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Vacancy Details


Announcement Number:
Hiring Agency:
Position Title:
Physical Science Administrator (Program Director)
Open Period:
03/26/2014 - 05/07/2014
AD - 1301 04
$106263.00 - $165596.00
Promotion Potential:
Duty Location(s):
FEW in
  • Arlington, VA, US
For More Info:
Krystal Mendenhall


Who May Apply:
Applications accepted from US Citizens. Recent changes in Federal Appropriations Law requires 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. Non-citizens who do not provide the affidavit at the time of application will be considered as an IPA only.
Security Clearance Required:
Public Trust - Background Investigation
Duration Appointment:
This position will be filled as a one- or two-year VSEE, IPA, or as a Fed Temp Appointment
Marketing Statement:
NSF is on the leading edge of discovery in areas from astronomy to geology to zoology. In addition to funding research in traditional academic areas, the agency also supports innovative ideas, novel collaborations and numerous projects that may seem like science fiction today, but become the reality of tomorrow.

NSF ensures that research is fully integrated with education so that today's revolutionary work will also be training future scientists and engineers.

We are also at the forefront of federal business and operations best practices, ensuring accountability and efficacy of the work we do.
More about NSF.
This job announcement was AMENDED to update the job summary and duties and to extend the closing date to May 7, 2014.

Applicants wishing to apply for a Permanent Appointment should see Job Announcement OCE-2014-0008.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is seeking a qualified candidate to fill the position of Program Director in the Directorate for Geosciences (GEO), Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE), Marine Geology and Geophysics (MGG) Program, Arlington, VA.

The MGG Program supports research in all aspects of geology and geophysics of the ocean basins and margins, as well as the Great Lakes. The successful candidate will be the primary contact for and manage a portfolio of research pertaining to paleoceanography/paleoclimate and balance interests with other Program emphases, which include: the structure and tectonic evolution of the ocean crust and the associated volcanic and earthquake activity; the morphology of the seafloor and the processes that create it; subseafloor fluid flow; processes that control the exchange of heat and chemical species between seawater, abyssal ecosystems, and ocean crust; the genesis, evolution, deposition, erosion, and transport of sediments in ocean basins and on the shelf; past ocean circulation patterns and climates as deduced from the marine sedimentary record; and interactions between continental and marine geologic processes.

The OCE supports basic research and education to further understanding of all aspects of the global oceans and their interactions with the earth and the atmosphere. 

More information about OCE and MGG and its programs can be found at
Supervisory Position:
Relocation Authorized:

Relocation expenses MAY be paid subject to funds availability.

Key Requirements:

Background investigation. Preview questions at bottom of Qualifications & Evaluations--see tab above


The individual selected for this position will serve as a Program Director.  The Program Director:

  • Maintains a healthy balance of support for all the needs of the research and education enterprise either through program, division, directorate, Foundation, or interagency activities.
  • Manages program resources so as to provide optimal appropriate scientific judgment to insure integrity and consistency in the grant/declination process without conflict-of-interests, and with balance among appropriate sub-fields and institutions, and participation of all qualified scientists. Incorporate cross-directorate responsibilities in to program administration.
  • Pursues affirmative action and EEO goals.
  • Pursues and/or responsive to assignment on special projects and temporary functional teams from across the Foundation to solve problems, improve staff communication, and effect coordination for special programs.
  • Establishes contacts and maintains active involvement in Program and related areas through participation in professional activities. Maintains familiarity with salient current research developments. Pursues individual research as workload and travel funds permit.
  • Expand administrative capabilities through training courses or assumption of new management responsibilities.
  • Represent Ocean Sciences and Paleoceanography in interdisciplinary and cross-directorate activities and programs.

Qualifications and Evaluations

You will need to successfully complete a background security investigation before you can be appointed into this position.

You must meet eligibility and qualification requirements before 11:59 PM Eastern time on the closing date of the job announcement. You must answer all job-related questions in the NSF eRecruit questionnaire.

All online applicants must provide a valid email address. If your email address is inaccurate or your mailbox is full or blocked, you may not receive important communication that could affect your consideration for this position.
You will be evaluated on the extent and quality of your experience, expertise, education, and research activities relevant to the duties of the position. We strongly encourage you to specifically address the Quality Ranking Factors below. This will ensure that you receive full consideration in the evaluation process.

Quality Ranking Factors:
  1. Knowledge and understanding of scientific principles and theories applicable to the geosciences as demonstrated by publications, invited talks, and/or professional recognition.
  2. Ability to manage an externally reviewed proposal driven grants program, allocating resources to meet a spectrum of program goals.
  3. Professional analytical and technical writing skills which evidence experience in presentation of extensive inquiry into a wide variety of significant issues related to the Geosciences community and make recommendations and decisions based on findings.
  4. Ability to interact effectively with members of the Geosciences scientific community, representatives of other federal agencies, foreign national programs and peers to effectively present, advocate and advance program policies, plans and goals.
Candidates must have a Ph.D. in oceanography, marine geology or in the relevant discipline, plus after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research experience, research administration, and/or substantial managerial experience in academe, industry, or government.

Benefits and Other Info

Under the provisions of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act, assignees remain on the payroll of his/her home institution and the home institution will continue to administer pay and benefits.  NSF will reimburse the home institution for NSF's negotiated share of the cost of the assignment.  Individuals eligible for an IPA assignment include employees of State and local government agencies, institutions of higher education, Indian tribal governments, federally funded research and development centers, and qualified nonprofit organizations. Under the provisions of the IPA Act, non-citizens may be considered as long as the individual is employed at an IPA-eligible institution.   For more information regarding an IPA assignment, visit our website.

For Visiting Scientist appointments, individuals are in a non-pay leave status from their home institutions and are appointed to NSF's payroll as Federal employees.  NSF withholds Social Security and provides reimbursement to the home institution for fringe benefits.  For information regarding Visiting Scientist appointments, visit our website.

For more information regarding Federal Temporary Appointments, visit OPM's website.
Other Information:
If you do not have civil service status or reinstatement eligibility, you will not obtain civil service status if selected. If you are currently in the competitive civil service, you will be required to waive competitive civil service rights if selected.

This Program Director position is in the bargaining unit.

Relocation expenses may be paid subject to funds availability.

For additional information on the NSF eRecruit system, please visit our NSF eRecruit Frequently Asked Questions.

How to Apply

How to Apply:
Your application should be submitted online and must be completed and all required documents successfully faxed or uploaded before 11:59 PM Eastern time on the closing date. You must answer all of the job-related questions to ensure full consideration for this position. For more detailed information, please review our NSF eRecruit Frequently Asked Questions.

WARNING! Applications submitted online must have a valid email address. If your email address is inaccurate or your mailbox is full or blocked, you may not receive important communication that could affect your consideration for this position.

If you are unable to apply electronically, please use the Contact Information below for special instructions on how to submit your application materials. Hearing impaired individuals may call TDD (703) 292-5090 for assistance.

Required Documents:
In order to be considered for federal appointments, Non-Citizens must affirm that they meet the Appropriations Law eligibility criteria by signing and attaching this Citizenship Affidavit  to their application. Non-Citizens who do not provide the affidavit at the time of application will be considered for IPA only. Non-Citizens who are exempt from the Appropriations Law requirements due to their status as officers or employees of the U.S. government on December 16, 2009 must provide a statement with their application noting their exemption with documentation of proof of status as officers or employees of the U.S. government on that date.

You are strongly encouraged to submit a current performance appraisal and/or letter(s) of recommendation and a supplemental statement that describes how your background relates to the Quality Ranking Factors (QRFs) listed in the Qualifications and Evaluation Requirements section of this announcement. This information will be used in the evaluation process.

We also ask that you complete and submit the Applicant Survey Form. This will help NSF to ensure that our recruiting efforts are attracting a diverse candidate pool; it will be used for statistical purposes only.

You can fax or upload your letter of recommendation(s) or the individual(s) can email the letter of recommendation(s) to ; please ask him/her to put your name and the job announcement number in the subject line.

Transcripts are not required; however, please indicate the year that each degree was obtained on your application materials.

All faxing/uploading must be completed before 11:59 PM Eastern time on the vacancy closing date. If you are faxing your information, please use extreme care in dialing the fax number to assure we receive your information. You will receive an email confirmation of receipt of your faxed/uploaded document(s).
What to Expect Next:
Shortly after the announcement closes, you will be notified as to whether or not you meet the basic qualification requirements. If you do, you will receive further consideration and evaluation. If the position is in the bargaining unit, and your application is referred to the selecting official, you will be contacted for an interview. Interviews for positions not in the bargaining unit may be conducted at the discretion of the selecting official. All qualified applicants will receive final notification of the outcome of the job opportunity announcement.

You may check the status of your application at any time on the USAJOBS website.