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ACI 14-001

Dear Colleague Letter: Program Director, Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure Employment Opportunities (Open Until Filled)

December 18, 2013

Dear Colleague:

The Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (ACI) in the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering at the National Science Foundation (NSF) announces a nationwide search for a senior-level researcher to serve as Program Director. Formal consideration of interested applications will begin in December and will continue until selections are made. While disciplinary expertise will be expected for the program director, ACI seeks a candidate that can join the present team in sharing the responsibilities within NSF's overall mission: to promote the progress of science.

Program Director for software in science and engineering

The program director in this position manages software-focused cyberinfrastructure research and development in ACI as a core element in the acquisition, development and provisioning of state-of-the-art cyberinfrastructure resources, tools and services essential to transforming the conduct of 21st century computer- and data-enabled science, engineering, research, and education. The program director will contribute to setting ACI and NSF strategic directions, including funding priorities, for software-focused cyberinfrastructure developments intended to foster cross-community advances, address multi-disciplinary, science driven, shared challenges while remaining responsive to differing scientific disciplinary requirements and priorities. Among this program director’s responsibilities is integration of cyberinfrastructure advances, research, and education, as resources for continuing innovations in scientific discovery. The candidate will have a deep understanding of the role that software plays in science and engineering, and an understanding of universities processes for teaching and research. Candidates are expected to have experience with the processes by which software is developed and used, both in small and large projects, as well as knowledge about validation and verification, quantification of uncertainty, reproducibility, parallel systems, sustainability, and complex, dynamic workflows. It is desirable that the candidate have some specific ideas about how the processes related to software development and usage in science and engineering should and will change in the future and what NSF’s role in that should be.

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.

Qualifications of a successful candidate include 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; OR a Master’s degree in an appropriate field plus after award of the degree, eight or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position.

Periodic appointments to leadership positions of interdivisional, inter-directorate and interagency programs may be made. NSF is an equal opportunity employer, and makes special effort to attract applicants who are women or people with disabilities or members of underrepresented minorities.

The Program Director position recruited under this announcement will be filled via the Intergovernmental Personnel Assignment (IPA) Act: 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.

For additional information on NSF’s rotational programs, please see “Rotational Programs for Scientists, Engineers and Educators” on the NSF website at

In addition to addressing current openings, our intention is to develop a candidate pool for future consideration as other openings at the Program Director level become available in ACI. These needs are detailed and updated regularly on the NSF website: We ask your assistance in conveying this information to those of your colleagues who have a compelling interest in the opportunities facing engineering education and research, would make a strong contribution to the work of OCI, and could meet the stimulating challenges of an appointment with the Foundation.

Candidates will be ranked in accord with the following factors:

  1. Knowledge of NSF's and ACI's mission and programmatic activities, especially in advanced cyberinfrastructure software technologies; research, development, testing, prototypes and early deployment.
  2. Knowledge and experience in software-focused cyberinfrastructure.
  3. The ability to manage proposal-driven grants programs, allocating resources to meet a broad spectrum of program goals and the ability to manage risks.
  4. Experience in the management of large projects and multi-institutional collaborations, cooperative agreements, multi-agency, policy development and project management in general.
  5. The ability to cooperate and work with peers in other scientific disciplines and to advocate program plans and policies to individuals in the Foundation, other government agencies, and academic institutions.

Should you or your colleagues be interested in this position, or wish to nominate suitable candidates, please email a current CV accompanied by a cover letter that highlights the background that specifically relates to the program objectives to:

Dr. Mark A. Suskin
Deputy Division Director
Division of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure
Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Stafford I, Suite 1145
Arlington, VA 22230
Phone: 703-292-8970
Fax: 703-292-9060