Program Director

Alexandria, Virginia
Jan 20, 2022
Jan 28, 2022
Full Time

A recent survey of Federal employees across all governmental agencies ranked NSF's Directorate for Biological Sciences as the 5th best place to work in the Federal government. The Division of Integrated Organismal Systems (IOS) supports research aimed at improving our understanding of whole organisms as integrated units of biological organization. The Division welcomes projects that employ diverse integrative approaches to research addressing organismal-level questions that lead to new conceptual or theoretical insights or testable predictions about organismal properties including the relationship between genotypes and phenotypes across social and environmental contexts. IOS also supports research leading to transformative methods, tools and research resources.

We are seeking candidates for multiple program director positions in the Developmental Systems and the Physiological and Structural Systems clusters.

The Developmental Systems Cluster supports research aimed at understanding how interacting developmental processes give rise to the emergent properties of organisms. Systems level approaches to understanding these processes at the molecular, cellular, and organismal levels of organization, combining the use of molecular, genetic, biochemical, and physiological techniques as well as techniques from outside biology are encouraged. The Developmental Systems Cluster is also particularly interested in understanding how emergent properties result in the development of complex phenotypes and lead to the evolution of developmental mechanisms. You can read more about the 3 programs within the cluster by clicking here.

The Physiological and Structural Systems (PSS) Cluster supports research to advance understanding of whole-organism physiological mechanisms and functional morphology. PSS supports hypothesis-driven organismal research encompassing a wide range of approaches and perspectives. Although research supported by the PSS Cluster includes molecular approaches and the interface of organismal biology with population biology, the intellectual focus of this research is on understanding whole organisms. The Cluster encourages submission of proposals aimed at 1) identifying fundamental design principles of physiological and structural systems; 2) understanding why particular morphological and physiological mechanisms have evolved; and 3) how they are integrated at the level of the whole organism. You can read more about the programs within the cluster by clicking here.

The responsibilities of the Program Director include:
  • Advising and assisting in the development of short and long-range scientific planning, establishing goals and objectives for support of research programs, budget development for the areas of science represented by the program to allocate resources among competitive projects, managing post award evaluation, and administration of the peer review process and proposal recommendations to ensure efficiency, integrity, and consistency without conflicts of interest, and ensure participation by members of historically under-represented groups.
  • Program Directors also prepare material describing advances in the research supported by their program, contribute to improvement of policies, and procedures, represent the program, division, and agency during outreach to professional societies and institutions, and coordinate efforts with other programs in NSF, other Federal agencies, and organizations.
  • Additionally, Program Directors have opportunities to pursue individual research as time and funds permit and expand their professional skills through training and the assumption of additional duties.


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

To ensure compliance with an applicable preliminary nationwide injunction, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of ongoing litigation, the Federal Government will take no action to implement or enforce the COVID-19 vaccination requirement Safer Federal Workforce Task Force 2 pursuant to Executive Order 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. Therefore, to the extent a Federal job announcement includes the requirement that applicants must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 pursuant to Executive Order 14043, that requirement does not currently apply. Federal agencies may request information regarding the vaccination status of selected applicants for the purposes of implementing other workplace safety protocols, such as protocols related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine.

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 biology or a related field with an emphasis in developmental biology (any areas), physiology, immunology, endocrinology, virology, microbiology, genetics, genomics, plant sciences, animal sciences, biomechanics or organismal structural biology, plus after award of the Ph.D., six or more years of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience pertinent to the position.

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

This position is outside the competitive civil service.

Additional information

Relocation expenses MAY be paid contingent upon the availability of funds

This announcement is open to All US Citizens 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.