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National Science Foundation

4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA 22230

TDD, 800-281-8749 | Email:


Ex officio memberFrance A. Córdova

Terms Expiring in 2020

Terms Expiring in 2020
John L. Anderson
Roger N. Beachy
Vicki L. Chandler
Robert M. Groves
James S. Jackson
Sethuraman Panchanathan
George P. Peterson
ChairDiane L. Souvaine

Terms Expiring in 2022

Terms Expiring in 2022
Arthur Bienenstock
W. Kent Fuchs
W. Carl Lineberger
Victor R. McCrary
Emilio F. Moran
Vice ChairEllen Ochoa
Julia M. Phillips
Anneila I. Sargent

Terms Expiring in 2024

Terms Expiring in 2024
Maureen L. Condic
Suresh V. Garimella
Steven Leath
Daniel A. Reed
Geraldine L. Richmond
S. Alan Stern
Stephen H. Willard
Maria T. Zuber
Executive Officer to the National Science BoardJohn J. Veysey II

Inspector GeneralAllison C. Lerner



Office of the Director (OD)

Office of the Director (OD)
DIRECTORFrance A. Córdova
Deputy Director(vacancy)

InformationDorothy Aronson
OperatingF. Fleming Crim

Diversity and InclusionRhonda J. Davis
General CounselLawrence Rudolph
Integrative ActivitiesSuzanne Iacono
International Science and EngineeringRebecca S. Keiser
Legislative and Public AffairsAmanda H. Greenwell

OAD Directorates *

OAD Directorates *
Biological SciencesJoanne S. Tornow
Computer and Information Science and EngineeringErwin Gianchandani
Education and Human ResourcesKaren A. Marrongelle
EngineeringDawn Tilbury
GeosciencesWilliam E. Easterling
Mathematical and Physical SciencesAnne Kinney
Social, Behavioral, and Economic SciencesArthur W. Lupia

OAD Offices *

OAD Offices *
FinancialTeresa Grancorvitz
Human CapitalWonzie L. Gardner

Budget, Finance, and Award ManagementTeresa Grancorvitz
Information and Resource ManagementWonzie L. Gardner

* OAD is an abbreviation for Office of Assistant Director.

The National Science Foundation supports research and education to advance science and engineering.


On May 10, 1950, President Harry S. Truman approved "an act to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense; and for other purposes." This statute, which is commonly cited as the National Science Foundation Act of 1950 (Public Law 81–507), established the National Science Foundation (NSF) as an independent and executive branch agency. The NSF consists of a National Science Board (NSB) and a Director.

Descriptions of the NSF's establishment, composition, functions, purpose, research facilities, and other statutory information are codified in chapter 16, sections 1861–1887, of 42 U.S.C.

The NSB establishes the policies of the NSF. The President appoints each of the 24 members of the Board to a term of 6 years. Appointees have earned distinguished reputations of service in the fields of agriculture, education, engineering, research management, public affairs, and the basic, medical, or social sciences. They also have an outlook that broadly represents that of national science and engineering leadership. The membership is divided into three groups of eight members; the terms of each group are staggered and expire every 2 years. Any member, other than the Director, who has served on the Board for 12 consecutive years is ineligible for reappointment during the 2-year period following the 12th year. The Board elects its Chair and vice chair every 2 years. The election takes place in an even-numbered year at the annual meeting (42 U.S.C. 1863).

The President, by the advice and with the consent of the Senate, appoints the Director for a term of 6 years. Before making his or her selection, the President must give the Board an opportunity to recommend candidates for consideration (42 U.S.C. 1864). As an ex officio member of the Board, the NSF Director is coordinate with the other Board members, except with respect to compensation and tenure. The Director is a voting member of the Board and is eligible to serve as its Chair or vice chair if elected (42 U.S.C. 1863).

The NSF publishes its statements of organization in the "Federal Register" as notices:

58 FR 7587–7595 (8 FEB 1993)

58 FR 30819 ( 27 MAY 1993)

59 FR 22690 (2 MAY 1994)

60 FR 52431 (6 OCT 1995)

The agency's organizational chart is available in Portable Document Format (PDF) for viewing and downloading on the "NSF Organization List" web page.


The NSF initiates and supports fundamental, long-term, merit-selected research in the scientific and engineering disciplines through grants, contracts, and other agreements that are awarded to universities, colleges, academic consortia, and nonprofit and small business institutions. Most of this research attempts to answer scientific and engineering questions of fundamental life processes, natural laws and phenomena, fundamental processes that influence the human environment, and the forces that affect people as members of society, as well as the behavior of society as a whole.

The NSF encourages cooperative efforts involving universities, industries, and government. It also promotes research and development for better products and services that improve the quality of life and stimulate economic growth.

The NSF cultivates talent by supporting undergraduate and graduate students and postdoctoral researchers. It administers special programs to identify and encourage participation of underrepresented groups in science and technology and to strengthen research capability at small institutions and businesses and at colleges and universities.

It supports major national and international science and engineering activities, including the U.S. Antarctic program, ocean drilling program, and global geoscience studies. Cooperative scientific and engineering research activities support exchange programs for American and foreign scientists and engineers, execution of jointly designed research projects, participation in international science and engineering organizational activities, and travel to international conferences.

Contracts and cooperative agreements with national centers allow qualified scientists and engineers access to large facilities. The NSF supports national centers that are associated with astronomy and atmospheric sciences, biological and engineering research, science and technology, supercomputers, and long-term ecological research sites.

The agency's science and engineering education activities include grants for research and development of instructional materials for students and teachers and the application of advanced technologies to education. Grants also are available for teacher preparation and enhancement and informal science education activities. Funding is provided for college science instrumentation, course and curriculum improvement, faculty and student activities, and minority resource centers. The NSF also supports studies of the status of math, science, and engineering education.

The Vannevar Bush Award is given annually to an outstanding contributor to the welfare of the Nation and mankind through public service in science and technology. The Alan T. Waterman Award is given annually to a promising young scientist or engineer to support research and study. The NSF also presents its Public Service Award to one individual and to one company, corporation, or organization for increasing public understanding of science or engineering through public service in areas other than research. The NSF administratively supports the President's Committee on the National Medal of Science.

Sources of Information

A–Z Index

An A-Z index to find funding opportunities by title is available on the NSF website.

Archived Records

NSF records are referenced in the "Guide to Federal Records in the National Archives of the United States." The Guide is accessible online, and NSF records have been assigned to Record Group 307.

At a Glance

The "At a Glance" web page provides a convenient overview of NSF activities, partners, and personnel.


The NSF funds science and engineering research and education through contracts, cooperative agreements, and grants. The Foundation provides approximately 20 percent of the Federal support that academic institutions receive for basic research.

The abstract, institutions, names, programs, title, and other information associated with an award may be found using one search box on the NSF website.

Board and Committee Meetings

Webcasts of NSB open sessions and committee meetings that are held in Arlington, VA, remain available for at least 1 year after the event. Transcripts of closed sessions of the NSB, its committees, and other subentities are available upon request by email. | Email:

Business Opportunities

The NSF publicizes contracting and subcontracting opportunities in the "Commerce Business Daily" and other appropriate publications. Organizations seeking contract work should contact either the Division of Acquisition and Cooperative Support or the Division of Administrative Services, National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA 22230.

Division of Acquisition and Cooperative Support. Phone, 703-292-8240.

Division of Administrative Services. Phone, 703-292-8190.

Career Opportunities

To carry out its mission, the NSF relies on educators, engineers, mathematicians, program directors, and statisticians, as well as on professionals with administrative, business, and management backgrounds. The NSF also offers career opportunities—internship and recent graduates programs and the Presidential Management Fellows program—for students and recent graduates.

In 2018, the NSF ranked 8th among 27 midsize Government agencies in the Best Places To Work Agency Rankings.

Climate Change

NSF Public Affairs publishes current research news on the effects of climate change on diverse ecosystems like coral reefs, grasslands, and the Southern Ocean of the Antarctic.

—on coral reefs

—on grasslands

—on the Southern Ocean


The "Contact NSF" web page has email addresses and phone numbers. | Email:

The NSF has a separate web page for media inquiries. Phone, 703-292-7090. | Email:


Consult the online "Guide to Programs / Browse Funding Opportunities" and appropriate announcements and brochures for postdoctoral fellowship opportunities that may be available through some NSF divisions. Beginning graduate and minority graduate students wanting to apply for fellowships should contact the Directorate for Education and Human Resources. Phone, 703-292-8600.

Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)

A request for agency records should be submitted in accordance with the NSF's FOIA regulation (45 CFR 612). A request should be clearly labeled as "FOIA REQUEST" and be addressed to the FOIA Officer, Office of General Counsel, National Science Foundation, Room 1265, Arlington, VA 22230. Phone, 703-292-8060. Fax, 703-292-9242. | Email:


The " Application Guide" helps applicants prepare NSF applications and submit them using The current guide is available in Portable Document Format (PDF) for viewing and downloading.

Mobile Software Applications (Apps)

The NSF Science Zone app and Science360 Radio app are accessible through the NSF website.

Multimedia Gallery

The NSF maintains an online multimedia gallery.

News Search

A visitor to the NSF website may search an assortment of news types by keyword or title.

Office of Inspector General (OIG)

NSF employees, grantees, principal investigators, and others working on NSF programs, grants, or contracts are well-positioned to detect problems. Providing information about allegations or suspicions of abuse, fraud, mismanagement, research misconduct, unnecessary Government expenditures, and waste helps the OIG improve management and reduce fraud. | Email:

Open Government

To increase collaboration, public participation, and transparency, the NSF maintains an Open Government web page and welcomes ideas and suggestions from the public.

Proposal Status

The proposal status service of makes a single online site available for principal investigators and sponsored projects office staff to check current status information for proposals that have been submitted to the NSF via or FastLane.


The NSF maintains an online document system to support the electronic dissemination of its documents. The online library contains thousands of documents that may be downloaded free of charge. Some NSF publications are available only in print, and others (e.g., the "Grant Proposal Guide" and "Award and Administration Guide") may be inconvenient to download. To obtain these publications in hardcopy, contact the NSF Publications Clearinghouse in Arlington, VA. Phone, 703-292-7827. | Email:

Search or browse the online document library.

Reading Room

NSF policy documents and staff instructions, as well as current indexes, are available to the public for inspection and copying. To gain access to the collection, a visitor must schedule an appointment in advance with the library, which is open on weekdays, excluding Federal holidays, 8:00 a.m.–4 p.m. The reading room is located in the National Science Foundation Library, Room 225, Arlington, VA 22230. Phone, 703-292-7830.


Small Business Support

The Office of Small Business Research and Development informs small businesses with science and technology research capabilities about NSF support that could benefit them. The Office of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization oversees agency compliance with the provisions of the Small Business Act and the Small Business Investment Act of 1958, as amended. Phone, 703-292-8050.

The Small Business Innovation Research and Technology Transfer program helps startups and small businesses carry out scientific research and development.

Social Media

The NSF uses social media sites and tools to disseminate news about research funds, funding opportunities, job openings, and more. Follow the NSF on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, OpenNSF, Pinterest, Twitter, Wordpress, and YouTube.

Staff Directory

The "Staff Directory" web page has a search box that visitors can use to locate NSF employees in an electronic database. A visitor also can browse staff by NSF organization.

The Sources of Information were updated 11–2019.