Program Director (Division of Chemistry)

Division: Chemistry (MPS/CHE)
Directorate: Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS)
Job Type:
Appointment Type:
Temporary / Rotator
This job is open to the public

Application Timeline

Date Posted:
Closing date: Open until filled

Position Description

The Division of Chemistry (CHE) announces a nationwide search for senior-level researchers to serve as rotating Program Directors. Rotators make recommendations about which proposals to fund; influence new directions in the fields of science, engineering, and education; support cutting-edge interdisciplinary research; and mentor junior research members. Rotating Program Directors are in a prime position to collaborate with others and increase their own visibility as they survey the entire breadth of U.S. and international science, engineering, and education in real time. In addition, as a temporary Program Director, they can retain their ties to their current institution and return to their home institution with new insights and experience from NSF.

Learn more about rotator programs at NSF

Formal consideration of interested applications will begin in early August 2020 and will continue until selections are made. We are seeking applicants for Program Director positions in all CHE Programs, especially individuals with broad expertise in chemical catalysis; chemical synthesis; chemical measurement and imaging; macromolecular, supramolecular and nanochemistry; and the chemistry of life processes.

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. in the chemical sciences or a closely-related field, plus six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position after the Ph.D. OR a master’s degree in the chemical sciences or a related field plus eight or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position after the award of the degree.

Applicants should be familiar with a broad spectrum of the chemistry community, as well as with the issues being addressed in the field. Applicants with accomplishments in the integration of research and education and with multidisciplinary experience and interest are desired. The position requires effective oral and written communication skills. Familiarity with NSF programs and activities is highly desirable. The applicant is expected to work effectively both as an individual within the specific NSF program, and as a member of crosscutting and interactive teams. The applicant must also demonstrate a capability to work across government agencies to promote NSF activities and to leverage program funds through interagency collaborations.

Applicants should indicate the Program to which they are applying within their cover letter and subject line of the email. Please submit a curriculum vitae to

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