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National Science Foundation Program Director for Instrumentation and Facilities

National Science Foundation/Geosciences/Division of Earth Science
Virginia (US)
Salary Range $160,889 - $195,000 per year
Closing date
Jan 6, 2024

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This position is located in the Directorate for Geosciences, Division of Earth Sciences (EAR). EAR supports basic research and education to further understanding of the structure, composition, and evolution of the Earth, the life it supports, and the processes that govern the formation and behavior of the Earth's materials. EAR also supports the operation, acquisition, construction, and divestment of multi-user facilities needed to carry out Earth science -related research programs.

The incumbent Program Director(s) will be a member of the Integrative Activities Section (IA) of EAR and serve as the Program Director(s) of the Instrumentation and Facilities (IF) Program with a focus on the oversight of the operation and maintenance of community facilities and mid-scale
research infrastructure, as well as the development of new Mid-scale and Major multi-user facilities. The IF Program Director(s) will work closely with other Program Directors in IA who collectively manage EAR's research infrastructure and facilities, and coordinate with the EAR Science Program Directors on opportunities to support cutting edge scientific research and technological developments. The EAR portfolio supports a broad range of programs in research infrastructure and observations facilities, including small-scale Community Facilities, Mid-scale Research Infrastructure, and the Seismological Facility for the Advancement of Geoscience (SAGE) and Geodetic Facilities for the Advancement of Geoscience (GAGE) Major facilities. The IF Program Director will also interact with members of the NSF Large Facilities Office (LFO) on matters pertaining to the management of NSF Mid-scale and Major Facilities.


Major Duties and Responsibilities
The Program Director's core duties and responsibilities include all aspects of oversight of the program.
Program Planning and Management:

  • Maintain a healthy balance of support for the needs of the research and education enterprise through program, division, directorate, foundation, and interagency activities.
  • Exercise appropriate scientific judgment to ensure integrity and consistency in the grant/declination process without conflicts-of-interest, and with balance among appropriate subfields and institutions, and participation of all qualified scientists.
  • Manage an effective and timely merit review process, with attention to increasing the size and quality of the reviewer pools and ensuring participation of diverse groups, including women, minorities, and disabled scientists.
  • Provide scientific expertise, evaluation, and advice for other programs in NSF, including international programs, and cross-directorate programs.
  • Advise and assist in the development of short- and long-range plans and in establishing goals and objectives for research programs. Plan the budget for program/programs considering past, present, and future fiscal years. Allocate resources within that budget distributing resources among major competitive projects and manage post-award evaluation.
  • Prevent waste, fraud, and abuse.

Facilities Management:

  • Coordinate with the Division of Acquisition and Cooperative Support (DACS) or Division of Grants and Agreements (DGS) to administer the Cooperative Agreements (CA) for the Management & Operation of the program.
  • Coordinate with the Office of the Assistant Director for Geosciences (GEO) and the LFO on the administration of NSF policies and procedures for oversight of major facilities as applicable to the program.
  • Conduct necessary risk management activities such as the planning, identification, analysis, mitigation, and monitoring of risks through a variety of quantitative and qualitative tools.
  • Engage facility staff to assess their needs, offering information and resources promptly and enhancing their overall efficiency, even in the most complex and sensitive situations
  • Consider the facility lifecycle when making decisions, skillfully guiding researchers and providing exemplary management based on a firm knowledge of their unique needs at the planning, partnership development, and/or divestiture/closure phases
  • Leverage an in-depth understanding of each facility's strengths and needs along with a broad knowledge of key scientific principles and relevant research to make suggestions for technical development that result in clear advances.

Representation, Communication, and Leadership:

  • Represent the Program, Section, Division, and Foundation within the scientific community; with other NSF Divisions; with other agencies and organizations; and with the public, accurately reflecting NSF policy and positions.
  • Create and maintain linkages to other NSF units and other Federal agencies in pursuit of the overall NSF mission.
  • Participate in staff, panel, committee, and other meetings and represent the Program in interdisciplinary and cross- directorate activities and programs.
  • Pursue affirmative action and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) goals.

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