Science Education Administrator (Program Director)

Division: Human Resource Development (EHR/HRD)
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 Human Resource Development (HRD) at the National Science Foundation announces a nationwide search for a rotator Program Director who will work in the ECR and TCUP and other HRD programs as appropriate. Formal consideration of interested applications will begin January 27, 2020.

Position Description

Program Directors have an unparalleled opportunity and responsibility to ensure National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded research is at the forefront of advancing fundamental knowledge. In support of that, Program Directors are responsible for extensive interaction with academic research communities and industry, as well as interaction with other Federal agencies. Within this context, Program Directors solicit, receive and review small business research proposals, make funding recommendations, administer awards, and undertake interaction with research, entrepreneurial, and investment communities in these fields. They are also responsible for service to Foundation-wide activities and initiatives that together accomplish NSF's strategic goals to: 1) Transform the Frontiers of Science and Engineering, 2) Stimulate Innovation and Address Societal Needs through Research and Education, and 3) Excel as a Federal Science Agency. The position requires a commitment to high standards of intellectualism and ethical conduct, a considerable breadth of interest, receptivity to new ideas, a strong sense of fairness, good judgment, and a high degree of personal integrity.

HRD serves as a focal point for NSF's agency-wide commitment to enhancing the quality and excellence of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education and research through broadening participation of historically underrepresented groups - minorities, women, and persons with disabilities. Programs within HRD have a strong focus on building capacity of STEM programs and faculty, as well as partnerships and collaborations in order to maximize the preparation of a diverse, well-trained scientific and instructional workforce for the new millennium.

The EHR Core Research (ECR) program supports advances in fundamental research on STEM learning and education by fostering efforts to develop foundational knowledge in STEM learning and learning contexts, both formal and informal, from childhood through adulthood, for all groups, and from the earliest developmental stages of life through participation in the workforce, resulting in increased public understanding of science and engineering. The ECR program will fund fundamental research on: human learning in STEM; learning in STEM learning environments, STEM workforce development, and research on broadening participation in STEM. HRD oversees research on the latter topic.

The Tribal Colleges and Universities Program (TCUP) provides awards to Tribal Colleges and Universities, Alaska Native-serving institutions, and Native Hawaiian-serving institutions to promote high quality science (including sociology, psychology, anthropology, economics, statistics, and other social and behavioral sciences as well as natural sciences and education disciplines), technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, research, and outreach. Through several program components, as well as collaborations with other NSF units and other organizations, TCUP aims to increase Native individuals' participation in STEM careers and the quality of STEM programs at TCUP-eligible institutions.

NSF Program Directors bear the primary responsibility for carrying out the Agency's overall mission - to support innovative and merit-reviewed projects in basic research and education that contribute to the nation's technical strength, security and welfare. To discharge this responsibility requires not only knowledge in the appropriate STEM and education fields, but also a commitment to high standards, a considerable breadth of interest in and receptivity to new ideas, a strong sense of fairness, good judgment, and a high degree of personal integrity. HRD is interested in individuals who have the working knowledge and experience working with a diverse group of individuals, have expertise in one of the STEM disciplines or in STEM education, and in promoting diversity in academic STEM with emphasis on broadening participation of underrepresented groups and institutional capacity building. Successful candidates will have the ability to provide leadership across NSF and in the external scientific community and will work with multiple HRD programs. Specifically we are seeking candidates who will work with ECR/ and/or TCUP.

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. 

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 should have a Ph.D. or Doctorate degree in a scientific discipline supported by the NSF, plus after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience that is relevant to broadening participation in STEM. Ideal candidates must have significant experience in teaching and research at the undergraduate or graduate level, or in a community college environment. The individuals selected must be able to interact on a peer basis with senior scientific and managerial personnel throughout NSF, other Federal agencies, academia, university-level administrators and the private sector.

Desirable qualities include knowledge of the general scientific community, excellent interpersonal skills and strong written and oral communication skills. Knowledge of the TCUP community, indigenous research, and STEM education research are also additional qualities desired for this position. All appointees/assignees are expected to function effectively both within specific program and as part of a team, contributing to and coordination with offices throughout the Foundation and with other Federal and state government agencies and private sector organizations.

Applicants should provide a cover letter to with the ECR/TCUP Programs in the subject.


  1. Knowledge of designing, managing, and reporting of STEM, STEM education and STEM education research projects.
  2. Ability to communicate orally and in writing with key constituencies: fellow NSF program officer's senior NSF staff, and members of the various professional communities served by NSF.
  3. Knowledge of qualitative and quantitative techniques for analyzing and measuring the effectiveness of research projects in terms of evaluation (formative, summative, monitoring); and dissemination (publication, Web-based) strategies.
  4. Ability to work with a variety of audiences, stakeholders, communities such as mentors, teachers, faculty, administrators, state representatives, and other organizational representatives.
  5. Knowledge in or application of broadening participation practices, experience in working with diverse groups.

The POC for this announcement within HRD is:

Victoria Smoot

HRD Administrative Officer

Division of Human Resource Development
Directorate for Education and Human Resources
National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230




Apply by Email