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Are you looking for a Physical Science Administrator (Program Director)? We suggest you consider a direct vacancy at National Science Foundation in Alexandria. The page displays the terms, salary level, and employer contacts National Science Foundation person

Job opening: Physical Science Administrator (Program Director)

Salary: $169 430 - 204 000 per year
Relocation: YES
Published at: Jan 24 2024
Employment Type: Full-time
The National Science Foundation is seeking a qualified candidate for a Physical Science Administrator (Program Director) position for the Directorate for Geosciences (GEO), Division of Ocean Science (OCE) in Alexandria, VA. For more information about GEO click here. For more information about OCE click 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 knowledge of the appropriate disciplines and 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 successful candidate will work with a small team of Program Directors who collectively manage the oceanographic facilities that NSF OCE supports. The oceanographic facilities include the Academic Research Fleet (ARF), the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI), and the Ocean Discovery Program (ODP). This Program Director will be responsible for the Shipboard Technical Services Program, part of NSF's ARF Program Portfolio. The Academic Research Fleet is made up of a complex set of seventeen vessels and fourteen operators, spread out from Hawaii to Bermuda, the Great Lakes, Louisiana, and Alaska. The responsibilities of the NSF Program Director include, for example, 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 liaison with other programs in NSF, other Federal agencies and organizations. Additional duties and responsibilities include: PROGRAM PLANNING AND MANAGEMENT Works within the Division of Ocean Science's facilities and infrastructure team to maintain a healthy balance of support for all the needs of the research and education enterprise through Program, Division, Directorate, Foundation, or interagency activities. Manages program resources to provide optimal appropriate scientific judgment to assure integrity and consistency in the grant/declination process without conflict of interests, and with balance among appropriate sub-fields and institutions, and participation of all qualified scientists. Incorporates cross-directorate responsibilities into program administration. Manages an effective, timely merit review process, with attention to increasing the size and quality of the reviewer pools and insuring participation by women, minorities, and disabled scientists. Provides scientific expertise, evaluation, and advice for other programs in NSF, including international programs, and other research programs, and cross-directorate programs. Advises and assists in the development of short-and-long range plans, establishing goals and objectives for support of research and facilities programs. Plans the budget for the program/programs considering past, present and future fiscal years, allocates resources among major competitive programs, and manages post-award evaluation. Controls waste, fraud, and abuse. REPRESENTATION, COMMUNICATION AND LEADERSHIP Represents the Program, Division and the Foundation within the scientific community, with other NSF Divisions, with other appropriate agencies and organizations, and with the public, accurately reflecting NSF policies and positions. Creates and maintains linkages to other NSF units and other Federal agencies in pursuit of the overall NSF mission. Participates in staff, panel, committee, and other meetings, providing input relevant to program area and/or Division. Pursues affirmative action and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) goals. Pursues and/or is responsive to assignment on special projects and temporary function teams across the Foundation to solve problems, improve staff communication, and effect coordination for special programs. Contributes ideas and effort to improve the quality of policies and procedures with the goal of supporting NSF's overall mission. Develops and implements plans for strengthening support of research, infrastructure, and education programs. Provides information to the community on how NSF is pursuing its mission and gathers information from the community on the effectiveness of NSF's performance of its mission. Prepares and disseminates a variety of informational documents, which may include data on progress being made toward NSF goals, trends and opportunities, and budget plans. PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT Establishes contacts and maintains active involvement in Program and related areas through participation in professional activities. Maintains familiarity with salient current research and infrastructure developments. Pursues individual research as workload and travel funds permit. Expands administrative capabilities through training courses.



Candidates must have a Ph.D. in an Earth or Ocean Science field plus, after the award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position OR a Master's degree in an Earth or Ocean Science, or related field plus after award of the degree, eight or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position. Additionally, experience in field-based research technical support, as well as experience with additional support roles in operations support and facilities, is highly desirable. The successful applicant will have a commitment to high scientific and technical standards, a considerable breadth of scientific interest, and receptivity to new ideas. Also necessary are a strong sense of fairness, good judgment, a high degree of personal integrity and ethics, decisiveness, and an ability to lead individuals and teams across a variety of institutional cultures within Federal and state government agencies, legislative bodies, and private sector organizations.


Please refer to the Qualifications section.

If your degree was obtained from a foreign institution, please also submit the certification from the Association for International Credential Evaluation Professionals, or certification equivalency.


  • Name: Staffing and Classification Branch
  • Email: [email protected]


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