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DMR 17-001

Dear Colleague Letter: Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), Division of Materials Research (DMR), Multiple Programs - Employment Opportunity for Program Director Positions (Open Until Filled)

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June 30, 2017

Dear Colleagues:

The Division of Materials Research (DMR) announces a nationwide search for senior-level researchers to serve as Program Directors. Formal consideration of applications will begin August 1, 2017 and will continue until selections are made. Applicants must be familiar with a broad spectrum of the materials research community, as well as with the issues being addressed in the field. Applicants with accomplishments in the integration of research and education and with multidisciplinary experience and interest are desired. Individuals are sought with specific expertise applicable to the following areas:

Biomaterials Program (BMAT) - broad expertise and demonstrated experience in fundamental research seeking to understand, explain, exploit the structure-property relationship of bio-inspired materials systems, including the creation and study of new biomaterials. The advancement of synthetic materials intended for applications in biological systems, materials that form functional interfaces between biotic and abiotic structures, and the processes through which biological materials are produced in nature are also of interest. Experience with biomaterials characterization in bulk and at interfaces as well as knowledge of modern molecular/synthetic biology is also desired.

Data Analytics for Advancing Materials Research (DATA) - expertise in working with data scientists, computational and experimental materials researchers, and cyberinfrastructure experts to advance research in the physical sciences. Applicants should have a vision for ways to inspire the materials research community to propose and build infrastructure to facilitate data-centric approaches to accelerate materials research, such as data-sharing, materials informatics, and analysis frameworks and tools. Experience applying the concepts of data sharing and analytics to instrumentation at facilities is highly desirable.

Electronic and Photonic Program (EPM) - expertise in the fundamental understanding of phenomena and mechanisms associated with the synthesis and processing of electronic and photonic materials at the atomic and molecular levels. In addition, experience in utilizing novel electronic and photonic materials and their integration that may offer new paradigms in critical computing, communication and sensing components, or enable advanced optoelectronics and photonics is sought.

Solid State Materials Chemistry Program (SSMC) - broad expertise in solid state materials chemistry, covering synthesis as well as characterization techniques, which include routine computational simulations. In depth knowledge in hybrid materials (organic/inorganic as well as inorganic/inorganic) and in physical chemistry is considered a bonus.

All positions require an individual with broad knowledge and demonstrated success in the specific subdisciplinary area of materials research indicated above. Applicants must have a Ph.D. or equivalent experience in the physical sciences or a closely-related field, plus after the award of the PhD, a minimum of six or more years of successful independent research. In addition, research administration and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position would be highly desirable. The incumbent should also have an appreciation for interdisciplinary research. For the DMR mission statement and additional information about the above program, please see

The position requires effective oral and written communication skills, and familiarity with NSF programs and activities is highly desirable. The incumbent is expected to work effectively both as an 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.

NSF is relocating to Alexandria, VA. In late summer of 2017, NSF will begin the transition from its current location in Arlington, VA 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.


Applicants should indicate which program they are applying to within their cover letter and subject line of the email. Please submit the curriculum vitae to Applications are reviewed by DMR's Division Director and Deputy Division Director. A few candidates are selected for telephone and/or NSF on-site interviews. Applicants will receive an acknowledgment of their applications and a status update by email when selections occur. For more information about these openings, you may send an inquiry to or contact Sean L. Jones.

Nominations from the community are also encouraged. A nomination email can be sent to

The position may be filled as either a VSEE or IPA - type rotator position:

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 institution and placed on the NSF payroll. NSF withholds Social Security taxes and pays the home institutions contributions to maintain retirement and fringe benefits (i.e., health benefits and life insurance), either directly to the home institution or to the carrier. Appointments are usually made for a one-year period and may be extended for an additional year by mutual agreement.

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 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 on NSF's rotational programs, please visit:

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.