Skip to main content

Vacancy Details


About

Announcement Number:
AST-2019-0002
Hiring Agency:
NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
Position Title:
Astronomer (Program Director)
Open Period:
02/22/2019 - 04/22/2019

Format MM/DD/YYYY

Series/Grade:
AD - 1301 04
Salary:
USD $139,282 - USD $178,573
Work Schedule:
Full-time -
Promotion Potential:
AD-04
Duty Location(s):
1
in
Alexandria, VA, US
Telework Eligible:
Yes
For More Info:
Anja Lindsley
703-292-4396
alindsle@nsf.gov

Overview

Hiring Path:
• Open to the public
Who May Apply/Clarification From the Agency:
Applications will be accepted from all US citizens who meet citizenship and eligibility requirements. Please see the "Other Information" section for further information.
Security Clearance Required:
Other
Appointment Type
Temporary
Appointment Type Details:
This position will be filled as a one- or two-year VSEE, or as a Fed Temp Appointment
Marketing Statement:

Become a part of our mission to maintain and strengthen the vitality of the US science and engineering enterprise.  For over 60 years, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has remained the premier Federal agency supporting basic research at the frontiers of discovery across all fields, as well as science and engineering education at all levels.


Applicants wishing to apply for a Permanent Appointment should see Job Announcement AST-2019-0001

Summary:

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


For more information on MPS please click here.


For more information on AST please click here.

Supervisory Position:
No
Relocation Expenses Reimbursed:
Yes

Relocation MAY be paid contingent upon the availability of funds.

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 reports, and by federal advisory committees.


The candidate selected for this position will have responsibility in one or more of the following areas: management oversight of one or more mid-scale instrumentation/science awards; management oversight of facilities; and interacting with other NSF programs, Federal and international agencies and organizations. 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 in NSF programs.


Duties


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 include the following:



  • Conducting appropriate oversight of facilities in operation or under construction, including activities such as review of budgets and annual program plans, and possible divestment or re-purposing of individual facility components.

  • Providing advice to the MPS/AST Division Director on all aspects of major facilities planning, construction, and management of operations, as well as coordination of mid-scale activities.

  • Working closely with peers and agency officials to plan, facilitate, evaluate, and oversee broad and complex directorate-wide activities related to major MPS scientific facilities.

  • Overseeing and participating in the preparation of major facility award and decision packages to be presented to the National Science Board and internal review boards, potentially requiring the formation of internal/external advisory structures and coordination with other agencies.

  • Developing and executing partnerships with other federal agencies, international organizations, and private/university entities within the United States, for both mid-scale and large facilities.

  • Advising and assisting in the development of short and long range plans, establishing goals and objectives for research programs. As appropriate, incorporating the recommendations of Federal advisory committees (Astronomy and Astrophysics Advisory Committee; Mathematical and Physical Sciences Advisory Committee) and their subcommittees, as well as input from National Academies studies, into the development of these plans.

  • Working with the Office of the Director in developing processes for assessing priorities of large projects across MPS disciplines.

Qualifications and Evaluations

Requirements:

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 preview "Evaluations" section and "Qualifications" for additional requirements and Quality Ranking Factors.

Key Requirements:
  • Background investigation.
  • Selective Service registration required for male applicants, unless exempt.
  • Education Requirements:
    Evaluations:

    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 



    1. 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.

    2. 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.

    3. Knowledge of management and organizational concepts, principles, practices and techniques with expertise in applying this knowledge in science program management, project/collaboration management, research administration, and/or management of multi-user scientific facilities.

    4. Knowledge of budgeting, planning, and project management related to facilities, preferably scientific research facilities,

    5. Knowledge of policy related to the management of facilities, and in particular, scientific research facilities.

    6. Knowledge of the design, construction, operation, and the end states of large, complex, cutting-edge, multi-user facilities, and scientific research facilities in particular.

    Qualifications:

    Candidates must have a Ph.D. in astronomy, astrophysics, physics, engineering, solar physics, computer science, 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.


    This position is outside the competitive civil service.


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

    Benefits and Other Info

    Benefits:
    Agency Benefits:

    A GREAT LOCATION! The National Science Foundation Headquarters is conveniently located across the street from the Eisenhower Avenue Metro Station, right in Alexandria, VA, a few miles from downtown Washington, DC. There are shops and restaurants within walking distance, as well as historic Old Town Alexandria a short trip away.   

    For Visiting Scientist appointments, individuals are in a non-pay leave status from their home institutions and are appointed to NSF's payroll as Federal employees.  NSF withholds Social Security and provides reimbursement to the home institution for fringe benefits.  For information regarding Visiting Scientist appointments, visit our website.

    For more information regarding Federal Temporary Appointments, visit OPM's website.

    Other 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 to Apply

    How to Apply:

    Your application must be submitted online and all document faxing/uploading must be completed before 11:59 PM Eastern time on the vacancy closing date.
    You must answer all of the job-related questions to ensure full consideration for this position. For more detailed information, please review our NSF eRecruit Frequently Asked Questions.

    WARNING! Applications submitted online must have 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.


    If you are unable to apply electronically, please use the Contact Information below for special instructions on how to submit your application materials. Hearing impaired individuals may call TDD (703) 292-8044 for assistance.

    IMPORTANT NOTE: PLEASE DO NOT INCLUDE YOUR SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER OR DATE OF BIRTH ON YOUR APPLICATION DOCUMENTS.

    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 can fax or upload your letter of recommendation(s) or the individual(s) can email the letter of recommendation(s) to rotator@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 faxing/uploading must be completed before 11:59 PM Eastern time on the vacancy closing date.  If you are faxing your information, please use extreme care in dialing the fax number to assure we receive your information.  You will receive an email confirmation of receipt of your faxed/uploaded document(s).

    Next Steps:

    Shortly after the announcement closes, you will be notified as to whether or not you meet the basic qualification requirements.  If you do, you will receive further consideration and evaluation.  All qualified applicants will receive final notification of the outcome of the job opportunity announcement.  

    You may check the status of your application at any time on the USAJOBS website