Science Education Administrator (Program Director)

Alexandria, Virginia
Oct 20, 2020
Oct 27, 2020
Full Time


The National Science Foundation is seeking qualified candidate for a Science Education Administrator (Program Director) position for the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program in the Division of Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL) within the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR), Alexandria, VA.

For more information on EHR please click here .

For more information DRL please click here .

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The incumbent for this Program Director position will work primarily in the Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program, with the potential of working in other programs in DRL. AISL supports innovative research, evaluation, and practice in informal learning settings and for people across the lifespan. This includes the development of theory, methods, measurement, innovation, and capacity building in informal STEM learning environments. A major goal of the program is to enhance the science and practice of broadening participation in STEM in informal learning environments, focusing on equity and inclusion and taking account of the perspectives and strengths of groups that have historically been underrepresented. AISL supports research and development across the full domain of informal STEM learning.

NSF Program Directors have an unparalleled opportunity and responsibility to ensure NSF funded activities are at the forefront of advancing fundamental knowledge. In support of that, Program Directors are responsible for extensive interaction with informal and formal educational organizations, academic and industry research communities, as well as interaction with other Federal agencies that may lead to development of interagency collaborations. Within this context, Program Directors solicit, receive, and review proposals; make funding recommendations; administer awards; and undertake interaction with research communities in these fields. They are also responsible for service to the Foundation-wide activities and initiatives that together accomplish NSF's strategic goals to:

1) Transform the Frontiers of Science and Engineering

2) Stimulate Innovation and Address Societal Needs through Research and Education

3) Excel as a Federal Science Agency.

The position requires a commitment to high intellectual and ethical standards, a considerable breath of interest, receptivity to new ideas, an understanding of and commitment to broadening participation, and a strong sense of fairness, good judgement, and a high degree of personal integrity.

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. or Ed.D. in STEM Education, Education Research, the Learning Sciences or a STEM-related field, or fields associated with public engagement in STEM, plus after award of the Ph.D. or Ed.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position; OR a Master's degree in STEM Education, Education Research, the Learning Sciences or a STEM-related field, or fields associated with public engagement in STEM, plus after award of the degree, eight 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 OR current NSF employees) 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 as they relate to your background, experiences, and expertise. This will ensure that you receive full consideration in the evaluation process.

Quality Ranking Factors
  • Experience and scholarship in STEM education research supporting learning in informal contexts including knowledge of theory, methods, and/or practice.
  • Demonstrated ability to situate one's scholarship/practice within the broader dialogue about diversity, equity, access, and inclusion regarding learning STEM in informal contexts.
  • Knowledge and understanding of opportunities and challenges in the field of/subsectors associated with informal STEM learning.
  • Capacity to analyze documents (e.g., proposals, manuscripts, reports) and develop well-reasoned recommendations about funding or publication. Ability to conduct a holistic review process that considers a range of experiences and perspectives.
  • Proven history of interpersonal workplace competences necessary to interact with highly diverse teams, personnel, and stakeholders, including evidence of supporting and promoting equity and/or evidence of effective management within a context that requires working in teams with a wide range of people with diverse perspectives, work assignments, and backgrounds. Ability to create an environment that is collaborative, open, and transparent in the pursuit of high-quality decisions, procedures, and products.

  • To preview questions please click here .

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance
    Not Required

    Drug test required

    Position sensitivity and risk
    Moderate Risk (MR)

    Trust determination process

    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. 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 should 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 uploading must be completed before 11:59 PM Eastern time on the vacancy closing date.

    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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