Ask a rotator

Nov 04 2012 Published by under [Education&Careers]

Readers, I have been contacted by a rotating NSF Program Officer from the IOS division of Bio. She is interested in writing a guest post about the job she has. Rotators are visiting POs, who spend 1-3 years at NSF while maintaing their labs at their home institution. This category of PO is, as far as I know, unique to NSF and ensures that active scientists get involved in the funding process. As you might imagine, I am always intrigued by what draws an individual to become a rotating PO, and so I am excited by this opportunity.

What are the kinds of things you would to know about? What questions do you have? Leave them below.

6 responses so far

  • phagenista says:

    Like PLS, my questions would be focused on how she personally decided to become a rotator, and how she managed to accommodate her family and lab while she's at NSF. However I assume this will reveal too many identifiable details about her particular situation.

    I was just at NSF for a grant panel and I'm far less upset about the preproposal requirement now than I was before. I honestly can't think of a job-related question to ask.

  • proflikesubstance says:

    This will be an NSF-sanctioned post by an identified PO, so questions do not need to be limited to those that would not reveal details.

    I would be curious, Phagenista, what you saw at NSF that made you feel better about the preproposals.

  • Joshua King says:

    I would like to ask her if and how NSF intends to increase their slice of the pie, so that they can actually increase funding rates.

    Also, how can I get more fiber in my diet?

  • proflikesubstance says:

    Josh, what do you mean by "slice of the pie"? Are you talking about lobbying for a larger budget? If so, they actually are not allowed to do that, as federal employees.

  • Joshua King says:


  • phagenista says:

    Questions for a rotator...

    What's happening with your research while you're at the NSF?
    Did you time your service around the time to graduation/completion of members of your group?
    What accommodations did your university make to help you run your group at a distance?
    How has this affected your family, and did you time your service at NSF around family concerns?
    How many conferences are you attending a year, and (how) are you being supported to attend them?
    Can you continue to apply for funding opportunities while you're a rotator (for instance, in your last year, funding to commence as you are back in research)?
    What were the reasons you chose to be a rotator, and what new things have you learned in your position that you think are additional reasons to be a rotator?

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