Program Director (Dynamics, Control and Cognition Cluster)

Division: Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (ENG/CMMI)
Directorate: Engineering (ENG)
Job Type:
STEM
Appointment Type:
Temporary / Rotator
Pay Grade/Scale:
AD-04
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 Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) announces a nationwide search to fill two Program Director positions in the Dynamics, Control and Cognition Cluster.

The Dynamics, Controls and Cognition Cluster is managed by a team of Program Directors, who participate in several cross-cutting initiatives within the National Science Foundation, and breadth of experience in such initiatives is required. 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.

 

Position Description

Program Directors have an unparalleled opportunity and responsibility to ensure that NSF-funded research is at the forefront of advancing fundamental knowledge. In support of this, Program Directors are responsible for extensive interaction with academic research communities and industry, as well as interaction with other Federal agencies that may lead to the development of interagency collaborations. Within this context, Program Directors solicit, receive and review research and education proposals, make funding recommendations, administer awards, and undertake interaction with research 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 Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) in the Directorate for Engineering seeks to fill two positions in the Dynamics, Control and Cognition Cluster, supporting the following programs:

  • Dynamics, Control and Systems Diagnostics: The Dynamics, Control and Systems Diagnostics (DCSD) program promotes the fundamental science and engineering of dynamic systems to advance solutions to urgent societal problems. Recognizing that dynamic systems lie at the heart of current and emerging imperatives, the DCSD program invites proposals that match innovative research in dynamic systems with compelling applications. DCSD also welcomes research that demonstrates how these applications inform our understanding of dynamic systems, and how foundational knowledge must be further advanced to broaden the usefulness of dynamic systems approaches to new areas of application. More information about the DCSD program is found on the program website.
  • Mind, Machine and Motor Nexus: The Mind, Machine and Motor Nexus (M3X) program supports fundamental research at the intersection of mind, machine and motor. A distinguishing characteristic of the program is an integrated treatment of human intent, perception, and behavior in interaction with embodied and intelligent engineered systems and as mediated by motor manipulation. The M3X program seeks to support the development of theories, representations, and working models that draw upon and contribute to fundamental understanding within and across diverse fields, including but not limited to systems science and engineering; mechatronics; cognitive, behavioral and perceptual sciences; and applied computing. More information about the M3X program is found on the program website.
  • Foundational Research in Robotics: The Foundational Research in Robotics (FRR) program supports research on robotic systems that exhibit significant levels of both computational capability and physical complexity. Supported research focuses on intelligence embodied in an engineered construct, where intelligence includes a broad class of methods that enable a robot to solve problems or to make contextually appropriate decisions and act upon them.  The focus of the FRR program is on foundational advances in the deeply interdisciplinary field of robotics; the FRR program supports research across the full range of fundamental engineering and computer science challenges arising in robotics. More information about the FRR program is found on the program website.

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. https://www.nsf.gov/careers/Definition-of-Foreign-Talent-HRM.pdf.

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. Non-Citizens who do not provide the affidavit at the time of application will not be considered eligible. Non-Citizens are not eligible for positions requiring a security clearance.

To ensure compliance with an applicable preliminary nationwide injunction, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of ongoing litigation, the Federal Government will take no action to implement or enforce the COVID-19 vaccination requirement pursuant to Executive Order 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. Federal agencies may request information regarding the vaccination status of selected applicants for the purposes of implementing other workplace safety protocols, such as protocols related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine.

Candidates must have a Ph.D. in an appropriate field plus after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position.

Qualifications of a successful candidate include a PhD degree in a degree field relevant to Robotics, Mechanics, Cognitive or Decision Science, Systems, Mechanical, Industrial or Aerospace Engineering, or a related field.  Expertise with respect to Dynamics, Controls, Robotics and/or Cognition is highly desireable. Experience with applications to the engineering sciences is preferred.  The position requires effective oral and written communication skills, and familiarity with NSF programs and activities is desirable. The candidate is expected to function effectively as a member of crosscutting and interactive teams as well as an individual contributor.  The candidate should also demonstrate a capability to work across government agencies to promote NSF activities and to leverage program funds through interagency collaborations.

To apply, email a single PDF document that includes (i) a cover letter outlining qualifications for the position, (ii) a curriculum vitae, (iii) Citizen affidavit, as applicable to:

  • Vacancy Contact: Dr. Alexis Lewis
  • Application Submission Email Address: alewis@nsf.gov

Apply by Email