Biological Science Administrator (Program Director)

Alexandria, Virginia
Oct 17, 2019
Oct 25, 2019
Full Time


The National Science Foundation is seeking qualified candidate for a Biological Science Administrator (Program Director) position in the Antarctic Organisms and Ecosystems (AOE) program within the Antarctic Sciences Section (ANT) of the Office of Polar Programs (OPP), Directorate for Geosciences (GEO), Alexandria, VA.

For more information on GEO please click here .

For more information on OPP please click here .

Learn more about this agency


ANT supports cutting-edge research that (1) expands fundamental knowledge of the Antarctic and the natural laboratory it represents across a range of disciplines, (2) improves understanding of interactions between the Antarctic and Southern Ocean region and Earth system, and (3) utilizes the unique characteristics of the Antarctic continent as an observing platform. The U.S. Antarctic Program (USAP) supports scientific research in Antarctica and the Southern Ocean with logistics provided by OPP's Antarctic Infrastructure and Logistics Section (AIL).

The AOE Program Director is responsible for managing a proposal driven grants program and for overseeing a research portfolio directed at all levels of biologically-related organization from molecular, cellular, and organismal, to communities, ecosystems, and global processes. The Program Director has the opportunity to shape future directions for the program through interactions with the research community, related research programs within ANT, other NSF divisions, and organizations external to NSF.

It is not necessary that the applicant has had prior ANT or polar experience to be considered for this position. However, the incumbent must have demonstrated experience leading an active biological research portfolio.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

A. Management
  • Manages the merit review process for the AOE Program in accordance with NSF policies and develops recommendations for awards based on reviewer advice, knowledge of the research proposed, and appropriate regard for program balance.
  • Oversees NSF-funded Antarctic science programs within the AOE portfolio.
  • Manages AOE program resources. Convenes external oversight and management reviews as necessary.

  • B. Planning
  • Leads and facilitates research community activities to develop long-range scientific plans for biological sciences in the Antarctic with due cognizance for the total scope and nature of polar research activities, the resources available or required, and the national and international interests to be served. Functions as an agent for change when improvement, innovation, or redirection of activities is warranted.
  • Develops educational and other initiatives to promote diversity in the AOE Program.
  • Works with other Section and Office managers to plan and implement Antarctic field projects and ensures efficient utilization of resources by projects deployed to Antarctica.

  • C. Coordination
  • Serves as ANT's representative on national and international scientific committees having a related scientific purview.
  • Serves as the focal point for the coordination of program plans related to AOE with other NSF programs, other Federal agencies, and with other nation's Antarctic programs.
  • Serves on NSF committees and working groups, as required.

  • D. Deployment
  • Essential to duties of this position is deployment as NSF Science Representative in Antarctica for periods of several weeks each year. This requires that the program officer be cleared medically for remote deployment.
  • As part of annual Antarctic deployment, the incumbent reviews field programs and evaluates existing support modes and practices to improve science support infrastructure for research across all research areas supported by ANT.

  • Travel Required

    Occasional travel - TBD

    Supervisory status

    Promotion Potential


    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. 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

    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 in the bargaining unit.

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


    Candidates must have a Ph.D. in a Biological Science, plus after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position.

    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.

    How You Will Be Evaluated

    You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

    You will be evaluated on the extent and quality of your experience, expertise, education, and research activities relevant to the duties of the position. In some cases, additional assessment processes may also be used.

    We strongly encourage you to specifically address the Quality Ranking Factors below. This will ensure that you receive full consideration in the evaluation process.

    Quality Ranking Factors
  • Knowledge and understanding of scientific principles and theories relevant to Antarctic Organisms and Ecosystems as demonstrated by publications, invited talks, and/or professional recognition.
  • Professional bearing, interpersonal communications skills and ability to present and convincingly defend program policies and plans to peers, the science community, representatives of other federal agencies, foreign national programs, managers of related organizations and senior managers in NSF.
  • Research, analytical and technical writing skills which evidence the ability to manage an externally reviewed proposal-driven grants program and to perform extensive inquiry into a wide variety of significant issues and make recommendations and decisions based on findings.

  • To preview questions please click here .

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance

    Drug test required

    Required Documents

    All applicants must submit a resume in any format, and may also submit a cover letter.

    In order to be considered for federal appointments, Non-Citizens must affirm that they meet the Appropriations Law eligibility criteria 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. Non Citizens who are exempt from the Appropriations Law requirements due to their status as officers or employees of the U.S. government on December 16, 2009 must provide a statement with their application noting their exemption with documentation of proof of status as officers or employees of the U.S. government on that date.

    You are strongly encouraged to submit a current performance appraisal and/or letter(s) of recommendation and a supplemental statement that describes how your background relates to the Quality Ranking Factors (QRFs) listed in the Qualifications and Evaluation Requirements section of this announcement. This information will be used in the evaluation process.

    We also ask that you complete and submit the Applicant Survey . This will help NSF to ensure that our recruiting efforts are attracting a diverse candidate pool; it will be used for statistical purposes only.

    You can fax or upload your letter of recommendation(s) or the individual(s) can email the letter of recommendation(s) to ; please ask him/her to put your name and the job announcement number in the subject line.

    Transcripts are not required; however, please indicate the year that each degree was obtained on your application materials.

    All faxing/uploading must be completed before 11:59 PM Eastern time on the vacancy closing date. If you are faxing your information, please use extreme care in dialing the fax number to assure we receive your information. You will receive an email confirmation of receipt of your faxed/uploaded document(s).

    If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

    Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

    Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.

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