The National Science Foundation (NSF) is seeking a qualified candidate for the position of Program Director in the Electromagnetic Spectrum Management Unit (ESMU), which is housed within NSF’s Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS). The objective of NSF’s ESMU is to ensure the access of the scientific community to portions of the radio spectrum that are needed for research purposes. The ESMU staff accomplishes its objective by representing the interests of the NSF and the scientific community in various national and international regulatory bodies, including the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL), and the International Telecommunication Union (ITU); and by communicating with the science community about spectrum-related issues that impact scientific use of the radio spectrum. ESMU staff is also responsible for obtaining certification and frequency authorizations for radio systems operating under NSF control. ESMU provides spectrum management support for the entire NSF, including radio astronomy, remote sensing, satellite systems, oceanography, ionospheric and magnetospheric radars, and routine operational systems that require spectrum support.
The candidate selected for this position will be directly responsible for establishing NSF’s positions on a wide range of spectrum-related issues, and will work within various national and international committees to further those positions. The successful candidate will also be responsible for making presentations at scientific conferences and advisory bodies on spectrum-related issues, and will interface with government and private-sector spectrum-using entities to coordinate frequency use.
Although the primary focus of this position is on electromagnetic spectrum management, the selected candidate may also be called on to assist or lead in managing portions of NSF’s “Enhancing Access to the Radio Spectrum” (EARS) grant program. EARS supports research into innovative ways to use and manage the electromagnetic spectrum for increased access, and is intended to be responsive to the Nation’s broadband goals. Program management of EARS may include soliciting grant proposals, interfacing with current and prospective Principal Investigators (PIs), organizing and running proposal review panels, and making funding recommendations.
Candidates for this position must possess a PhD (or equivalent degree) in a physical science, mathematics, geoscience, computer science, or electrical engineering field, plus six or more years of relevant research or work experience beyond the PhD; and have a good working knowledge of wireless engineering principles and terminology. U.S. citizenship and the ability to obtain a security clearance at the secret level or above are required. Prior experience in radio spectrum management is highly desired. Fluency in Spanish is desirable but not required.
The job location is NSF’s headquarters, which is presently located in Arlington, Virginia, but is expected to be relocated to Alexandria, Virginia, in late 2016.
• ESMU duties related to this position may include, but are not limited to, the following:
o Represent the interests of the United States’ scientific community within international and regional telecommunications communities
o Participate in and contribute to the U.S. preparatory process for ITU Study Groups and Working Parties
o Participate in and contribute to ITU Working Parties and Study Groups
o Participate in ITU World Radiocommunication Conferences and Conference Preparatory Meetings
o Participate in and contribute to regional coordination bodies, in particular the Inter-American Telecommunication Commission (CITEL)
• Represent the interests of the United States’ scientific community within the national telecommunications regulatory structure
o Represent the National Science Foundation at the National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s Interdepartment Radio Advisory Committee and its subcommittees
o Serve as expert advisor and technical consultant to any element of the NSF and to other governmental organizations on the use of the electromagnetic spectrum for scientific research, particularly relative to electromagnetic spectrum management policy
o Represent NSF’s Electromagnetic Spectrum Management Unit at conferences, workshops, outreach events, and within NSF itself, to explain the value of the radio spectrum for scientific and engineering research
• Provide spectrum support for NSF-funded projects and facilities
o Prepare applications for NTIA spectrum certification of NSF-supported radio systems
o Obtain NTIA frequency authorizations for NSF-supported radio systems
o Interact with NSF facility personnel and NSF-funded PIs to maintain a two-way dialog on current spectrum issues impacting NSF investments
o Negotiate and execute coordination agreements with third parties on behalf of NSF-funded facilities and projects
International travel is required, typically for one week at a time three to four times per year, but occasionally for durations as long as five weeks to attend World Radiocommunication Conferences approximately every four years.
Duties related to managing the EARS program may include:
• 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.
• Manage program resources so as to provide optimal appropriate scientific judgment to insure integrity and consistency in the grant/declination process without conflict of interests, and with balance among appropriate sub-fields and institutions, and participation of all qualified scientists. Incorporate cross-directorate responsibilities into program administration.
• Manage an effective, timely merit review process, with attention to increasing the size and quality of the reviewer pools and insuring participation by women, minorities and disabled scientists.
• Plan the budget for the EARS program, considering past, present and future fiscal years; allocate resources within that budget so as to distribute scarce resources among the most compelling scientific proposals, and manage post-award evaluation.
Qualifications and Evaluation
Candidates for this position must possess a PhD (or equivalent) in a physical science, mathematics, geoscience, computer science, or electrical engineering field, and have a good working knowledge of RF engineering principles and terminology. U.S. citizenship and the ability to obtain a secret-level security clearance are required. Prior experience in radio spectrum management is highly desired. Fluency in Spanish is desirable but not required.
You will need to successfully complete a background security investigation before you can be appointed into this position.
THIS POSITION IS OUTSIDE THE COMPETITIVE CIVIL SERVICE.
How Will You Be Evaluated:
You will be rated on the extent and quality of your experience, education, and research relevant to the specific duties of the position(s) for which you are being considered. Please include a cover letter with your application that includes a description of your experience with regard to each of the following Quality Ranking Factors:
Quality Ranking Factors
1. Knowledge of RF engineering principles and terminology as demonstrated through work experience in the field of wireless communications, prior coursework, professional publications or presentations in the field of RF engineering, or other relevant experience.
2. Experience in the field of radio spectrum management as evidenced by active participation in the NTIA, FCC, CITEL, and/or ITU processes, by prior achievement of the Certified Spectrum Manager credential, or by other relevant experience in the allocation and use of radio-frequency assignments.
3. Experience in the process of evaluating scientific and technical publications and proposals, as evidenced by providing refereeing services for peer-reviewed journals, participating in grant proposal review, and other similar activities. Prior experience on an NSF review panel is helpful.
4. Demonstrated ability to work effectively within formal committee settings in national and international arenas.
5. Excellent spoken and written communications skills.
8. Provide a brief explanation of your recruitment, interview, and selection process. For example, are you planning to form a committee for any or all of the above processes? Who will participate and what is their role? What informal forms of outreach are planned (flyers, verbal announcements at meetings, personal contacts, etc.)?
Recruitment will be accomplished by formal advertisements in some of the publications and Web sites listed in section 6. Substantial additional recruitment will be accomplished through circulating an appropriate usajobs.gov hyperlink to all appropriate spectrum-related mailing lists and news group, many of which are listed in section 6. Recruitment will also be conducted through job postings, oral announcements, and other means at relevant professional meetings and conferences, such as the International Symposium on Advanced Radio Technologies (ISART) in July.
The current staff of the Electromagnetic Spectrum Management Unit and the Division of Astronomical Sciences will work closely with HR in pre-screening the candidates through analysis of Quality Ranking Factors and other relevant criteria. This is a necessary step due to the highly specialized nature of this position.
A committee of NSF staff, chaired by an AST staff memberand consisting of program officers from one or more relevant fields and at least one administrative staff person, will be formed to review eligible candidates, conduct phone interviews, plan visits, and make a recommendation to the Division Director, who will then make the selection in close coordination with the present staff of ESMU and other NSF Directorates with a stake in spectrum management.