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AGS 19-002

Dear Colleague Letter: The Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, Directorate for Geosciences, at the National Science Foundation - Employment Opportunity for Program Director positions in the Geospace Section

April 2, 2019

Dear Colleagues:

The Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences (AGS), within the Directorate of Geosciences, at the National Science Foundation, announces a nationwide search to fill Program Director rotator positions within the Geospace Section.

We are actively seeking candidates with broad knowledge of Geospace science, to enable contribution to multiple programs within the Geospace Section. This letter is intended to serve as an ongoing mechanism for recruiting program directors to fill positions vacated by rotators who have returned to their home institutions. Therefore, consideration of applicants will be conducted on an ongoing basis.

For more information about the Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences please see

Major Duties

At the National Science Foundation (NSF), Program Directors help administer specific research areas as well as research infrastructure and education programs.

As a Program Director you will likely:

  • Assist in implementing the proposal review and evaluation process for the Geospace Section in the Division, including regular solicited proposals as well as special focused solicitations (e.g., cross-NSF, interagency, or with international cooperation).
  • Conduct scientific/technical analyses of proposals received in the Geospace 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 Geospace programs, 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 Geospace Programs.

Qualifications Required

Candidates must have a Ph.D. in a field of Physical Sciences pertaining to the broad area of geospace sciences, plus after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position.

In addition, effective oral and written communication skills, and familiarity with NSF and/or AGS programs and activities is highly desirable. The incumbent is expected to function effectively, both as an individual within the Geospace section, and as a member of crosscutting and interdisciplinary teams in the AGS Division and more broadly with other parts of NSF. The incumbent must also demonstrate a capability to work across government agencies to promote NSF activities and to leverage program funds through interagency collaborations and partnerships.

This position will be filled as a one- or two-year VSEE, IPA, or as a Fed Temp Appointment.

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.

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 more information regarding rotator assignments and eligibility, visit our 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 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.

How to Apply

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. Michael Wiltberger, Geospace Section Head at or via mail to:

Division of Atmospheric and Geospace Sciences, National Science Foundation
Attn: Dr. Michael Wiltberger, Geospace Section Head
2415 Eisenhower Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: 703-292-8995
Fax: 703-292-9022

Questions about the positions can be directed to the above or any of the Geospace program directors:

Carrie Black, Geospace Facilities
Roman Makarevich, Aeronomy
Ilia Roussev, Solar-Terrestrial Research
Lisa Winter Magnetospheric Physics,

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