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DBI 18-001

Dear Colleague Letter: Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO), Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI), Employment Opportunities for Program Director (Open Until Filled)

This document has been archived.

March 26, 2018

Dear Colleague:

The Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI), within the Directorate for Biological Sciences, National Science Foundation (NSF), announces a nationwide search for a Program Director in the Research Resources Cluster with a particular expertise in Bioinformatics. The Division is able to recruit qualified applicants to serve in either a rotating or permanent capacity. The division is especially interested in scientists with expertise in either of the following areas:

  1. Significant research and education expertise in bioinformatics and high-throughput data generation techniques, and related topics such as functional genomics and systems biology across biological scales, or
  2. Significant research and education expertise in informatics in support of ecology, evolution, ecosystem science and/or biodiversity research.

Preference will be given to applicants familiar with advanced computational approaches in data processing, management and analysis, including applications of data mining, machine learning, algorithm development, and statistics to large biological data sets.

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 the 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) Expand knowledge in science, engineering and learning; 2) Advance the capability of the Nation to meet current and future challenges; and 3) Enhance NSF's performance of its mission (NSF Strategic Plan 2018-2022). 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 judgement, and a high degree of personal integrity.

Applicants should have a Ph.D. or equivalent in Biology, plus after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration, leadership, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position. A broad understanding of the disciplinary areas of the Biological Sciences is desired, as well as a knowledge of the general scientific community, skill in oral and written communication and preparation of technical reports, and at least six years of successful independent research normally expected of the academic rank of associate professor or higher. Ideal candidates will have demonstrated leadership and experience working with biological informatics, scientific natural history collections and/or collections data and infrastructure. Also desirable is knowledge and/or experience in software development for biological informatics, data management, and visualization and imaging standards and practices especially with respect to collections, digitization, as well as other types of research resources supported by the Division.

Some administrative experience and experience working in teams is desirable. Appointees are expected to function effectively both with specific programs and as a member of crosscutting and interactive teams. Skills in multidisciplinary research are highly desirable.

More information about the Division of Biological Infrastructure may be found at:

Program Director positions recruited under this announcement may be filled in either a temporary rotator or permanent capacity:

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.

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 institution's 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.

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.

For additional information on NSF's rotational programs, please see "Programs for Scientists, Engineers, and Educators" on the NSF website at:

Should you or your colleagues be interested in this temporary position, or wish to nominate suitable candidates, please email this announcement and request that they provide the following information: a current CV accompanied by a cover letter highlighting the background that specifically relates to the program objectives as well as other information:

In addition, applications will be accepted for a permanent Program Director position. To view position duties and qualifications for the permanent position and to submit your CV, please use the following link:

Candidates interested in being considered for a permanent position with the Division of Biological Infrastructure must use the USAJobs link above, no other mechanism will be accepted.

Applications will be accepted from U.S. 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. This also applies to individuals considered for Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) assignments to NSF. Non-citizens who do not provide the affidavit at the time of application will not be considered eligible.

Formal consideration of interested applications will begin on April 9, 2018 and will continue until selections are made.