Deputy Assistant Director, Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences

Alexandria, Virginia
Sep 28, 2022
Oct 06, 2022
Executive, Director
Full Time

This position is in NSF's Directorate for Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) in the Office of the Assistant Director. The research supported by SBE focuses on human behavior and social organizations and how social, economic, political, cultural and environmental forces affect the lives of people and how people in turn shape those forces. Scientists supported by SBE develop and employ rigorous methods to discover fundamental principles of human behavior at levels ranging from cells to society and from neurons to entire nations.

The deputy assistant director serves as a primary member of the SBE leadership team and works closely with the assistant director and other leaders to guide the strategic goals and operations of the SBE directorate, including its divisions and offices:
  • The Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences Division, supporting basic research in the psychological, linguistic, anthropological and geographic sciences.
  • The Social and Economic Sciences Division, supporting methodological research, big data and survey infrastructure in social science and economics.
  • The National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics, one of the thirteen principal federal statistical agencies and the leading source of statistical data on the science and engineering enterprise in the U.S. and abroad.
  • The SBE Office of Multidisciplinary Activities, supporting interdisciplinary research and training in the social, behavioral and economic sciences and efforts to increase and broaden participation in those sciences for students and researchers from less well-represented communities.

The deputy assistant director manages the internal operations of the Directorate and the coordination of Directorate-wide initiatives. The deputy assistant director also provides leadership in the area of human capital management for a staff of approximately 125 including performance planning and evaluation, conflict management, recruitment and professional development. Participates in cross-directorate, NSF-wide and interagency initiatives including policy-related activities.


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.


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 be rated as ineligible.


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. Ph.D. strongly preferred or equivalent professional experience in the social or behavioral sciences or related field.

2. Substantial research contributions and experience in academic, government and/or private national research and education endeavors as evidenced in publications, innovative leadership in research administration and/or professional leadership awards.

3. Demonstrated ability to work effectively on interdisciplinary matters and science policy with scientific and technical staff from many disciplines.

4. Knowledge of grant and contract administration, fiscal management, and budget preparation with experience in scientific 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 be rated as ineligible.

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; but a narrative statement for each of the Professional/Technical (P/T) qualifications is required.

To view additional information on the proper preparation of Executive Core Qualification (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.

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.