Deputy Assistant Director, Office of the Assistant Director

Alexandria, Virginia
Dec 02, 2021
Dec 07, 2021
Executive, Director
Full Time

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is ranked in the top 5 best places to work amongst midsize agencies in the federal government, and the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) is ranked in the top 5 best places to work amongst 411 agency subcomponents in the federal government. BIO is responsible for managing and funding major research programs and facilities supported by the NSF in the biological sciences. The activities of the Directorate, implemented through four Divisions and the Emerging Frontiers activities, are broad and international in scope and require close coordination with related programs both within and outside the Foundation.

The Deputy Assistant Director serves as a key assistant to the Assistant Director for BIO in all phases of the Directorate's activities and programs, providing leadership and coordinating activities with the Directorate's senior managers. The Deputy Assistant Director is a member of the BIO leadership team and serves as Assistant Director in the absence of the incumbent.

The incumbent participates with the Assistant Director in:
  • providing leadership in development and implementation of an organizational vision that integrates NSF's strategic goals.
  • developing, implementing, and evaluating processes for Directorate strategic planning, policy development and budgeting of research support.
  • designing and maintaining a dynamic and effective program and organizational structure responsive to the vision, policies and plans of the Directorate and the Foundation.
  • providing leadership and oversight to the business processes of the Directorate,
  • ensuring compliance with Federal policy and conflicts-of-interest provisions in all phases of Directorate management.
  • ensuring internal controls to prevent or deter the fraud, waste, and abuse of government resources and to promote responsive management of government and Directorate programs.
  • providing leadership and direction to the preparation of BIO budget planning activities and presentation of the Directorate budget to agency officials.
  • assessing current and future staffing needs based on organizational goals and budget realities and overseeing the allocation of financial resources.
  • providing oversight of the preparation and presentation of substantive program reviews, special projects and studies, and actions for the consideration by the National Science Board.
  • implementing representation of underrepresented groups, women and persons with disabilities on advisory committees and review panels.
  • overseeing the management of the Office of the Assistant Director, including personnel, resource allocations, programmatic and Salaries and Expenses (S&E) expenditures.


Conditions of Employment

  • One Year probationary period for all new Career SES appointments.
  • Requires an "Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure Report" (OGE-278).
  • Must be able to obtain and maintain a Secret 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


EXECUTIVE/MANAGERIAL (E/Ms): Unless you are currently under a career SES appointment, are eligible for reinstatement into SES, or have successfully completed a SES Candidate Development Program approved by OPM, you must submit written statements (narrative format) describing accomplishments that would satisfy the E/Ms. If you fail to do so, you will be rated as "ineligible."


1. Leading Change. This core qualification involves the ability to bring about strategic change, both within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Inherent in this E/M is the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.

2. Leading People. This core qualification involves the ability to lead people toward meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals. Inherent in this E/M is the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts.

3. Results-Driven Leadership. This core qualification involves the ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Inherent in this E/M is the ability to make decisions that produce high-quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.

4. Business Acumen. This core qualification involves the ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.

5. Building Coalitions. This core qualification involves the ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, State and local governments, non-profit and private sector organizations, foreign governments, or international organizations to achieve common goals.

PROFESSIONAL/TECHNICAL (P/Ts): All applicants must submit written statements (narrative format) of accomplishments that would satisfy the P/T qualifications. You must address each P/T qualification separately.


1. Education strongly preferred at the Ph.D. level, or equivalent professional experience, or a combination of education and equivalent experience in biological sciences or a closely related discipline and demonstrated knowledge of relevant academic community and recognized professional standing in the biological sciences community as evidenced by publications and/or professional leadership and awards.

2. Knowledge of current research capabilities, policy issues related to the needs of the academic and industrial research communities (including human resources, equipment, and facilities) and experience in scientific research support (including grant and contract administration and fiscal management).

3. Demonstrated ability to liaise with high-level officials of the federal government, scientific/engineering academic communities, and with officials of major scientific professional organizations.

4. Demonstrated ability to identify, interpret and clarify the intent and impact of Administration and Congressional initiatives and mandates, and to recommend appropriate procedures for implementation.

• When responding to the P/T and E/M qualifications, you must clearly show that you possess the experience, knowledge, skills and ability to perform the duties of this position by submitting narrative responses in which you detail your experience in each of the E/Ms and P/Ts.
• Your examples should be clear and emphasize your level of responsibilities, scope, and complexity of the programs managed and program accomplishments with results of your actions, policy initiatives and level of contacts.

Applicants currently serving under a career Senior Executive Service (SES) appointment, eligible for reinstatement into SES, or have successfully completed a SES Candidate Development Program (CDP) approved by OPM are not required to address the Executive/Managerial (E/M) Qualifications (ECQs); but a narrative statement for each of the Professional/Technical (P/T) Qualifications (PTQs) is required.

To view additional information on the proper preparation of Executive Core Qualifications (ECQs)
statements, applicants are strongly encouraged to review the Office of Personnel Management's Guide to Executive Qualifications .

Additional information

The Senior Executive Service (SES) covers managerial positions above GS-15 in the Federal Service. Persons appointed to the SES are eligible for health benefits, life insurance, social security, Federal retirement and thrift savings plan coverage, and participate in the Federal leave system. Competitive status is not required, veteran's preference does not apply and there are no grade restrictions.

Relocation expenses may be paid contingent upon the availability of funds.

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. Non-Citizens are not eligible for positions requiring a security clearance.

Only applications submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at will be considered.

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