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OCE 19-002

Dear Colleague Letter: Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE), Directorate of Geosciences (GEO) Employment Opportunity - Biological Oceanography (Rotator) (Open Until Filled)

December 7, 2019

Dear Colleague:

The Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE) within the Directorate of Geosciences (GEO) announces a nation-wide search for one or more Program Directors in the Biological Oceanography Program.

The Biological Oceanography Program Directors work as a team to support research in biological oceanography and marine ecology broadly defined: relationships among aquatic organisms and their interactions with the environments of the oceans or Great Lakes. Projects submitted to the program for consideration are often interdisciplinary efforts that may include participation by other OCE Programs and Programs in the Directorate of Biology (BIO). The Program Director will also be expected to represent the program on cross-divisional, cross-foundational, and interagency initiatives as needed. Further information about the Division of Ocean Science and its programs can be found here.

NSF Program Directors bear the primary responsibility for carrying out the agency's overall mission to support innovative and 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, effectiveness in a team, and a high degree of personal integrity.

Candidates must have a Ph.D. in the area of marine ecology/ biological oceanography, 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.

The position may be filled with one of the following appointment alternatives:

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 IPA assignments are made for a one-year period and may be extended by mutual agreement, with the maximum period being a total of four years. The individual remains an employee of the home institution and NSF provides the negotiated funding toward the assignee's salary and benefits, a stipend for per diem costs, and a travel allowance.

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 or more 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.

Rotators have the option of establishing an Independent Research and Development Program (IR/D) while at the NSF in order to maintain some aspects of an active research program while at the NSF. IR/D plans are subject to supervisory approval.

For additional information on NSF's rotational programs, please visit:

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.


Applications will be accepted immediately and will continue to be accepted through Fall 2019. Once the position is filled, applications may be considered for future openings.

To apply for the position, please electronically submit a cover letter including contact information, a statement describing how your background specifically relates to the position duties and requirements, Citizenship Affidavit (if applicable), and a curriculum vitae. Applicants may also wish to include their time-frame of availability and the names of three references. Application packages should be sent to Michael Sieracki ( with the subject line - Application for Biological Oceanography Program Director.

Interested individuals are encouraged to contact:

Michael Sieracki
Biological Oceanography Program Director
Telephone: (703) 292-7585

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