Program Director (Partnerships for Innovation Program)

Division: Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (ENG/IIP)
Directorate: Engineering (ENG)
Job Type:
STEM
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 Industrial Innovation and Partnerships (IIP) announces a nationwide search to fill a Program Director position for the National Science Foundation (NSF) Partnerships for Innovation (PFI) Program.

Position Description

PFI serves as a leading technology translation program, supporting both technology development and customer discovery to advance the commercialization of NSF-funded research outputs toward impact for the nation. The program has five broad goals, as set forth by the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act of 2017: (1) identifying and supporting NSF-sponsored research and technologies that have the potential for accelerated commercialization; (2) supporting prior or current NSF- sponsored investigators, institutions of higher education, and non-profit organizations that partner with an institution of higher education in undertaking proof-of-concept work, including the development of technology prototypes that are derived from NSF- sponsored research and have potential market value; (3) promoting sustainable partnerships between NSF- funded institutions, industry, and other organizations within academia and the private sector with the purpose of accelerating the transfer of technology; (4) developing multi-disciplinary innovation ecosystems which involve and are responsive to the specific needs of academia and industry; and (5) providing professional development, mentoring, and advice in entrepreneurship, project management, and technology and business development to innovators.

In addition, PFI responds to a congressional mandate to support prototype or proof-of-concept development work by participants, including I-Corps participants, advancing innovations at an earlier stage than those funded through the Small Business Innovation Research Program and the Small Business Technology Transfer Program.

PFI also seeks to enhance partnerships between academia and industry in the United States and expand the participation of women and individuals from underrepresented groups in innovation, technology translation, and entrepreneurship.

Program Directors have an unparalleled opportunity and responsibility to ensure NSF-funded research is at the forefront of advancing fundamental knowledge and increasing the economic competitiveness of the United States. In support of that, PFI Program Directors are responsible for extensive interaction with academic research and entrepreneurship communities and industry, as well as interaction with other Federal agencies that may lead to the development of interagency collaborations. Within this context, PFI Program Directors solicit, receive and review research and education proposals in all science and engineering disciplines, make funding recommendations, administer awards, and undertake interaction with research, entrepreneurship and industrial communities in these fields. They also serve on 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 some travel to support outreach and recruiting activities for the entire IIP Division, as well as specifically for PFI.

Persons wishing to apply for this position are referred to the IIP Divisional web page, https://www.nsf.gov/div/index.jsp?div=IIP, for a description of the Division; and to the webpage, https://www.nsf.gov/PFI  for a description of the PFI program. Persons are also encouraged to contact the current PFI Program Directors who are identified on the PFI web pages, for more information. NSF Program Directors bear the primary responsibility for carrying out the Foundation's overall mission to support innovative and merit-evaluated activities in fundamental research and education that contribute to the nation's technological strength, security and welfare. The positions require 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.

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. 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. 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.

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

Professional experience conducting academic technology research, development and commercialization activities, entrepreneurial education and industrial partnerships and technology-based economic development in individual and collaborative frameworks is highly desirable. In addition, proven experience in identifying and supporting research and technologies with potential for commercialization, promoting partnerships to accelerate technology transfer, and developing innovation ecosystems responsive to industry needs are sought after attributes of the successful candidate. The position requires effective oral and written communication skills and familiarity with NSF policies, programs and activities. The incumbent is expected to function effectively both as an individual within the PFI program and as a member of crosscutting and interactive teams. The incumbent must also demonstrate a capability to work as a team player within NSF and across government agencies to promote NSF activities and to leverage program funds through interagency collaborations.

The position requires effective oral and written communication skills and a commitment to high standards of ethical conduct. The successful candidate will have a considerable breadth of interests, receptivity to new ideas, a strong sense of fairness, excellent attention to detail, good judgment, and a high degree of personal integrity.

To apply, email a single PDF document that includes: 1) a curriculum vita (CV), 2) a cover letter explaining the reasons you are interested in the position, 3) and the Citizen affidavit, as applicable. The cover letter should describe how their experiences fit with the position of PFI Program Officer (referencing the CV), why this position would be of mutual benefit to NSF and to their institutions, and how they foresee this assignment benefiting their career. It is preferred that application materials and questions be sent to the Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships via email to IIPjobs@nsf.gov with "PFI Program Director" in the subject line.

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