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Interdisciplinary (Program Director)

Alexandria, Virginia
Closing date
Dec 2, 2022

NSF Program Directors bear the primary responsibility for carrying out the agency's overall mission to support innovative and merit-reviewed activities in basic research and education that contribute to the nation's technical strength, security, and welfare. To fulfill this responsibility requires not only knowledge in the appropriate disciplines, but also a commitment to high standards, a considerable breadth of interest and receptivity to new ideas, a strong sense of fairness, good judgment, and a high degree of personal integrity.

This position is in the Directorate for Technology, Innovation, and Partnerships (TIP) in the Division of Innovation and Technology Ecosystems (ITE), under the Innovation Programs Section. The Innovation Programs Section catalyzes and fosters innovation ecosystems across the U.S. to advance critical and emerging technologies, address national and societal challenges, stimulate economic growth and job creation, spur regional innovation and talent development, and foster partnerships across industry, academia, government, nonprofits, civil society, and communities of practice.

This announcement seeks to recruit program officers in TIP/ITE division who have a deep technical understanding of the research and development ecosystem in one or more of the following technology focus areas:

Technology Focus Areas

(1) Artificial intelligence, machine learning, autonomy, and related advances.

(2) High performance computing, semiconductors, and advanced computer hardware and software.

(3) Quantum information science and technology.

(4) Robotics, automation, and advanced manufacturing.

(5) Natural and anthropogenic disaster prevention or mitigation.

(6) Advanced communications technology and immersive technology.

(7) Biotechnology, medical technology, genomics, and synthetic biology.

(8) Data storage, data management, distributed ledger technologies, and cybersecurity, including biometrics.

(9) Advanced energy and industrial efficiency technologies, such as batteries and advanced nuclear technologies, including but not limited to for the purposes of electric generation (consistent with section 15 of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 (42 U.S.C. 1874)).

(10) Advanced materials science, including composites 2D materials, other next-generation materials, and related manufacturing technologies.

The program officer is expected to perform the following TIP-relevant duties:
  • Work with external stakeholders to develop strategic investment roadmaps that anticipate growth vectors for their technology area(s) and support rapid translation of lab outcomes in those areas,
  • Initiate and lead partnership development for research and translation programs funded with NSF and partner investments in their technology focus area(s),
  • Seek the creation of a broad portfolio of programs and projects that responds to a diverse set of national challenges to seed, accelerate, and sustain the growth of robust, equitable, and inclusive innovation ecosystems across the country.
  • Represent the TIP Directorate on NSF-wide working groups on their technology area(s), and represent NSF in external meetings, working groups and standards bodies involving other Federal agencies and organizations.
  • Assist in the preparation of feature articles, press releases, and material describing the impacts of the NSF investments in their technology focus area(s).

The program officer is also expected to help direct and position NSF investments in their technology focus area(s) to address the societal, national, and geostrategic challenges of:

(1) United States national security,

(2) United States manufacturing and industrial productivity,

(3) United States workforce development and skills gaps,

(4) Climate change and environmental sustainability, and

(5) Inequitable access to education and opportunity.


Conditions of Employment

  • Background investigation.
  • Selective Service registration required for male applicants, unless exempt.

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 ( Foreign Talent Definitions ). 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.

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

All online applicants must provide 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.

This position is excluded from the bargaining unit.

Please preview "Evaluations" section and "Qualifications" for additional requirements and Quality Ranking Factors.


Candidates must have a Ph.D. in a STEM field, plus after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position; OR a Master's degree in a STEM field, plus after award of the degree, eight or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position. You must identify the date that your degree was obtained.

Applicants must submit a cover letter that clearly identifies the chosen technology area(s) among the ten listed above in which they claim technical proficiency. Applicants must demonstrate the following attributes in their application:
  • Technical proficiency in their chosen technology focus area(s),
  • Clear understanding of the state of practice in industrial R&D and technology roadmaps in their chosen technology focus area(s),
  • Knowledge of national and international R&D priorities in their chosen technology focus area(s)
  • Ability to work with and/or build partnerships with industry, federal labs, academia, and/or venture capitalists with investments in this technology area.

  • This position is outside the competitive civil service.

    You must meet eligibility and qualification requirements by the closing date of the announcement.

    Additional information

    Relocation expenses MAY be paid contingent upon the availability of funds

    This announcement is open to All US Citizens who meet citizenship and eligibility requirements.

    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.

    This announcement may be used to fill like positions in other organizations within the National Science Foundation.

    NSF has determined that all of its positions are eligible for telework. Work suitable for telework depends on job duties; therefore, employees must receive approval from their supervisor for telework and have a telework agreement in place. Entering into a telework agreement is voluntary.

    The Selected Candidate(s) may be subject to a background investigation.

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