Division Director, Division of Physics (IPA)

Alexandria, Virginia
May 28, 2023
Jun 01, 2023
Executive, Director
Full Time

The mission of the Division of Physics (PHY) is to enable fundamental research and education across the intellectual frontiers of the field. Programs in eight subareas support research that covers a broad spectrum of energy, time, and distance scales. PHY seeks a deep understanding of processes that describe the formation and current structure of the cosmos, from elementary particles to gravitational waves, the behavior of matter at all energies where quantum effects dominate, the physical description of the living world, and the structure of atomic and molecular entities that shape and control the everyday world that we live in. PHY also supports the development of new tools and techniques needed to expand and refine our understanding within these many areas - from particle accelerators to probe physics at the energy frontier, to femtosecond lasers to probe and control atomic and molecular systems, to LIGO, a new window on the universe. The knowledge gained through basic research will ultimately have broad impact on other fields of science and on the health, economic strength, and defense of society, while the research activity itself will contribute to the formation of the Nation's advanced high-tech workforce.

The Division Director leads a team of program officers in managing a broad portfolio of investments in physics research and education. The incumbent has managerial and oversight responsibilities for the effective use of Division staff and resources in meeting organizational goals and objectives. This includes directing the activities of the Division, assessing the needs and trends in research and education related to the Division's programs, implementing overall strategic planning, and policy setting. The Division Director supervises and provides leadership and guidance to senior level PHY staff (Deputy Division Director and the Senior Advisor), PHY program officers, administrative and support personnel. The Division Director determines funding requirements, prepares and justifies budget estimates, balances program needs, allocates resources, oversees the evaluation of proposals and recommendations for awards and declinations, and represents NSF to relevant external groups. The Division Director fosters partnerships with other Divisions, Directorates, Federal agencies, scientific organizations, and the academic community.


Conditions of Employment

Key Requirements:
  • Background investigation may be required.
  • Selective Service registration required for male applicants, unless exempt.
  • Requires an Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure OGE278

  • Qualifications

    The successful candidate will possess an established record of significant achievement in research, administration, and increasing leadership responsibility in academe, industry or government. Additionally, the Division Director must be experienced and competent in technical, financial and administrative management. The incumbent must work well with people, be an effective communicator, and be committed to continuously develop the diversity of talents and skills of the team.

    In addition, the ideal candidate would possess:

    Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs)
  • Leading Change. Demonstrated ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Includes the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.
  • Leading People. Demonstrated ability to lead people toward meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals. Includes the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts.
  • Results-Driven Leadership. Demonstrated ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Includes the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.
  • Business Acumen. Demonstrated ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.
  • Building Coalitions. Demonstrated ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, nonprofit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals.
  • Mandatory Technical Qualification (MTQs)

    1. Education, strongly preferred at the Ph.D. level, or equivalent professional experience, or a combination of education and equivalent experience, in physics or a closely related field.

    2. Substantial research contributions and strong evidence of scholarship in areas related to physics as evidenced by publications, innovative leadership in research administration, and professional leadership and awards in these technical areas.

    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 and engineering is conducted including knowledge of grant administration and fiscal management with experience in physics research support.


    Please refer to the Qualifications section.

    Additional information

    The position recruited under this announcement will be filled under the following appointment option:

    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. Initial assignments under IPA provisions may be made for a period up to two years, with a possible extension for up to an additional two-year period. 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.

    Salary: The salary noted above is based on the rate of pay for Federal Division Directors. The IPA assignment salary is based on the current salary at the IPA's home institution.

    This is a rotator position.

    NSF offers a chance for scientists, engineers, and educators to join us as temporary detailees - called rotators. As a rotator, you will be in a prime position to collaborate with others and increase your visibility as you survey the entire breadth of U.S. and international science, engineering, and education in real time. In addition, as a temporary detailee, you can retain your ties to your current institution and return to it with new insights and experience for your team.
    Learn more about rotator programs at NSF

    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

    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. Non-Citizens who do not provide the affidavit at the time of application will not be considered eligible. Non-Citizens are not eligible for positions requiring a security clearance.

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