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AGS 19-001

Dear Colleague Letter: Directorate for Geosciences (GEO), Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS) - Employment Opportunity for Program Director Positions in the Atmosphere Section (Open Until Filled)

March 22, 2019

Dear Colleagues:

The Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, Directorate for Geosciences at the National Science Foundation (NSF) is conducting a nationwide search for qualified candidates to fill Program Director positions in the Atmosphere Section detailed below. Positions are expected to become available in the atmospheric science programs on a periodic basis as IPA rotators complete their stint and leave the Foundation. Formal consideration of applications will begin immediately and will continue as need arises and until a selection is made.

Activity seeking IPA candidates with a wide range of expertise in subject matters covered in the following Atmospheric Science programs:

  • The Climate and Large-Scale Dynamics Program supports research on processes that force and regulate the synoptic and planetary circulations, weather, and climate of the atmosphere.
  • The Physical and Dynamic Meteorology Program supports research involving studies of cloud physics; atmospheric electricity; radiation; boundary layer and turbulence; the initiation, growth, and propagation of gravity waves. The Program also supports research in all aspects of mesoscale meteorological phenomena. Additionally, the program sponsors the development of new techniques and devices for atmospheric measurements.
  • The Atmospheric Chemistry Program supports research to measure and model the concentration and distribution of gases and aerosols in the atmosphere. The Program also supports research on the chemical reactions among atmospheric species; the sources and sinks of important trace gases and aerosols; the aqueous-phase atmospheric chemistry; the transport of gases and aerosols throughout the atmosphere; and the improved methods for measuring the concentrations of trace species and their fluxes into and out of the atmosphere.
  • The Paleoclimate Program supports research on the natural evolution of the Earth's climate with the goal of providing a baseline for present variability and future trends through improved understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological processes that influence climate over the long-term.

Information about AGS and its programs can be found at


The responsibilities of the NSF Program Director include long-range planning and budget development for the program, the administration of the merit review process and proposal recommendations, the preparation of press releases, feature articles and material describing advances in the research supported, and coordination and partnership with other programs in NSF, other Federal agencies and organizations.

As a Program Director you will likely:

  • Assist in implementing the proposal review and evaluation process for the Program including submissions that are co-reviewed across other programs in NSF, that are unsolicited proposals and/or submissions to solicitations (e.g., cross-NSF initiatives, interagency, or with international cooperation).
  • Conduct scientific/technical analyses of proposals received in the relevant program in the Atmospheric Section.
  • Select individuals to provide objective reviews of proposals either as ad hoc experts or as members of a panel.
  • Conduct programmatic reviews, determine funds availability, and evaluate similar or related projects, including internal and external liaison.
  • Negotiate technical and financial revisions of proposals as required.
  • Conduct final review and evaluations of proposals and recommend awards or declinations based on sound judgment, resource availability, program goals, and peer reviewer comments.
  • Evaluate projects, activities, and national multi-user facilities that are proposed or funded by conducting site visits and reviewing interim and final reports.
  • Negotiate interagency agreements with other Federal agencies for transfer of funds to assist in the support of research, education, and research infrastructure.
  • Assist within the programs in Atmospheric Section, across the Division, with other agencies, international partners, and the science community, in the development of new research infrastructure initiatives and opportunities.
  • Assist in the improvement and development of internal management systems for use in the Programs in the Atmospheric Sections.


Candidates must have a Ph.D. in the atmospheric sciences or related disciplines, plus after award of the Ph.D, six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position post-degree; OR a Master's degree in the atmospheric sciences or related disciplines, plus after award of the Master's degree, eight or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position.

In addition, a successful applicant requires not only knowledge in the appropriate scientific discipline but also a commitment to high scientific standards, considerable breadth of scientific interest, and receptivity to new ideas. Also necessary are a strong sense of fairness, good judgment, and a high degree of personal integrity and ethics, decisiveness, and an ability to effectively lead teams across a variety of institutional cultures within Federal and state government agencies, legislative bodies, and private sector organizations.

Positions to be filled by Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Assignments ONLY: 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 regarding IPA positions, please visit the NSF website at:

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 Citizen 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.


Although paper applications will be accepted at the below mailing address, it is preferred that they be received electronically.

To apply, email a single PDF document that includes (i) statement of interest, (ii) a curriculum vitae, and (iii) Citizen Affidavit, as applicable, to the Attn: Dr. Chungu Lu, Acting Atmospheric Section Head at or via mail to:

Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences
Attn: Dr. Chungu Lu, Acting Atmospheric Section Head
National Science Foundation
2415 Eisenhower Avenue
Alexandria, Virginia 22314

NSF is an Equal Opportunity Employer Committed to Employing a Highly Qualified Staff that Reflects the Diversity of Our Nation.