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Deputy Division Director

The National Science Foundation
Alexandria, Virginia
$178,063 - $198,800 per year
Closing date
Aug 26, 2022

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The National Science Foundation (NSF) is ranked in the top 2 best places to work amongst midsize agencies in the federal government, and the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) is ranked in the top 4 best places to work amongst 432 agency subcomponents in the federal government. BIO is responsible for managing and funding major research programs and facilities supported by the NSF in the biological sciences.

The Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) supports fundamental research on populations, species, communities, and ecosystems. Scientific emphases range across many evolutionary and ecological patterns and processes at all spatial and temporal scales. Areas of research include biodiversity, phylogenetic systematics, molecular evolution, life history evolution, natural selection, ecology, biogeography, ecosystem services, conservation biology, global change, and biogeochemical cycles. Research on origins, functions, relationships, interactions, and evolutionary history may incorporate field, laboratory, or collection-based approaches; observational or manipulative experiments; synthesis activities; as well as theoretical approaches involving analytical, statistical, or simulation modeling. The Deputy Division Director supports the Division Director in:

  • Providing leadership to Division activities by collaborating with the Division Director in developing and implementing an organizational vision that integrates key national and program goals. Provides broad scientific expertise in leading and representing Division programs. Exercises professional judgment in recommending and implementing policy and program adjustments.
  • Ensuring that Division procedures and policies focus on enhancing customer service and program performance. Ensuring that DEB program activities support the objectives of the NSF strategic plan and the Government Performance and Results Act. Ensuring compliance with Federal and NSF policy in all phases of program and staff management. Implementing internal controls to prevent or deter the fraud, waste, and abuse of government resources and in promoting responsive management of Division programs.
  • Coordinating special projects assigned to the Division and in preparing and presenting substantive program reviews, budgets, staffing plans, special projects, studies and cross-directorate activities.
  • Providing leadership and oversight to the business processes of the Division. This includes participating with the Division Director in assessing current and future staffing needs based on organizational goals and budget realities; overseeing the allocation of financial resources; managing the budgetary process; overseeing procurement and contracting procedures; integrating and coordinating logistical operations and implementing the effective use of information technology to improve programmatic activities and work processes.
  • Ensuring effective use by Program Officers of the NSF review process so that support provided by the Division is for the most meritorious scientific research. Assists the Division Director in managing the grants processing activities of the Division by participating in:  establishing administrative procedures for reviewing proposals and awarding research grants and contracts; managing cooperative interagency agreements; reviewing proposals recommended by program directors for award or declinations; and post-award monitoring and evaluation. 
  • Serving as a key advisor to the Division Director in providing leadership and supervision to scientific and administrative staff members by: effectively communicating agency goals and priorities to staff members; motivating staff and promoting team spirit; participating in the development and implementation of an organization structure that effectively meets Division requirements; assigning work, and delegating responsibility and authority to appropriate staff; assisting the Division Director in promoting quality through effective use of the performance management system and related discussions with employees, and by assisting the Division Director in ensuring that performance plans are current and accurate and that plans and appraisals are completed on a timely basis; ensuring that recruitment, development and advancement processes reflect the spirit and intent of NSF diversity efforts; and encouraging and supporting professional development for Division staff members through developmental needs assessment and the availability and equitable distribution of opportunities and resources, and
  • Implementing representation of underrepresented groups, women, and persons with disabilities on advisory committees, review panels, and other mechanisms through which the scientific and engineering community provides assistance to the Foundation.

Requirements Conditions of Employment

  • One year probationary period required for all new Career SES appointments
  • Requires an Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure OGE278
  • US Citizenship or appropriate affidavit, depending on position


It is NSF policy that NSF personnel employed at or IPAs detailed to NSF are not permitted to participate in foreign government talent recruitment programs.  Failure to comply with this NSF policy could result in disciplinary action up to and including removal from Federal Service or termination of an IPA assignment and referral to the Office of Inspector General. Foreign Talent Definitions

To ensure compliance with an applicable preliminary nationwide injunction, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of ongoing litigation, the Federal Government will take no action to implement or enforce the COVID-19 vaccination requirement Safer Federal Workforce Task Force 2 pursuant to Executive Order 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. Therefore, to the extent a Federal job announcement includes the requirement that applicants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 pursuant to Executive Order 14043, that requirement does not currently apply. Federal agencies may request information regarding the vaccination status of selected applicants for the purposes of implementing other workplace safety protocols, such as protocols related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine.



EXECUTIVE/MANAGERIAL (E/Ms): Unless you are currently under a career SES appointment, are eligible for reinstatement into SES, or have successfully completed a SES Candidate Development Program approved by OPM, you must submit written statements (narrative format) describing accomplishments that would satisfy the E/M qualifications. Applicants who do not provide a narrative statement will only be considered for an IPA appointment, if applicable. 


1. Leading Change.  This core qualification involves the ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent in this E/M is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.

2. Leading People.  This core qualification involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals. Inherent in this E/M is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts.

3. Results-Driven Leadership.  This core qualification involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent in this E/M is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.

4. Business Acumen.  This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.

5. Building Coalitions.  This core qualification involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, non-profit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals.

PROFESSIONAL/TECHNICAL (P/Ts): All applicants must submit written statements (narrative format) of accomplishments that would satisfy the P/T qualifications. You must address each P/T qualification separately.


1. Education, strongly preferred at the Ph.D. level, or equivalent professional experience or a combination of education and equivalent experience in one of the areas of biological science supported by the Division (i.e. populations, species, communities, and ecosystems).
2. Substantial research contributions and strong evidence of scholarship and leadership in disciplines related to environmental biology as evidenced in publications and other professional contributions.
3. Skill in balancing complex and diverse program demands and available resources in response to major advances or changing needs of science and engineering research and technology.
4. Broad understanding of universities and other institutions where research and education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics is conducted, including knowledge of grant administration and fiscal management in biological sciences research support.

•    When responding to the P/T and E/M qualifications, you must clearly show that you possess the experience, knowledge, skills and ability to perform the duties of this position by submitting narrative responses in which you detail your experience in each of the E/Ms and P/Ts.
•    Your examples should be clear and emphasize your level of responsibilities, scope, and complexity of the programs managed and program accomplishments with results of your actions, policy initiatives and level of contacts.

Applicants who do not provide narrative statements addressing both the E/M and P/T qualifications will only be considered for an IPA assignment, if applicable.

Applicants currently serving under a career Senior Executive Service (SES) appointment, eligible for reinstatement into SES, or have successfully completed a SES Candidate Development Program (CDP) approved by OPM are not required to address the Executive/Managerial (E/M) Qualifications (ECQs); but a narrative statement for each of the Professional/Technical (P/T) Qualifications (PTQs) is required.

To view additional information on the proper preparation of Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs) statements, applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Office of Personnel Management's Guide to Executive Qualifications.



Please refer to the Qualifications section.


Additional information


The Senior Executive Service (SES) covers managerial positions above GS-15 in the Federal Service. Persons appointed to the SES are eligible for health benefits, life insurance, social security, Federal retirement and thrift savings plan coverage, and participate in the Federal leave system. Competitive status is not required, veteran's preference does not apply and there are no grade restrictions.

The position may also be filled on an Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) assignment basis. Under the provisions of the IPA, assignees remain on the payroll of his/her home institution and the institution continues to administer pay and benefits.  The National Science Foundation (NSF) will reimburse the home institution for NSF's negotiated share of the costs. This job originated on

Relocation expenses may be paid contingent upon the availability of funds.

Federal Appropriations Law requires that Non-Citizens 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 not be considered. Non-Citizens are not eligible for positions requiring a security clearance.

Only applications submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at will be considered.

The selected candidate(s) may be subject to a background investigation.

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