National Science Foundation Biological Science Administrator (Program Director) in FEW vacancies Arlington, Virginia

Job Overview

Job Overview

About the Agency

The National Science Foundation is seeking qualified candidates for one permanent Program Director position in the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB), Directorate for Biological Sciences, Arlington, VA.

MCB supports fundamental theory-driven research that leads to quantitative and predictive understanding of complex living systems at the molecular, subcellular, and cellular levels. Gives high priority to research projects that use theory, methods, and technologies from physical sciences, mathematics, computational sciences, and engineering to address major biological questions.

The Division invests in projects that support research at the interfaces of biology and physical sciences or engineering, introduce new analytical and conceptual tools for biological research, or provide unique education and training opportunities for the next generation of researchers, scientific educators, and scientifically literate citizens.

For more information about MCB, please visit


As Program Director you are responsible for the management of research and other scientific activities primarily through Federal grants and contracts to: academic, non-profit, and non-academic institutions such as professional organizations and the private sector. You will be responsible for administration of the merit review of submitted proposals, managing an effective, timely peer review process, ensuring broad participation of reviewers and increasing involvement of under-represented groups, and making building an award portfolio that supports the vision and goals of NSF and MCB. You will process awards and declinations, contacting successful applicants prior to the award of the grant and unsuccessful applicants as necessary. You will also be responsible for encouraging and supporting integrative, synthetic, and interdisciplinary research involving the biological sciences. Additional duties and responsibilities include the following:

  1. Managing resources so as to insure: a) integrity and consistency in the grant/declination process without conflict-of-interest, b) balance among appropriate sub-fields and institutions, and c) participation of all qualified scientists. You will be responsible for planning and administration of programs within the framework of legislation, agency policies, missions, objectives, and resources. You will serve as spokesperson for the Division to the scientific community. You will be responsible for long-range planning and budget development for the areas of science assigned to you within the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences.

  2. Coordinating and serving as liaison with other programs in NSF and other Federal agencies and organizations. You will provide scientific expertise, evaluation and advice for other programs in NSF, including international programs, other research programs, and cross-directorate programs. You will maintain a healthy balance of support for all the needs of the research and education enterprise either through Program, Division, Directorate, Foundation, or interagency activities.

  3. Providing assistance to investigators whenever feasible. You will follow the progress of grantees through site visits, progress and fiscal reports, and correspondence.

Travel Required
  • Not Required
Relocation Authorized
  • Yes
  • Relocation expenses MAY be paid, contingent upon availability of funds.

Job Requirements

Job Requirements
Key Requirements
  • Background investigation.

  • Preview questions at bottom of Qualifications & Evaluations--see tab above.

  • Selective Service registration required for male applicants, unless exempt.

Applicants must possess a Ph.D. in a science or engineering field relevant to any of the scientific areas encompassed by MCB. In addition applicants must have six or more years following the Ph.D., of successful research, research administration, and/or managerial experience beyond the Ph.D. in one of these scientific areas. MCB is seeking a candidate with a strong record of research accomplishments and a progressive vision for the emerging areas in molecular and cellular biology. Expertise appropriate for the genetic mechanisms or systems and synthetic biology clusters, particularly in computational and theoretical approaches to those topics is highly desired. The clusters encourage research projects that use multidisciplinary physical, chemical, mathematical and computational approaches to provide novel techniques and integrative insight into fundamental cellular functions.

You will need to successfully complete a background security investigation before you can be appointed into this position.

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

Security Clearance

Public Trust - Background Investigation

Additional Information

Additional Information
What To Expect Next

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. If the position is in the bargaining unit, and your application is referred to the selecting official, you will be contacted for an interview. Interviews for positions not in the bargaining unit may be conducted at the discretion of the selecting official. 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 or by tweeting @NSFVacancies.


Review our benefits

Other Information

NSF is relocating to Alexandria, Virginia. In late summer of 2017, NSF will begin the transition from its current location in Arlington, VA to 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22314. The new location is adjacent to a Metro station (Eisenhower Avenue on the Yellow Line) and there is ample parking in the area. There are several amenities nearby, such as restaurants, hotels, and shops.

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

This announcement may be used to fill like positions in other organizations within the National Science Foundation.

This job originated on For the full announcement and to apply, visit Only resumes submitted according to the instructions on the job announcement listed at will be considered.

Salary Range: $123,223.00 to $174,569.00 / Per Year

Series & Grade: AD-0401-04/04

Promotion Potential: 04

Supervisory Status: No

Who May Apply: Applications will be accepted from U.S. Citizens. Recent changes in Federal Appropriations Law requires Non-Citizens to meet certain eligibility criteria to be considered. Therefore, Non-Citizens must certify eligibility by signing and attaching this to their application. Non-citizens who do not provide the affidavit at the time of application will not be considered.

Control Number: 472450300

Job Announcement Number: MCB-2017-0002