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Vacancy Details


Announcement Number:
Hiring Agency:
Position Title:
Antarctic Research Facilities and Special Projects Program Manager (Program Director)
Open Period:
06/09/2014 - 08/06/2014
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 will be 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 for IPA only.
Security Clearance Required:
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.
Job announcement AMENDED to Extend the Closing Date to August 6, 2014.

Applicants wishing to apply for a Permanent Appointment should see Job Announcement PLR-2014-0009.

Special Conditions: Must meet US Antarctic Program medical and dental standards for extended summer deployment to Antarctica.

The NSF is seeking candidate(s) for an Antarctic Research Facilities & Special Projects Program Manager (Program Director) within the Antarctic Sciences (ANT) Section, Division of Polar Programs (PLR), Directorate for Geosciences (GEO), Arlington VA.

ANT encompasses six core Antarctic research programs (Astrophysics and Geospace Sciences, Earth Sciences, Glaciology, Integrated System Science, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, and Organisms and Ecosystems). Approximately $70M in research funding is awarded annually in response to competitively reviewed proposals. Research projects requiring fieldwork in Antarctica are supported by the U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) research infrastructure, managed by the Division of Antarctic Infrastructure & Logistics (AIL) that includes three permanent stations and associated laboratories, capabilities to support short- and long-term research at remote sites in Antarctica, two well-equipped research vessels, aircraft and helicopters. The annual budget for these support activities is approximately $270M.

More information about ANT and its Programs can be found at
Supervisory Position:
Relocation Authorized:

Relocation MAY be paid contingent on the availability of funds.

Key Requirements:

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


The individual selected as the Antarctic Research Facilities and Special Projects Program Manager (Program Director):

  • Works with ANT and AIL program directors, identifying science support requirements, and making recommendations to the ANT Section Head regarding prioritizing as may be necessary due to resource constraints;
  • Works with AIL research support managers to ensure that the process for developing specific project support plans is maintained and revised as USAP needs evolve;
  • Participates with AIL in managing the process for thorough review of proposed field plans prior to award to ensure that all project plans can be achieved within available resources and recommends specific ANT actions that might be required prior finalizing plans each season;
  • Tracks the progress of planning and preparations, bringing issues to the attention of ANT program directors or Section Head as necessary in collaboration with AIL;
  • Serves as a focal point for interactions with personnel in other organizations (federal agencies and other national Antarctic programs) supporting Antarctic research in conjunction with the U.S. Antarctic Program, assisting with development of agreements and support plans as needed as delegated by the Division Director or the ANT Section Head;
  • Utilizes strong project management skills to manage ANT research support activities such as sample and data repositories, ice or rock coring facilities, the Polar Geospatial-information Center, and ANT interactions with NSF-supported instrument pools that are utilized by ANT such as UNAVCO and IRIS/PASSCAL;
  • Works with ANT program directors annually to refresh ANT research support plans including budgets for ANT-supported facilities;
  • Manages a budget of approximately $9M annually that is used for ANT-supported facilities and research instrumentation, and coordinates actions needed to reimburse AIL for grant-specific support of ANT projects;
  • Works with counterparts in ANT and AIL to review recommendations for improvement of support provided to USAP grantees via the Antarctic support contractor and other USAP organizations and develops implementation plans as appropriate;
  • Serves as an NSF Science Representative at McMurdo Station, Palmer Station, South Pole Station, at remote sites, or on the research vessels as required, working with on-site scientists, stateside principal investigators, other program directors in ANT, and counterparts in AIL to prioritize science support needs during the active field season; and
  • Works with counterparts in AIL to evaluate existing support modes with the goal of improving science support infrastructure and with the Polar Environment, Safety, and Health Section to assess the effectiveness of environmental and safety planning.

Qualifications and Evaluations

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

Please preview "Evaluations" section and "Qualifications" for additional requirements and Quality Ranking Factors.
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 the mission and goals of the National Science Foundation (NSF) as well as how NSF interacts with the scientific community.
  2. Demonstrated ability to effectively integrate research and research support activities that involve a mix of infrastructure- and facilities-based capabilities.
  3. Ability to develop and oversee medium- to-long range planning and integration activities that will enable implementation of complex science projects in remote regions.
  4. Demonstrated ability to work effectively with peers, members of the scientific community, and managers from other organizations within and outside of NSF (including international partners) to effectively develop project plans, and goals.
  5. Research, analytical, and technical writing skills which evidence the ability to perform extensive inquiry into a wide variety of significant issues related to research support and make recommendations and decisions based on findings.
  6. Professional bearing, interpersonal communications skills, and ability to present and convincingly defend program policies and plans to peers, the science community, managers of related organizations, and senior managers in NSF.
Candidates must have a Ph.D. in an appropriate field plus after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research support, research administration, science support and logistics planning, and/or research support managerial experience pertinent to the position that demonstrates a progressively increasing level of responsibility; OR a Master’s degree in an appropriate field plus after award of the Master’s degree, eight or more years of successful research, research support, research administration, science support and logistics planning, and/or research support managerial experience pertinent to the position that demonstrates a progressively increasing level of responsibility.

An appropriate field is defined as an area of solid-earth science that is pertinent to the activities of the ANT Section. Prior experience in Antarctic research is useful but is not a requirement.

Appointment is contingent upon satisfactory completion of a physical examination according to the standards used for USAP medical/dental screening for travel to Antarctica.

Benefits and Other Info

Review our Benefits
Additional Benefits:
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 must be submitted online and all document faxing/uploading must be completed before 11:59 PM Eastern time on the vacancy 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.