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IIS 17-001

Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), Division of Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS) - Employment Opportunities for Multiple Program Director Positions (Open Until Filled)

May 9, 2017

Dear Colleagues:

The Division of Information & Intelligent Systems (IIS) within the Directorate of Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) announces a nationwide search to fill multiple Program Director positions in the following programs:

  • Robust Intelligence core program, the National Robotics Initiative (NRI) program, and the Smart & Autonomous Systems (S&AS) program: Robust Intelligence encompasses all aspects of the computational understanding and modelling of intelligence in complex, realistic contexts. The National Robotics Initiative accelerates the development and use of co-robots that work symbiotically beside and cooperatively with people in the performance of tasks. Smart and Autonomous Systems (S&AS) focuses on knowledge-rich intelligent physical systems that are aware of their capabilities and limitations, leading to long-term autonomy requiring minimal or no human operator intervention. Experience and expertise required includes any sub-specialization of robotics and autonomous systems and supporting technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning.

  • Cyber-Human Systems core program: Cyber-Human Systems research explores potentially transformative and disruptive ideas, novel theories, and technological innovations in computer and information science and engineering that accelerate both the creation and understanding of the complex and increasingly coupled relationships between humans and technology with the broad goal of advancing human capabilities, including perceptual and cognitive, physical and virtual, social and societal. This includes traditional areas of human-computer interactions such as user interface software and technologies (including brain-machine interfaces and haptics), assistive technologies (including human-robot interaction), and social computing, and extending to cognitive support and human augmentation. Experience and expertise in one or more of these research areas is required.

Formal consideration of interested applications will begin May 12th, 2017 and will continue until selections are made.

NSF Program Directors are in charge of specific research areas. They solicit, receive and review research and education proposals, make funding recommendations and administer awards. They are also responsible for the evolution of programs, interaction with other Federal agencies, formation and administration of interagency collaborations, and service to Foundation-wide activities.

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

NSF Program Directors bear the primary responsibility for carrying out the Foundation's overall mission to support innovative and merit- reviewed activities in fundamental research and education that contribute to the Nation's technological strength, security and welfare. The positions require outstanding knowledge of the research topics and communities, commitment to high standards of ethical conduct, considerable breadth of interest, receptivity to new ideas, strong sense of fairness, good judgment, and high degree of personal integrity.

Qualification requirements: Ph.D. or equivalent professional experience in the relevant discipline in science or engineering, plus six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience in academe, industry, or government. The positions requires effective oral and written communication skills; familiarity with NSF programs and activities is highly desirable. Incumbents are expected to function effectively both as individuals within the specific NSF programs and as members of crosscutting and interactive teams. Incumbents must also demonstrate capability to work across government agencies to promote NSF activities and to leverage program funds through interagency collaborations.

The positions recruited under this announcement will be filled under the following appointment option:

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 are made for a one-year period, with a possible extension for up to three additional years 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.

Persons wishing to apply for this position are referred to the IIS divisional web page,, for a description of the relevant programs. These persons are also encouraged to contact current Program Directors, who are identified on the program web pages, for more information. For additional information on NSF's rotational programs, please see About Rotator Positions on the NSF website at

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."

Applications of interest should be submitted electronically and must include contact information, a current CV, a letter briefly describing the candidate's background that specifically relates to the appropriate program objectives, availability time frame, and a list of references.

Please make electronic submissions to Dr. Howard Wactlar, Acting Division Director, at