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Chief, Physical Sciences Division

The Army Research Office (ARO) is accepting applications for the Chief, Physical Sciences Division position. We seek candidates who are outstanding leaders, have a deep sense of scholarship, and understand the issues facing the physical sciences community, particularly in education, innovation, and fundamental research. The incumbent independently plans, develops and executes assigned scientific programs in the physical sciences. In the conduct of program planning, development and execution, the incumbent consults with other eminent scientists, and executive level officials throughout the Army and other DOD agencies, other Federal agencies, the world’s leading research universities, and other educational institutions and private industry.
The Chief, Physical Sciences, shapes the research agenda for the Army and will oversee very broad basic research programs which have great impact on a number of significant national defense issues. Has responsibility for leading strategic change at a broad Army and national level, and has direct influence on thousands of researchers within and outside the Army. Provides leadership and direction for programs of national and international scope; solutions to problems in any one of these areas would have obvious and significant implications on national, as well as, allied defense postures. The Chief, Physical Sciences interacts with senior Department of Defense executives and must be able to communicate effectively with leaders in business, industry, and academia.

* This is a federal civilian employment opportunity open to U.S. citizens.
* Grade and Salary: DB-05 (above GS-15 equivalent); salary range: $159,711- $183,300.
* A supervisory position.
* An interdisciplinary position; open to series 0101 (Social Scientist), 0401 (Biologist), 0801 (General Engineering), 1301 (Physical Scientist), and 1520 (Mathematician).
* Must qualify for a Secret security clearance.
* This position requires the incumbent to submit a Public Financial Disclosure Report (OGE 278) upon entry, and annually thereafter.
* DB-05 positions are not eligible for supervisory differential.
* Employees may be required to serve a supervisory probationary/trial period.

*Minimum of bachelor’s degree in the series of the position (advanced degree preferred).
* Applicants must meet specific educational requirements for the position, as established by OPM (Office of Personnel Management). Education above the high school level must have been completed in a U.S. college, university, or other educational institution that has been accredited by one of the accrediting agencies or associations recognized by the Secretary, U.S. Department of Education.
PLEASE NOTE - FOREIGN EDUCATION: If you are using education completed in foreign colleges or universities to meet the qualification requirements, you must show the education credentials have been evaluated by a private organization that specializes in interpretation of foreign education programs and such education has been deemed equivalent to that gained in an accredited U.S. education program; or full credit has been given for the courses at a U.S. accredited college or university. For further information, visit:

- Position is open to U.S. Citizens and current Permanent or Term employees in the Federal Government at the DB-04 or equivalent level (GS-14/GS-15) and DB-05 or equivalent level (above GS-15).
- This high-level senior scientific management position is up to five years in duration (i.e. temporary, not-to-exceed five years). The assignment may be renewed/extended in five year increments at management’s discretion.
- Non-Government/Non-Status applicants will be hired into the Federal Service under provisions of Direct Hiring Authority (DHA) and will receive a permanent, non-supervisory DB-04 appointment. Immediately thereafter, the employee will be temporarily promoted to the DB-05 level not to exceed five years. At the end of the five years, the employee would be placed in another position within ARL at the DB-04 equivalent level, unless renewed or extended at the DB-05 level per management’s discretion.

- The Chief, Physical Sciences serves as the Army’s key senior scientific professional for the conduct of extramural basic research in physics, chemical sciences, and life sciences. Candidates must also have the skills and temperament to serve effectively as a key member of the ARO senior management team, working with the ARO Director and other leadership on interdisciplinary activities.
- The Chief, Physical Sciences is responsible for driving the extramural research agenda in the physical sciences to be focused on future Army research needs. Develops and manages high risk, high-payoff, innovative extramural basic research programs that take into account current technology deficiencies and impact on future force requirements. Actions, recommendations and decisions strongly influence the direction of research programs and basic research policies, have an immediate impact on the scope of research activities at the national level, and a long-range impact on the scientific community in general.
- Has responsibility for formulating, executing, and monitoring multifaceted, multi-disciplinary research agenda, to overcome and solve critical obstacles to development in areas of vital interest to the Army and national defense.
- Leads coordinating and planning groups composed of technical experts from the Army and the national scientific community to set direction of extramural research; documents planning for determining the execution path. Analyzes current and future requirements in the physical sciences and associated disciplines and the expected impact of scientific progress, and integrates these projections into the establishment of
program priorities and strategies. Develops long-range objectives and goals in light of assessments of current deficiencies, potential improvements in technology, available resources, and the ability and willingness of the academic community to contribute to the program, often requiring persuasiveness on the part of the incumbent.
- Executes the physical sciences extramural research program through a subordinate staff comprised of highly technical scientists and engineers, mostly senior PhD-education level, and the research efforts of Principal Investigators (world-renowned professors and researchers from academia and industry), to whom the Chief, Physical Sciences awards Army and other agency funds in support of Army-relevant research.

-Strategic Vision
-Working knowledge of the major current intellectual challenges and opportunities in physical sciences, including the stewardship and development of centers and partnerships.
-Ability to think strategically and formulate integrated plans for research and education activities in physical science, especially at the interfaces of, and boundaries with, other disciplines.
-Ability to bring about strategic change, within and outside the organization, to meet organizational goals. Includes the ability to establish an organizational vision and to implement it in a continuously changing environment.
-Leadership, Direction, Representation
-Ability to lead people toward meeting the organization's vision, mission, and goals. Includes the ability to provide an inclusive workplace that fosters the development of others, facilitates cooperation and teamwork, and supports constructive resolution of conflicts. Ability to provide innovative and transformative leadership of people, reflective of Army organizational values.
-Ability to serve effectively as a member of senior management team, helping to develop consensus both within and across the organization on policy and plans.
-Ability to plan, prioritize, and coordinate interagency and international research, education, and infrastructure programs and to forge government‐industry‐university partnerships.
-Ability to manage scientific and administrative professionals; ability to manage human, financial, and information resources strategically.
-Ability to communicate policy and strategic plans to the external community, including the public, Congress, industry, and colleagues in other disciplines.
-Ability to meet organizational goals and customer expectations. Includes the ability to make decisions that produce high‐quality results by applying technical knowledge, analyzing problems, and calculating risks.
-Commitment to the goals of organizational strategic plans and campaigns-- and to the strategies for achieving these goals through developing intellectual capital, integrating research and education, and promoting partnerships. Demonstrated ability to conceptualize the role of engineering sciences in achieving those goals.
-Commitment to the appointment and development of a highly qualified staff that reflects the diversity of our nation and to the equitable representation of underrepresented groups and institutions in all activities.
-Credibility within Research and Education Community
-Substantial research contributions and experience in academic, government and/or private national research and education endeavors as evidenced in publications, innovative leadership in research administration and/or professional leadership awards.
-Ability to build coalitions internally and with other Federal agencies, academia, and private sector organizations, or international organizations to achieve common goals.
-Demonstrated commitment to scholarship and significant scientific contributions to engineering.
-Broad understanding of universities and other institutions where research and education in engineering are conducted.
-Familiarity with the existing U.S. and international infrastructure that supports research and education.

Please send your applications before midnight, Friday April 16, 2021.
Submit an application by CV or resume; cover letter is optional.
Resume or CV must include the following to be considered:
1) Full Name
2) Applicant’s contact information (email address and telephone number)
3) Organization/Current Employer
4) Current series, grade (if current federal employee)
5) Dates of employment (Month/Year-Month/Year) for each work experience
NOTE: work experience should specifically address the duties of the position
and/or the skills/demonstrated experience described in this notice.
6) Education (Degree Type; Major field/Discipline; institution, and year granted)
7) Brief statement addressing applicant’s qualifications and interest
8) Three references


Please submit your application to the following address NLT 17 April 2021:
Please use this in the subject line of your email: “Application for Chief, Physical Sciences, Army Research Office”
POC is Wanda Wilson, who can be reached at 919-549-4296 or via e-mail at

We welcome applications from any sector, including academia, industry, and government. All qualified candidates will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital status, political affiliation, sexual orientation, or any other non-merit factor. The Department of Defense is an equal opportunity employer committed to engaging a highly qualified staff that reflects the diversity of our Nation.