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OPP 18-001

Dear Colleague Letter: Office of Polar Programs (OPP), Directorate for Geosciences (GEO) Employment Opportunities - Program Directors (Open Until Filled)

March 30, 2018

Dear Colleagues:

The Office of Polar Programs (OPP), Directorate for Geosciences (GEO), announces a nationwide search for outstanding scientists to fill open Program Director positions to assist in research program management in programmatic areas of Arctic Sciences, Antarctic Sciences, and Antarctic Infrastructure and Logistics. The Office reserves several Program Director positions to be filled by visiting scientists, Intergovernmental Personnel Assignments (IPAs), or Federal temporary assignments. These come available periodically as specific rotator appointments come to an end.

Formal consideration of interested applicants will begin April 16, 2018 and will continue until selections are made.

NSF Program Directors bear the primary responsibility for carrying out the agency's overall mission to support innovative, merit-reviewed activities in basic research and education that contribute to the nation's technical strength, security, and welfare. To fulfill 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.

The incumbent will work principally with one program area but would also be expected to work with other program directors in polar sciences and across the Foundation to explore possible new areas for emphasis. The incumbent will foster ideas and actions to increase diversity in the polar science community. While the discipline area is not pre-defined, preference will be given to scientists who have broad interests and broad experience in research and teaching and whose expertise aligns with needs in the science programs of both Polar Regions.

Candidates must have a Ph.D. in an area of science supported by OPP, plus after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position. Desired attributes include, knowledge of the general scientific community, skills in written communication and preparation of technical reports, ability to effectively communicate orally, and successful independent research experience normally expected of the academic rank of assistant professor or higher. Skills in interdisciplinary research and in integrating research and education are highly desirable. The interest and ability to undertake activities to increase diversity in polar sciences is also desirable. Prior experience in polar research is useful but not required.

The position recruited under this announcement may 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 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:

NSF is located at 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22314. This 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 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.


When applying for these positions, please ensure that your application reflects your background in terms of the qualification requirements for the position. Your application should contain the following information: education, work experience. Please include job titles, duties and accomplishments, employer's name and phone number, number of hours worked per week, starting and ending dates (month and year), and salary information. If you have held various positions with the same employer, describe each separately. Applications should be emailed or faxed to the below contacts.

Section for Antarctic Sciences
Vladimir Papitashvili, Acting Section Head
Phone: (703) 292-7425
Fax: (703) 292-9080

Section for Arctic Sciences
Simon Stephenson, Section Head
Phone: (703) 292-7435
Fax: (703) 292-9080

Section for Antarctic Infrastructure and Logistics
Stephanie Short, Section Head
Phone: (703) 292-2155
Fax: (703) 292-9080