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DGE 18-001

Dear Colleague Letter: Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR), Division of Graduate Education (DGE), Employment Opportunity (Open Until Filled)

This document has been archived.

April 17, 2018

Dear Colleagues:

The NSF Division of Graduate Education (DGE), within the Directorate for Education and Human Resources, National Science Foundation (NSF), announces a nationwide search for graduate education experts to fill Program Director positions.

Formal consideration of interested applicants will begin immediately upon receipt of the first application and will continue until selections are made. We are evaluating candidates who would be available beginning in April 2017.

NSF Program Directors bear the primary responsibility for carrying out the Agency's overall mission. To discharge this responsibility requires not only knowledge in the appropriate disciplines, but also a commitment to high standards, a considerable breadth of interest and receptivity to new ideas, a strong sense of fairness, good judgment, and a high degree of personal integrity.

Duties and Responsibilties

DGE has a leadership responsibility in NSF to develop programs that support graduate training, promote innovations, and build the knowledge base to inform improvements in graduate education in science and engineering. Applicants are encouraged to visit the NSF website at for information about NSF, the Directorate of Education and Human Resources, DGE, and the other programs managed by DGE, which currently include the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP), Cyber Corps: Scholarship for Service (SFS) Program, the NSF Research Traineeship Program (NRT), the Education Core Research (ECR) Program, and the Project and Program Evaluation (PPE) portfolio. For more information about the Division of Graduate Education (DGE), please visit the website at


Applicants should have a Ph.D. or equivalent training in a relevant STEM discipline (science, technology, engineering or mathematics) or in STEM education or workforce outcomes or equivalent professional experience; experience as a faculty member and/or administrator in graduate education; plus after award of the degree, six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience in academe, industry, or government. The ideal candidate will be highly knowledgeable about current trends and challenges in graduate education; have experience mentoring graduate students; participate actively in the science and engineering community; have excellent organizational, teamwork, collaborative, and oral and written communication skills; and be able to serve as an effective spokesperson in the national science and engineering community. The individual selected is expected to function effectively within DGE, contributing to and coordinating with organizations in the Directorate, across the Foundation, and with other Federal and State government agencies and private-sector organizations, as necessary.

The Program Director position recruited under this announcement may be filled under the following rotational program:

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. Please see the link for more information:

Visiting Scientist, Engineer or Educator (VSEE) 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. Please see the link for more 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 status 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.

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.

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.

Applicants should send a copy of their CV and a cover letter highlighting the background that specifically relates to the program objectives and the reasons they are interested in the position. This letter should describe how their experiences fit with the position of program officer in DGE (referencing the CV), why this position would be of mutual benefit to NSF and to their institutions, and how they foresee this assignment benefiting their careers. Application materials and questions should be sent to:

Dr. Nirmala Kannankutty
Deputy Division Director
Division of Graduate Education
National Science Foundation
2415 Eisenhower Ave., W1121
Arlington, Virginia 22230
Phone: (703) 292-8630