Interdisciplinary Program Director, AD-0101/0401/0801/1301/1501-04

Alexandria, Virginia
Dec 01, 2021
Dec 04, 2021
Full Time

The National Science Foundation's Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) programs provide grants to small businesses with the goal of stimulating the Nation's technological innovation. The SBIR/STTR programs play a key role in translating technical innovation and scientific discovery into commercial outcomes, and associated broader societal impact, through support of innovation research at small business enterprises. NSF SBIR/STTR seeks to support companies with early­-stage technologies that require additional research and development in order to enable successful commercialization. The technologies which NSF SBIR/STTR funds must be highly innovative with strong commercial potential and satisfy a market need. Emphasis in the proposal review process is placed on the novelty of the technology as well as the potential of the small business to translate NSF's support into commercial impact in the marketplace. These programs collectively support several hundred small businesses each year, across a vast range of technical and market areas.

Program Directors have an unparalleled opportunity and responsibility to ensure the NSF SBIR and STTR programs fulfill their mandate as "America's Seed Fund", and that these programs support the next generation of innovative, high­-growth technology enterprises. Program Directors solicit and review applications, consider external advice from technical and commercial experts, perform due diligence on potential awards, make funding recommendations, and provide guidance and oversight to awardee small businesses. They are also responsible for service to 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, and 3) Excel as a Federal Science Agency.

Individuals selected for this position will serve as Program Directors. Program Directors are responsible for:
  • Spearheading NSF's merit review process, which relies on advice and feedback from technical and commercial experts to guide NSF funding decisions regarding SBIR and STTR applications;
  • Working closely with awardee companies before, during, and after NSF funding, to provide guidance and mentorship and to maximize the chance of project and company success;
  • Conducting due diligence on potential SBIR and STTR awardee small businesses in advance of funding recommendations, in order to ensure the highest quality of funded projects and to ensure that NSF policies and procedures are followed;
  • Working with the program staff NSF­-wide, as well as external communities of innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors, to apprise them to the opportunities and requirements of the SBIR/STTR programs;
  • Designing, developing, managing, coordinating, and implementing small business solicitations, conferences, publications, and reports;
  • Developing and presenting clear and concise explanations and interpretations of NSF policies and research program initiatives for small businesses, the academic community, large industrial firms, the investment community, state and local governments, and other federal agencies.


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.


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

Candidates must have a Ph.D. in a science or engineering field related to the SBIR/STTR program plus after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position; OR a Master's degree in an engineering or science field related to the SBIR/STTR program 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.

Additional information

Please note: NSF IPA's are not considered agency employees and are not eligible to apply.

Relocation expenses will NOT be paid.

This announcement is open to 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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