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Employment Opportunity for a Program Director Position, National Science Foundation

Siddiq Qidwai's picture

May 15, 2018

Dear Colleagues:

The Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) in the Directorate for Engineering at the National Science Foundation (NSF) announces a nationwide search to fill a Program Director position for the Engineering for Civil Infrastructure (ECI) Program.

Program Directors have an unparalleled opportunity and responsibility to ensure that NSF-funded research is at the forefront of advancing fundamental knowledge. In support of this, Program Directors are responsible for extensive interaction with academic research communities and industry, as well as interaction with other Federal agencies that may lead to the 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) transform the frontiers of science and engineering, (2) stimulate innovation and address societal needs through research and education, and (3) excel as a federal science agency. 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 judgment, and a high degree of personal integrity.

Formal consideration of interested applications will begin May 31, 2018, and will continue until a selection is made with an intended start date of December 2018, or January 2019.

The Engineering for Civil Infrastructure (ECI) program was created in September, 2017, representing a new and integrated vision for fundamental research to underpin transformative innovations for the built environment that are resilient, economical, and adaptable to enhance national prosperity and societal benefits. The program focuses on the physical infrastructure, and considers proposals that advance knowledge and methodologies both within and combining geotechnical, structural, architectural, materials, coastal, and construction engineering. The program encourages proposals that include collaboration with researchers from other fields, including, for example, biomimetics, bioinspired design, advanced computation, data science, materials science, additive manufacturing, robotics, and control theory. Inquiries regarding the program can be directed to the Program Directors identified on the program web page.

The Program Director will be expected to work as a member of the ECI Program Director team, as well as independently, to advance this integrated ECI vision. The Program Director will also be expected to be proactive in involvement in cross-divisional and cross-directorate initiatives that contribute to expansion of the research vision for the future of civil infrastructure including those aligned with the NSF 10 Big Ideas. Candidates should therefore possess a background in fundamental research related to the built environment. Complementary expertise in the areas of advanced computing, including data science and computational mechanics; non-conventional and disruptive building materials and processes; and/or controls and robotics is of particular interest.

Qualifications of a successful candidate include a PhD degree in an appropriate field plus, after award of the PhD, six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position. The position requires excellent oral and written communication skills. Familiarity with NSF programs and activities is highly desirable.

The position may be filled under one of the following appointment alternatives:

Visiting Scientist, Engineer or Educator (VSEE) 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 institutions 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 institutions 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.

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. 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 to a maximum of four years total.

For additional information regarding our rotator program, please visit 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.

Applicants should indicate in their cover letters that they are applying to the ECI program and submit their applications including their curriculum vitae via email to:

ECI Program Director Search Committee
Dr. Mary Toney
Division of Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation
Directorate for Engineering
National Science Foundation
Alexandria, VA 22314

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

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