review small business research proposals, make funding recommendations, administer awards, and undertake interaction with research, entrepreneurial, and investment 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.

HRD serves as a focal point for NSF's agency-wide commitment to enhancing the quality and excellence of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and research through broadening participation of historically underrepresented groups - minorities, women, and persons with disabilities. Programs within HRD have a strong focus on building capacity of STEM programs and faculty, as well as partnerships and collaborations in order to maximize the preparation of a diverse, well-trained scientific and instructional workforce for the new millennium.

The EHR Core Research (ECR) program supports advances in fundamental research on STEM learning and education by fostering efforts to develop foundational knowledge in STEM learning and learning contexts, both formal and informal, from childhood through adulthood, for all groups, and from the earliest developmental stages of life through participation in the workforce, resulting in increased public understanding of science and engineering. The ECR program will fund fundamental research on: human learning in STEM; learning in STEM learning environments, STEM workforce development, and research on broadening participation in STEM.

NSF launched a new initiative in FY 2016: Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (NSF INCLUDES), a comprehensive national initiative designed to increase the preparation, participation, advancement, and contributions of those who have been traditionally underrepresented and underserved in the STEM enterprise. NSF INCLUDES is a cross-agency effort that builds on NSF’s extensive broadening participation portfolio and is one of the 10 Big Ideas for Future NSF Investments (see

The Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP) provides awards to Tribal Colleges and Universities, Alaska Native-serving institutions, and Native Hawaiian-serving institutions to promote high quality science (including sociology, psychology, anthropology, economics, statistics, and other social and behavioral sciences as well as natural sciences and education disciplines), technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, research, and outreach. Through several program components, as well as collaborations with other NSF units and other organizations, TCUP aims to increase Native individuals' participation in STEM careers and the quality of STEM programs at TCUP-eligible institutions.

NSF Program Directors bear the primary responsibility for carrying out the Agency's overall mission - to support innovative and merit-reviewed projects in basic research and education that contribute to the nation's technical strength, security and welfare. To discharge this responsibility requires not only knowledge in the appropriate STEM and education fields, but also a commitment to high standards, a considerable breadth of interest in and receptivity to new ideas, a strong sense of fairness, good judgment, and a high degree of personal integrity. HRD is interested in individuals who have the working knowledge and experience working with a diverse group of individuals, have expertise in one of the STEM disciplines or in STEM education, and in promoting diversity in academic STEM with emphasis on broadening participation of underrepresented groups and institutional capacity building. Successful candidates will have the ability to provide leadership across NSF and in the external scientific community and will work with multiple HRD programs. Specifically we are seeking candidates who will work with ECR/ and/or TCUP and the NSF INCLUDES Program.


Applicants should have a Ph.D. or Doctorate degree in a scientific discipline supported by the NSF, plus after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience that is relevant to broadening participation in STEM. Ideal candidates must have significant experience in teaching and research at the undergraduate or graduate level, or in a community college environment. The individuals selected must be able to interact on a peer basis with senior scientific and managerial personnel throughout NSF, other Federal agencies, academia, university-level administrators and the private sector.

Also desirable are knowledge of the general scientific community, excellent interpersonal skills and strong written and oral communication skills. All appointees/assignees are expected to function effectively both within specific program and as part of a team, contributing to and coordination with offices throughout the Foundation and with other Federal and state government agencies and private sector organizations.

The Program Director positions 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 as an IPA only.


Applicants should provide a cover letter with the ECR/INCLUDES Programs in the subject line of the email. Please submit a current CV and statement of interest to

HRD Program Director Search Committee

Victoria Smoot
HRD Administrative Officer
Division of Human Resource Development
Directorate for Education and Human Resources
National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230


Dr. Jermelina Tupas
Deputy Director
Division of Human Resource Development
Directorate for Education and Human Resources
National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230