Science Education Administrator (Program Director)

Division: Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (EHR/DRL)
Directorate: Education and Human Resources (EHR)
Job Type:
Appointment Type:
Temporary / Rotator
This job is open to the public

Application Timeline

Date Posted:
Closing date: Open until filled
Formal consideration of interested applicants will begin and will continue until a selection is made.

Position Summary

The Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL) announces a nationwide search for temporary Program Directors in wide range of areas supported by the division.  Formal consideration of applications will begin November 2, 2020 and will continue until selections are made. 

Position Description

Program Directors have an unparalleled opportunity and responsibility to ensure that NSF-funded STEM education research is at the forefront of advancing fundamental and applied knowledge. The candidate is expected to function effectively as a member of crosscutting and interactive teams as well as an individual contributor. The position requires effective oral and written communication skills. Familiarity with NSF programs and activities is highly desirable.

DRL invests in projects to improve the effectiveness of STEM teaching and learning for all learners.  Its mission includes promoting innovative research, development, and evaluation of learning and teaching across all STEM disciplines by advancing cutting-edge knowledge and practices in both formal and informal learning settings.  Central to DRL’s efforts is the broadening of participation in STEM and STEM education, focusing on equity and inclusion and taking account of the perspectives and strengths of groups that have historically been underrepresented.  DRL’s role in the larger context of Federal support for STEM education research is to be a catalyst for change – advancing theory, methodology, measurement, development, and application in STEM education.

Successful candidates will be expected to work collaboratively with staff and other program officers in specific DRL programs or more broadly across DRL’s portfolio of research and development programs ranging across STEM disciplines, age groups, educational settings, and research methodologies.

The position recruited under this announcement will be filled under the following appointment option(s):

Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) Assignment: 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. 

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 status 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.

Visiting Scientist, Engineer, and Educator (VSEE) Program: 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.

It is NSF policy that NSF personnel employed at or IPAs detailed to NSF are not permitted to participate in foreign government talent recruitment programs.  Failure to comply with this NSF policy could result in disciplinary action up to and including removal from Federal Service or termination of an IPA assignment and referral to the Office of Inspector General.

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 IPA assignments to NSF. Non-citizens who do not provide the affidavit at the time of application will not be considered eligible.

Applicants must have a Ph. D or Ed.D. in a STEM related field or STEM Education, plus after award of the Ph.D. or Ed.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration or managerial experience pertinent to the position.

Successful candidates will have research and/or development expertise in at least one of the following areas:

*Pre-K-12 math teaching and learning;

*Pre-K-12 science teaching and learning;

*Pre-K-12 computer science education;

*Pre-K-12 engineering education;

*Learning technologies and online learning;

*Applications of artificial intelligence to education;

*Education research methodology (computational, quantitative, or qualitative);

*Adult learning for and in the workplace;

*STEM and STEM education policy (including implementation); or

*STEM learning in informal settings (e.g., museums, zoos, planetariums, nature centers, libraries, after-school and out-of-school time programs, media, maker spaces, public participation in scientific research, online and other digital activities).

Individuals from populations who are historically underrepresented in STEM fields are strongly encouraged to apply. NSF is an equal opportunity employer.

In a statement of interest, please address the following:

Quality ranking factors:

  1. Knowledge of and contributions to STEM learning research and development in at least one of the areas listed above.
  2. Demonstrated ability to situate one’s own work within fieldwide scholarship regarding diversity, equity, access, and inclusion in STEM teaching and learning.
  3. Capacity to analyze documents (e.g., proposals, manuscripts, reports) and develop well-reasoned recommendations about funding or publication. Ability to conduct a holistic review process that considers a range of experiences and perspectives. 
  4. Proven history of interpersonal workplace competencies necessary to interact with highly diverse teams, personnel, and stakeholders, including evidence of supporting and promoting equity.

Applicants should apply by email.

Please use the header: “STEM learning research program officer vacancy” in the subject line of the email.

Please submit a current CV and statement of interest to   

Apply by Email