Astronomer (Program Director, Facilities)

Employer
USAJobs
Location
Alexandria, Virginia
Posted
Feb 27, 2021
Closes
Mar 05, 2021
Hours
Full Time
Duties

Summary

The National Science Foundation is seeking qualified candidates for an Astronomer (Program Director, Facilities) position for the Division of Astronomical Sciences (AST) within the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), Alexandria, VA.

For more information on MPS please click here .

For more information on AST please click here .

Learn more about this agency

Responsibilities

Duties

The mission of AST is to support forefront research in ground-based astronomy; to help ensure the scientific excellence of the U.S. astronomical community; to provide access to world-class research facilities through merit review; to support the development of new instrumentation and next-generation facilities; and to encourage broad understanding of the astronomical sciences by a diverse population of scientists, policy makers, educators, and the public at large. The Division supports research in all areas of astronomy and astrophysics as well as related multidisciplinary studies. Because of the scale of modern astronomical research, the Division engages in numerous interagency and international collaborations. Areas of emphasis and the priorities of specific programs are guided by community recommendations, which have been developed and transmitted by National Academies decadal surveys and other reports, and by various federal advisory committees.

The candidate(s) selected for this position will have responsibility in one or more of the following areas: management oversight of mid-scale instrumentation and/or science awards; management oversight of facilities; interaction with other NSF programs, Federal and international agencies and organizations; management of proposal merit review, award recommendations, and post-award management. Program Directors are expected to bring their scientific expertise to the activities of the Division and to serve as a liaison between the astronomical community and NSF, disseminating information about NSF and Division activities and opportunities. Candidates are expected to work with the astronomical research and education community to broaden the diversity of participants and promote equity and inclusion across NSF programs.

The responsibilities of the NSF Program Director are constantly evolving. The Program Director is guided by the goals of NSF's Strategic Plan: (1) transform the frontiers of science and engineering; (2) stimulate innovation and address societal needs through research and education; and (3) excel as a Federal Science Agency. The core strategies NSF staff employ include developing intellectual capital, strengthening the physical infrastructure, integrating research and education, and promoting partnerships. Duties may include some combination of the following:
  • Advising and assisting in the development of goals, objectives, and plans for research programs and infrastructure. Implementing recommendations of Federal advisory committees (such as the Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee and the Mathematical and Physical Sciences Advisory Committee) and their subcommittees, and of National Academies studies.
  • Evaluating, assessing, and advising division management about astronomical community needs for computational and data infrastructure, especially support for hardware, software, and algorithm development.
  • Conducting appropriate oversight of Major Multi-user Facilities (MMF) in operation or under construction, including activities such as review of budgets and annual program plans, and possible divestment, re-purposing, or transition of individual facility components.
  • Supporting MPS/AST management with all aspects of MMF planning, construction, and operations.
  • Working with peers and agency officials to plan, evaluate, facilitate, and oversee directorate-wide activities related to MPS facilities, and with the Office of the Director to determine how to assess the priorities of large projects MPS-wide.
  • Preparation of major facility award and decision packages for the National Science Board and internal review boards, potentially requiring the formation of internal and external advisory structures and including coordination with other agencies.
  • Planning, evaluating, coordinating and supporting mid-scale projects and their impact on major facilities.
  • Developing and executing partnerships with other Federal agencies, international organizations, and private, state, and independent organizations within the United States, for both mid-scale and large facilities.


Supervisory status
No

Promotion Potential
04

Requirements

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 ( Foreign Talent Definitions ). 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.

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 communications that could affect your consideration for this position.

This position is in the bargaining unit.

Please review the "Evaluations" and "Qualifications" sections for additional requirements and Quality Ranking Factors.

Qualifications

Candidates must have a Ph.D. in astronomy, astrophysics, physics, solar physics, or a closely related field, plus after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position.

Applicants should have some education and/or experience in a field of research directly supported by the Division of Astronomical Sciences.

This position is outside the competitive civil service.

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

Education

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. This will ensure that you receive full consideration in the evaluation process.

Quality Ranking Factors
  • Knowledge and understanding of scientific principles and theories applicable to astronomy, astrophysics, and physics which have resulted in recognized status in the community of scientists.
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills, including the ability to communicate effectively and work productively with the scientific community, peers, and co-workers at all levels to advocate program policies and plans and to fulfill NSF's mission.
  • Knowledge of management and organizational concepts, principles, practices, and techniques with expertise in applying this knowledge to the management of science programs, projects, collaborations, research administration, and/or multi-user scientific facilities.
  • Knowledge of budgeting, planning, and project management related to facilities, preferably scientific research facilities,
  • Knowledge of policy related to the management of facilities, and scientific research facilities in particular.
  • Knowledge of the design, construction, operation, and end states of large, complex, cutting-edge, multi-user facilities, and scientific research facilities.

  • To preview questions please click here .

    Background checks and security clearance

    Security clearance
    Other

    Drug test required
    No

    Position sensitivity and risk
    Moderate Risk (MR)

    Trust determination process
    Suitability/Fitness

    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 adsearch@nsf.gov ; 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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