Social Scientist (Program Director)

Alexandria, Virginia
Nov 30, 2021
Dec 02, 2021
Full Time

The SES Division welcomes applications from experts who can help shape, invigorate, and manage any of the following funding programs within the Division.
  • Accountable Institutions and Behavior : The Accountable Institutions and Behavior (AIB) Program supports basic scientific research that advances knowledge and understanding of issues broadly related to attitudes, behavior, and institutions connected to public policy and the provision of public services. The AIB program is intended to support the study of individual and group decision-making, political institutions (appointed or elected), attitude and preference formation and expression, electoral processes and voting, public administration, and public policy.
  • Economics : The Economics program supports research to improve understanding of economic processes and institutions within the U.S. and throughout the world. The program strengthens empirical, theoretical, and other methods of rigorous research on economic behavior and phenomena. Almost every area of economics is eligible, including econometrics, economic history, environmental economics, finance, industrial organization, international economics, labor economics, macroeconomics, mathematical economics, and public finance.
  • Decision, Risk and Management Sciences : The Decision, Risk and Management Sciences (DRMS) program supports scientific research directed at increasing the understanding and effectiveness of decision making by individuals, groups, organizations, and society.
  • Science of Organizations : The Science of Organizations (SoO) program funds basic research that yields a scientific evidence base for improving the design and emergence, development and deployment, and management and ultimate effectiveness of organizations of all kinds. Research funded through SoO advances our fundamental understanding of how organizations develop, form and operate.
  • Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace: Secure and Trustworthy Cyberspace (SaTC) program aligns with the goals of the National Science and Technology Council's (NSTC) Federal Cybersecurity Research and Development Strategic Plan (RDSP) and National Privacy Research Strategy (NPRS) to protect and preserve the growing social and economic benefits of cyber systems while ensuring security and privacy. The program takes an interdisciplinary, comprehensive, and holistic approach to cybersecurity research, development, and education, and encourages the transition of promising research ideas into practice. The SaTC program spans the interests of NSF's Directorates for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), Engineering (ENG), Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS), Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE), and Education and Human Resources (EHR).

This announcement is intended to fill multiple positions. Applicants must specify in their submissions at least one and no more than two programs for which they wish to be considered.


  • Maintain a healthy portfolio of support for all the needs of the research and education enterprise.
  • Manage program resources so as to promote integrity, consistency, and good scientific judgement in the grant/declination process while avoiding conflicts of interest, imbalances of representation, or perceptions of partiality.
  • Manage an effective and timely merit review process, with attention to increasing the size, quality, and diversity of the reviewer pools, including participation by women, minorities and disabled scientists.
  • Advise and assist in the development of plans that establish compelling goals and objectives for research programs.
  • Budget programmatic expenditures to allocate risk and resources appropriately.
  • Maintain the rules, integrity, and reputation of NSF grantmaking.

  • Represent the Program accurately reflecting NSF policy and positions.
  • Create and maintain linkages to other NSF units in pursuit of the overall NSF mission.
  • Participate in meetings, providing input relevant to Program area and/or Division.
  • Pursue and/or be responsive to assignment on special projects and temporary working groups from across the Foundation to solve problems, to improve communication, and to coordinate special efforts.
  • Contribute ideas and energy to improving the quality of NSF's policies and performance. Provide information to the community on how NSF is pursuing its mission and gather information from the community about perceptions of NSF's effectiveness.
  • Prepare and disseminate a variety of documents.

  • Establish contacts and maintain active involvement in Program and related areas through participation in professional activities.
  • Maintain familiarity with salient current research developments. Pursue individual research as workload and travel funds permit.
  • Expand administrative capabilities through training courses or assumption of new management responsibilities.


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

As required by Executive Order 14043, Federal employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 regardless of the employee's duty location or work arrangement, subject to such exceptions as required by law. This policy applies to all NSF staff, to include employees, Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA) assignees, Visiting Scientists, Engineers, and Educators (VSEEs), as well as fellows and interns. If selected, you will be required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by November 22, 2021 and submit documentation of proof of vaccination by November 22, 2021 or before appointment or on-boarding with the agency, if after November 22. Upon selection, NSF will provide additional information regarding what documentation will be needed and how you can request a legally required exception from this requirement. 

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 Social 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 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.

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