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AGS 17-001

Dear Colleague Letter: Directorate for Geosciences (GEO), Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS) - Employment Opportunity for Program Directors Positions in the Atmospheric Science Section (Open Until Filled)

This document has been archived.

November 9, 2016

Dear Colleagues:

The Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, Directorate for Geosciences at the National Science Foundation (NSF) is conducting a nationwide search for qualified candidates to fill Program Director positions in the Atmospheric Science Programs detailed below. While there is an immediate opportunity in the Climate and Large-Scale Dynamics Program, positions are expected to become available in other atmospheric science programs.

Formal consideration of applications will begin on November 1, 2016 and will continue until a selection is made.

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.

The mission of AGS is to extend intellectual frontiers in atmospheric and geospace sciences by making responsible investments in fundamental research, technology development, and education that enable discoveries, nurture a vibrant, diverse scientific workforce, and help attain a prosperous and sustainable future.

Information about AGS and its programs can be found at

Highly desirable candidates will have a wide range of expertise in subject matters covered in the following atmospheric science programs:

  • The Climate and Large-Scale Dynamics Program supports research on processes that force and regulate the synoptic and planetary circulations, weather, and climate of the atmosphere.
  • The Physical and Dynamic Meteorology Program supports research involving studies of cloud physics; atmospheric electricity; radiation; boundary layer and turbulence; the initiation, growth, and propagation of gravity waves. The Program also supports research in all aspects of mesoscale meteorological phenomena. Additionally, the program sponsors the development of new techniques and devices for atmospheric measurements.
  • The Atmospheric Chemistry Program supports research to measure and model the concentration and distribution of gases and aerosols in the atmosphere. The Program also supports research on the chemical reactions among atmospheric species; the sources and sinks of important trace gases and aerosols; the aqueous-phase atmospheric chemistry; the transport of gases and aerosols throughout the atmosphere; and the improved methods for measuring the concentrations of trace species and their fluxes into and out of the atmosphere.
  • The Paleoclimate Program supports research on the natural evolution of the Earth's climate with the goal of providing a baseline for present variability and future trends through improved understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological processes that influence climate over the long-term.

Major Duties

The responsibilities of the NSF Program Director include long-range planning and budget development for the program, the administration of the merit review process and proposal recommendations, the preparation of press releases, feature articles and material describing advances in the research supported, and coordination and partnership with other programs in NSF, other Federal agencies and organizations.

Qualifications Required

Candidates must have a Ph.D. in the atmospheric sciences or related disciplines plus six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position post-degree; OR a Master’s degree in an appropriate field plus eight or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position post-degree.

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 position may be filled with 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. 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. The individual remains an employee of the home institution and NSF provides the negotiated funding toward the assignee’s salary and benefits. Initial IPA assignments are made for a one-year period and may be extended by mutual agreement. For additional information regarding IPA positions, please visit the NSF website at:

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. 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.

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.”

Individuals interested in applying for these positions should send a current CV and letter of interest to:

Dr. Patrick Harr
Atmospheric Section Head
Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22230