CISE Announce: Serving as a rotator at the National Science Foundation

November 2, 2018

The message below was sent to the CISE Announce Listservs on Thursday, November 1, 2018.


Dear CISE Community,

It is an exciting, impactful, and important time to be in computer science, not only as a researcher or educator, but also as an expert serving the community – and we want to invite you to consider opportunities for service at the National Science Foundation (NSF).

NSF’s Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) provides more than 80 percent of the federal funding for basic academic computer science research in our country.  CISE also supports computing education at all levels (from K-12 through graduate education), as well as advanced research cyberinfrastructure for all areas of science and engineering.

It goes without saying that supporting this work is incredibly important – and possibly only through the active engagement of the broader research and education community.  Indeed, NSF learns about the needs of the community through workshops and advisory committees, and relies upon the research community to serve as panelists for the merit review process.

NSF is unique among federal agencies in that many of our program directors, science advisors, and leadership come from the community and are on temporary leave from their universities.  (One of us, Jim Kurose, is a rotator from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.)  Many of these “rotators” spend 1-4 years at NSF through an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) assignment.  Having an influx of leading scholars serving the research community helps ensure that our programs reflect current research needs and keeps CISE-supported efforts at the frontiers of discovery and innovation.

Our rotators, also called “IPAs,” make recommendations about which proposals to fund; influence new directions in the fields of science, engineering, and education; support cutting-edge interdisciplinary research; and much more.

To hear testimonials from current and recent IPAs in CISE and to learn how you can apply for a rotator position, visit our new CISE IPA website launching this week:  And if your interest is piqued, start the process by contacting the cognizant division/office director or deputy division/office director listed on that webpage.

By serving at NSF, you can help to continue NSF’s stellar track record for advancing transformative research through our investments in people, ideas, and infrastructure.  We promise it’ll be an interesting and rewarding experience!


Jim Kurose
Assistant Director of NSF for CISE

Erwin Gianchandani
Deputy Assistant Director of NSF for CISE


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