Email Print Share
DBI 19-001

Dear Colleague Letter: The Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI), Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO), Employment Opportunity for a Program Director (Open Until Filled)

October 22, 2018

Dear Colleague:

The Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI), within the Directorate for Biological Sciences of the National Science Foundation (NSF) announces a nationwide search for a Program Director for the Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program in the Human Resources Cluster. Potential candidates should have extensive research and education experience and broad interests in the biological sciences. Significant experience administering or mentoring in summer undergraduate research programs that provide an intensive independent mentored research experience and exposure to possible careers in the biological sciences are important. Administrative experience in program oversight is also advantageous. A knowledge of current and emerging trends in undergraduate research in the biological sciences is highly desirable.

Program Directors have an unparalleled opportunity and responsibility to ensure NSF-funded research is at the forefront of advancing fundamental knowledge. In support of that, Program Directors are responsible for extensive interaction with the academic research communities and industry, as well as interaction with other Federal agencies that may lead to development of interagency collaborations. Within this context, Program Directors solicit, receive and review research and education proposals, make funding recommendations, administer awards, and undertake interaction with research communities in these fields. They are also responsible for service to Foundation-wide activities and initiatives that together accomplish NSF's strategic goals to: 1) expand knowledge in science, engineering and learning; 2) Advance the capability of the Nation to meet current and future challenges; and 3) Enhance NSF's performance of its mission (NSF Strategic Plan 2018-2022). The position requires 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 judgement, and a high degree of personal integrity.

Applicants should have a Ph.D. or equivalent training in a disciplinary area of the Biological Sciences as well as a broad of understanding of the biological sciences and other scientific domains. In addition, knowledge of research experiences for undergraduate programs, particularly as a mentor or administering an undergraduate research program, skill in oral and written communication and preparation of technical reports, and after award of the degree, at least six years of successful independent research normally expected of the academic rank of associate professor or higher. Some administrative experience and experience working in teams is desirable. Appointees are expected to function effectively both with specific programs and as a member of crosscutting and interactive teams. Skills in multidisciplinary research are highly desirable.

More information about the Division of Biological Infrastructure may be found at:

Program Director positions recruited under this announcement may be filled under one of the following appointment options:

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.

Visiting Scientist Appointment: 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.

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 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.

For additional information on NSF's rotational programs, please see "Programs for Scientists, Engineers, and Educators" on the NSF website at:

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 Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) assignments to NSF. Non-citizens who do not provide the affidavit at the time of application will not be considered eligible.

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 highlighting the background that specifically relates to the program objectives to:


Dr. Muriel Poston, Division Director
Division of Biological Infrastructure
National Science Foundation
2415 Eisenhower Avenue, W 12231
Alexandria, VA 22314
Phone: (703) 292-8470
Fax: (703) 292-9063

Formal consideration of interested applicants will begin on November 1, 2018 and will continue until a selection is made.

NSF is an Equal Opportunity Employer Committed to Employing a Highly Qualified Staff that Reflects the Diversity of Our Nation.