Head, Office of Multidisciplinary Activities and Senior Advisor for Science

Alexandria, Virginia
Oct 23, 2020
Oct 31, 2020
Full Time


This announcement has been amended to extend the closing date to November 5, 2020.

Become a part of our mission to maintain and strengthen the vitality of the US science and engineering enterprise. For over 70 years, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has remained the premier Federal agency supporting basic research at the frontiers of discovery across all fields, as well as science and engineering education at all levels.

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The incumbent serves as an advisor to the Assistant Director (AD) and Deputy Assistant Director (DAD) on scientific, policy, and management matters related to the management and support of research in the Directorate. Key functions and responsibilities include:

Strategic leadership and stewardship of new directions in MPS

• Engages with the MPS AD, DAD, Division Directors, Deputy Division Directors, and program staff to identify, lead, establish, and pursue new directions within MPS, particularly in alignment with NSF's investment priorities

• Assists in identifying and development of emerging areas of science, defining their purpose and identifying areas of emphasis

Coordination of activities in establishing new collaborations and partnerships

• Leads the development of policies and procedures related to carrying out new research programs that engage with external partners

• Coordinates and liaises with academia and industry on potential partnerships in areas of research, education, and research infrastructure supported by MPS divisions

• Remains cognizant of other funding opportunities or programs in similar or related programmatic areas, including those within NSF, at other agencies or organizations, and in other countries

Program management and oversight

• Serves as the directorate liaison to MPS Advisory Committee and its subcommittees

• Assists MPS AD in managing reconsideration cases

Outreach and broadening Participation

• Coordinates and develops directorate wide broadening participation activities to increase diversity in workforce supported by MPS

• Promotes representation of researchers from under-represented minority groups, women and persons with disabilities on advisory committees, review panels, and other mechanisms through which the scientific community provides assistance to the Foundation

Strategic leadership and stewardship of Office of Multi-disciplinary Activities (OMA)

• Identifies goals and objectives of OMA activities and works with the MPS AD and DAD in planning OMA annual budget and establishing funding priorities

• Evaluates progress toward achievement of established goals and objectives in OMA annual reports

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a Public Trust Security Clearance.

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


Appointment to this position will be made under the Excepted Authority of the NSF Act. Candidates who do not have civil service status or reinstatement eligibility will not obtain civil service status if selected. Candidates currently in the competitive service will be required to waive competitive civil service rights if selected. Usual civil service benefits (retirement, health benefits, and life insurance) are applicable.

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

You are highly encouraged to address the following professional skills within your cover letter, which will be used to evaluate your experience, education and training as related to the knowledge, skills and abilities for this position during the review process.

QUALITY RANKING FACTORS: Final ranking is based on an evaluation of experience, education, and training as they relate to the knowledge, skills and abilities specified in the following factors:

• Substantial research and strong evidence of scholarship and leadership in the mathematical and physical sciences or a closely related field as evidenced in publications and other professional contributions

• Ability to support the senior leadership of MPS in recommending and implementing new or modified policies and plans in scientific, fiscal, and administrative matters to improve the activities of management

• Demonstrated ability to conceptualize effectively and communicate with others regarding complex issues and ideas in a clear and concise manner

• Experience in interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary research areas, preferably including participation in a team research environment

• Experience in interagency interaction and outreach to the scientific community

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

Security Clearance: Public Trust - Background Investigation


The incumbent must have a doctoral degree in a field supported by or closely related to MPS.

Additional information

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

If you do not have civil service status or reinstatement eligibility, you will not obtain civil service status if selected. If you are currently in the competitive civil service, you will be required to waive competitive civil service rights if selected. For additional information on the NSF eRecruit system, please visit our NSF eRecruit Frequently Asked Questions

BARGAINING UNIT STATUS: This position is excluded from the bargaining unit.

You must answer all of the job-related questions to ensure full consideration for this position. For more detailed information, please review our NSF eRecruit Frequently Asked Questions.


You must submit all required information by the closing date. If materials are not received, your application will be evaluated solely on the information available and you may not receive full consideration or may not be considered eligible.

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

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 agreements is voluntary.

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, education, and research relevant to the duties of the position.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance

Drug test required

Position sensitivity and risk
Moderate Risk (MR)

Trust determination process

Required Documents

1. Resume or other application format of your choice. Your application should contain the following information: Announcement number and your country of citizenship

Information about your education, your major, and type and year of degree(s); and Information about all your work experience, including job titles, duties, and accomplishments, employer's name and phone number, number of hours worked per week, starting and ending dates (month and year), and salary. If you have held various positions with the same employer, describe each separately.

2. Narrative statement addressing your background in terms of the required qualifications and professional skills should be addressed in your cover letter. Your responses should be clear and concise and show the level of responsibility and the level of accomplishment associated with your experience.

3. NSF Form 1232, Applicant Survey. We also ask that you complete and submit the Applicant Survey Form . 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 are strongly encouraged to submit a current performance appraisal and/or letter(s) of recommendation and a cover letter that describes your background in terms of the professional skills associated with this position. This information will be used in the evaluation process.

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

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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