The Antarctic Sciences Section (ANT) in the Office of Polar Programs (OPP) announces a nationwide search for a Program Director in the Antarctic Astrophysics and Geospace Sciences Program (AAGS). Formal consideration of interested applications will begin on April 15, 2019 and will continue until a selection is made.
NSF OPP is the designated single point manager for the United States Antarctic Program. ANT supports research in all areas of science in Antarctica and works in close collaboration with OPP's Antarctic Infrastructure and Logistics Section (AIL), other parts of OPP and NSF, other U.S. agencies, and national Antarctic programs in other countries to support high-priority research in Antarctica.
The AAGS Program funds cutting-edge, transformative, and emerging research in astronomy and astrophysics that uses Antarctica as an observing platform or investigates the role of the Antarctic upper atmosphere in global environmental processes. The program also supports interdisciplinary studies that focus on how solar activity influences the properties and dynamics of the polar atmosphere and the global geospace system.
The incumbent will be responsible for managing a dynamic, proposal-driven research grants program in these critical research areas and they should have experience in astrophysical and/or geospace related science, including experience pertinent to the management challenges presented by covering the broad scope of research encompassed by the program. The AAGS Program Director has the opportunity to shape future research directions for the AAGS Program through interactions with the research community, related research programs within ANT, in other divisions of NSF, and in other organizations external to NSF.
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. 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 Astronomy, Astrophysics, Geospace Science, Physics or related fields, plus after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position.
Preference will be given to applicants with the broad expertise needed to be involved in other research areas supported by the Antarctic Sciences Section. The position requires effective oral and written communication skills, and familiarity with NSF programs and activities is highly desirable. The candidate is expected to function effectively as a member of crosscutting and interactive teams as well as be an individual contributor. The candidate must also demonstrate a capability to work across government agencies to promote NSF activities and to leverage program funds through interagency collaborations.
A description of the AAGS program is provided on the program webpage: Antarctic Astrophysics and Geospace Sciences Program.
To apply, email a single PDF document that includes (i) a cover letter outlining qualifications and reason for interest in the position (ii) a curriculum vitae, (iii) and Citizen affidavit, as applicable, to the ANT Section Head Dr. Alexandra Isern (firstname.lastname@example.org).