Interested in working at the National Science Foundation?

Have you been hankering to come live in Washington, DC and give back to the math community? If so, please consider applying to the NSF Rotator Program. “Rotator” is not a technical term, just slang for an NSF employee in a non-permanent position. A rotator is a mathematician (or other scientist, engineer, or educator) who, typically, spends 1 or 2 years at the NSF and then returns to their home institution. Rotators make recommendations about which proposals to fund; influence new directions in the fields of science, engineering, and education; support cutting-edge interdisciplinary research; and mentor junior research members. As a rotator living in the Washington, DC area, you will learn about the rich and fascinating landscape of science funding. You’ll be able to work with scientists from all fields, from all over the country, and engage in exciting events in the area, scientific and otherwise. This is a great way to serve the mathematics community and learn about the breadth of activities going on at the NSF.

For rotator positions in the Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS) there is no deadline or formal application process. There are, on average, about seven openings each year and DMS is constantly recruiting rotators. If you, or someone you know might be interested, you/they can contact a DMS program director or the Division Director (DD) communicating your/their interest.

Finally, you may have heard that the current Division Director for the DMS, Michael Vogelius, will be leaving that post soon. The DD leads a team of program officers in managing a broad portfolio of investments in research and education in the mathematical and statistical sciences. DMS is one division in the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) and the DD for DMS is a member of the MPS leadership team. The DD fosters partnerships with other Divisions, Directorates, Federal agencies, scientific organizations, and the academic community. Recruitment for Michael Vogelius’s replacement is underway.

Here are some links, should you wish to nominate a colleague, or apply yourself:

Information about rotators at NSF https://www.nsf.gov/careers/rotator/

Rotators in DMS https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2017/dms17001/dms17001.jsp?org=NSF

DMS Division Director https://www.nsf.gov/careers/openings/

DMS program director (and my grad school friend) in the Algebra and Number Theory Program Matt Douglass helped me with some details of this post; I acknowledge and appreciate his help!

About Karen Saxe

Since January 1, 2017, Karen Saxe is Director of the Washington Office of the AMS which works to connect the mathematics community with Washington decision-makers who impact science funding. Before joining the AMS, Karen was DeWitt Wallace Professor in the Department of Mathematics, Statistics, and Computer Science at Macalester College in St. Paul, Minnesota. Over many years she has contributed time to the AMS, MAA, and AWM, including service as vice president of the MAA and in policy and advocacy work with all three. She was the 2013-2014 AMS-AAAS Science & Technology Policy Congressional Fellow, working for Senator Al Franken on education issues, with focus on higher education and STEM education. In Minnesota she has served on the Citizens Redistricting Commission following the 2010 census and serves on the Common Cause Minnesota Redistricting Leadership Circle. She has three children and, when not at work especially enjoys being with them and reading, hiking, skiing, and sharing good food and wine and beer with family and friends.
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