PROGRAM DIRECTOR FOR RESEARCH
DIVISION OF RESEARCH, EVALUATION AND COMMUNICATION
DIRECTORATE FOREDUCATION AND HUMAN RESOURCES
I. - INTRODUCTION
The incumbent serves as Program Director for Research in the Directorate for Education and Human Resources, and as a Program Officer for the Research on Education, Policy, and Practice (REPP) Program in the Division of Research, Evaluation and Communication of the Directorate. The Division houses the EHR Directorate's research programs and its technology research and development efforts and is the focal point for EHR participation in the three components of the Knowledge and Distributed Systems (KDI) NSF-wide Initiative (Learning and Intelligent Systems, Knowledge networking, and New Challenges in Computation). The incumbent provides leadership and coordination for the group of EHR Program Officers with responsibilities related to the development, growth and integration of research related to education within the Directorate and within the Foundation.
The REC Division has coordinating responsibility for all research of interest to REPP (i.e. educational research, technology, data collection and statistical studies, systemic reform, and policy research). In addition, REC has responsibility for the collection, analysis, evaluation, and dissemination of information on key national issues in science and engineering education research and on the status and condition of science, mathematics, engineering, and technology (SMET) education in the U.S.; for major efforts to implement program evaluation activities to determine the impact of NSF and Federal agency support for science education activities; for support of innovative educational technologies in schools and out; and for multimedia efforts to disseminate information about the Directorate's programs to outside audiences.
The incumbent guides the group of Program Officers with responsibility for the intellectual growth and evolution of the REPP Program activities in cultivating the research base for implementing innovative reform strategies. The incumbent also guides the CAREER research program in for the EHR Directorate. REPP seeks to increase the research knowledge and resources devoted to SMET teaching and learning throughout the life cycle at several aggregate levels of education performance -- students (both individuals and groups), classrooms, institutions, and self-directed learning, and the United States in an international context. The incumbent must work closely with the Directorate's technology efforts housed in REC and participate in Foundation-wide KDI activities and programs. He/she must therefore have a broad and comprehensive knowledge of education research, of technology in education, and of the science and mathematics education community, in addition to a solid research grounding in an area of SMET interest. This scope of knowledge is essential to establish points of contact and intellectual relevance with colleagues inside and outside NSF, as well as to guide the education component of CAREER proposals.
The analytical activities performed by the incumbent are both diverse and complex in scope, due to EHR's nation-wide implementation agenda of the full spectrum of science education program funding. The incumbent must be attuned to the impact of EHR's funding in the science and mathematics education communities. In addition, the incumbent must keep abreast of Executive Branch and Congressional interest in the SMET systems which the Directorate supports and continues to leverage. Also, the incumbent will communicate, on a regular basis, with program managers in other federal agencies and with the NAS/NRC about their science and math education programs. The incumbent will be responsible, with other REPP and EHR research program officers, for managing a diverse portfolio of education research projects that advances, through theory, research, development, demonstration, and implementation, the knowledge base for SMET reform.
11. PRINCIPAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Serves as the lead person for research in the Directorate (EHR), and as such represents NSF in discussions on education research and its articulation with other programs, including activities in Evaluation being managed by other program staff in the Division
Serves as the lead person for the Faculty Early Career Development Program in the Directorate (EHR) and may participate in NSF KDI and similar Committees.
Develops a comprehensive program, including specific planning documents, directed at strengthening the research base of all areas currently funded by EHR. This includes determining the scope of future programs and anticipating time and effort required to provide the desired outcomes.
Continues to manage existing grants funded by the Research on Teaching and Learning (RTL), Applications of Advanced Technology (AAT), and Studies and Indicators (S&I) programs, which are no longer accepting new proposals.
Develops new knowledge, new tools, and new syntheses that inform policies and practices for improving learning of students and whole systems.
Serves as the key liaison person between REC and activities within NSF to increase the research knowledge and resources devoted to SMET teaching and learning throughout the life cycle.
Directs and manages the relationship of NSF to the National Institute for Science Education (NISE) and the research-related projects funded by NSF at the National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council (NASNRC).
Organizes and prepares current data, analysis, and other significant written material to be disseminated at meetings, conferences and symposia, which may be initiated by the incumbent.
Designs and implements the proposal and contract review process for the REPP program by selecting outstanding individuals to provide objective reviews on proposals.
Determines the need for and directs the preparation of technical/administration guidelines for proposals. Writes Request for Proposals (RFPs), conducts all final review of proposals and responses to RFPs, and recommends awards and declines.
Maintains effective dialogue and liaison with other Federal agencies engaged in education research, as well as with state and local education agencies, professional organizations, and other institutions and the public on the effectiveness of science and mathematics education programs.
Keeps abreast of trends and developments encompassed by the scope of the REPP, as well as evaluation and commentary, by reading the relevant literature, attending professional meetings, and by personal discussion with leaders in the field.
111. KNOWLEDGE REQUIRED BY THE POSITION
Mastery knowledge and background in mathematics and science and in SMET education, experience in research and in the theory and practice of research program management, and familiarity with the education programs that are initiated by federal agencies.
Knowledge of designing, managing, and reporting of large- scale research projects, including survey methods and qualitative research methods.
Knowledge of science or mathematics scientific research methodologies and advances.
Ability to communicate orally and in writing with key constituencies: fellow NSF program officers; senior NSF staff; members of Congress; and members of the various professional communities served by NSF.
Knowledge of qualitative and quantitative techniques for analyzing and measuring the effectiveness of research projects in terms of evaluation (formative, summative, monitoring); and dissemination (publication, Web-based) strategies.
IV. SUPERVISORY CONTROLS
The employee works under the general supervision of the Division Director for Research, Evaluation and Communication. Supervision generally takes place through meetings where the nature, scope, objectives and timetables of specific projects and the methods to be employed are discussed in general terms. The employee works independently and consults with the supervisor only when major departure from project scope or methods appear necessary. Finished projects are reviewed by supervisor for compatibility with organizational goals, guidelines and effectiveness in achieving intended objectives.
The evaluation of scientific and engineering research and education programs is carried out under the guidelines of currently accepted principles and practices of the field of educational research. The employee is expected to be familiar with most of the prior efforts of Federal research agencies and non-Federal organizations to oversee the development of research and its applicability in specific instances. The employee will have full responsibility within the Directorate for interpreting and adapting existing precedents for evaluating research programs and for developing new models that are required for overseeing a balanced portfolio of research projects within EHR relative to other federal agencies.
The employee is responsible for arriving at defensible conclusions about the quality and value of EHR programs and for presenting those conclusions to EHR personnel. The work requires planning and supervising complex research designs. Programs will deal with establishing effective relationships among Federal agencies, universities, schools, and community agencies in novel ways that will provide the Federal government with knowledge about the success of programs that were initiated to improve science education in schools.
Results are used by the supervisor, the AD/EHR and others to formulate, critique, redirect, and/or publicize the results of NEF/EHR programs.
VIL SCOPE AND EFFECT
The purpose of the Staff s work is to serve as the focal point for the Directorate about the results of the various research activities within the Directorate. The employee proposes research topics and methods; monitors the evaluation of subordinate staff members, and oversees the completion of projects by grantees.
VIII. PERSONAL CONTACTS
The employee makes personal contact with the variety of EHR personnel, including program managers, division directors and administrative staff. Meets with Congressional representatives to discuss outcomes of research projects. Meets regularly with representatives of other federal agencies conducting programs of science education. The employee makes contact with a wide range of persons at universities, professional societies, federal agencies, contractors, corporations, etc.
IX PURPOSE OF CONTACTS
Contacts are made in person or through correspondence to gather data and written narrative information in order to analyze and interpret the findings of various research programs; and to present research results so that the findings can be translated to maximize the effects of EHR programs. Recommendations are made to heads of agencies for purpose of setting new priorities.
X. PHYSICAL DEMANDS
The work is mainly sedentary, being performed for the most part while seated at a desk or table. Some walking is required to conduct business within NSF offices and at the offices of Washington-area professional societies and associations, Federal agencies or universities. Travel to meetings and conferences by aircraft or train is occasionally necessary for the efficient conduct of business.
XI. WORK ENVIRONMENT
Most work is performed in a properly heated and ventilated, air-conditioned and well lighted setting. There are no risks or discomforts that require special safety precautions.