Science Advisor (Office of the Assistant Director)

Arlington, Virginia
Aug 01, 2017
Aug 30, 2017
Executive, Director
Full Time

About the Agency

This position is Science Advisor for the Office of the Assistant Director (OAD) in the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO).

The Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) supports research to advance understanding of the principles and mechanisms governing life. Research studies extend across systems that encompass biological molecules, cells, tissues, organs, organisms, populations, communities, and ecosystems up to and including the global biosphere. Comprehensive concepts that bridge and unify the diverse areas of biology include complexity, robustness, communication, resilience, adaptability and cooperation. Achieving a coherent understanding of the complex biological web of interactions that is life is a major challenge of the future. This challenge will require that knowledge about the structure and dynamics of individual biological units, networks, sub-systems and systems be complied and connected from the molecular to the global level and across scales of time and space. Integral to all activities across the Directorate is a commitment to integrate research and education, broaden participation, and promote international partnerships.

The Science Advisor advises and cooperates with Assistant Director, Deputy Assistant Director and Senior Staff in Directorate management as well as the development of BIO long range plans. Responsibilities include: assistance in recruitment of Program Directors and other staff; coordination of special projects, workshops and initiatives within the Directorate, including innovation activities; organization of seminars relevant to BIO science; coordination of analysis of Directorate program data and trends; assistance in program planning; and representation of the Directorate's programs and interests to officials in the government, academic and industrial sectors and internationally as needed.

NSF is relocating to Alexandria, Virginia. In late summer of 2017, NSF will begin the transition from its current location in Arlington, VA to 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22314. The new location is adjacent to a Metro station (Eisenhower Avenue on the Yellow Line) and there is ample parking in the area. There are several amenities nearby, such as restaurants, hotels, and shops.

  • Background investigation.
  • Preview questions at bottom of Qualifications & Evaluations--see tab above.
  • Applicants should have a Ph.D. or equivalent experience in a field supported by the Directorate for Biological Sciences plus after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful independent research or research administration. In addition, the applicants should possess the ability to participate in the leadership of a research organization; a record of accomplishments in his or her field; an ability to recognize current and emerging scientific trends and recommend new directions. The applicant must have good communication skills and be able to represent the breadth of BIO science in a wide range of settings. Management or other experience with a program is desirable.

    This position is outside the competitive civil service.

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

    Please preview "Evaluations" section and "Qualifications" for additional requirements.

    Public Trust - Background Investigation


    Serve as an advisor to the Assistant Director and Deputy Assistant Director on scientific, policy and management matters related to the management and support of research in the Directorate.

    • Represent the Directorate as required on working groups and at meetings.
    • Assist the Assistant Director and Deputy Assistant Director in Directorate management activities.
    • Coordinate special projects, innovation activities and programs within the Directorate; including defining their purpose and identifying areas of emphasis.
    • Assist the Assistant Director and Deputy Assistant Director and Senior Management Staff in identification and development of emerging areas of BIO science, through analysis of program date and trends and organization of seminars and workshops relevant to BIO science.
    • Assist in implementation of and oversight for a strategic planning process that integrates program planning and oversight, leading edge discussions, with the budget development process within and across the organization.
    • Assist in development of implementation strategies within BIO for NSF strategic goals and cross-cutting initiatives. Provide advice and assistance in the development and revision of suitable internal program structures, the arrangement of program and project goals and levels of effort, and the continuing review, evaluation and coordination of BIO activities.
    • Assist in managing the BIO Advisory Committee, including coordinating agendas, following through on action plans, developing materials for review, including coordinating COVs through the directorate and the AC.
    • In coordination with BIO OAD staff, assist in managing the BIO Advisory Committee, including coordinating agendas, following through on action plans, developing materials for review, including coordinating COVs through the directorate and the AC.

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