National Science Board
Background. The National Science Foundation (NSF) Act of 1950, which created NSF, states: "The Foundation shall consist of a National Science Board (NSB) ... and a director." Jointly, the board and the director pursue the goals and functions of NSF, including the duty to "recommend and encourage the pursuit of national policies for the promotion of research and education in science and engineering."
The board has several statutory responsibilities. One is to provide oversight for and establish the policies of the foundation, within the framework of applicable national policies, as set forth by the president and the Congress. Another is to serve as an independent body of advisors to both the president and Congress on broad, national policy issues related to science and engineering research and education. The board is to render to the president, for submission to Congress no later than January 15 of each even numbered year, a report on indicators of the state of science and engineering in the United States. Additionally, the board is to render to the president for submission to Congress, reports on specific, individual policy matters related to science and engineering and education in science and engineering, as the board, the president or the Congress determines the need for such reports.
Composition. The NSB is made up of 25 members of which 24 are appointed by the President. The NSF Director, an ex officio member is the 25th member. Board members serve six-year terms. With the exception of the NSF director, one-third of the Board is appointed every two years. NSB members are drawn from industry and universities, and represent a variety of science and engineering disciplines and geographic areas in the nation. They are selected for their eminence in research, education, and/or public service.
Actions. The NSB meets five times a year (four meetings at NSF headquarters in Arlington, Va., and one in another part of the country). It reviews and approves major NSF awards and new programs. It also initiates and conducts studies and reports on a broad range of policy topics--on its own initiative or as the president or Congress requests--including the biennial Science and Engineering Indicators. The NSB also publishes occasional policy papers or statements on issues of importance to U.S. science and engineering.
Honors. The NSB sponsors national honorary awards:
Members of the National Science Board
Terms expire May 10, 2018
Terms Expire May 10, 2020
Ex-Officio Member: France Córdova - Director, National Science Foundation, Arlington, Virginia
Executive Officer and NSB Office Director: Michael L. Van Woert, National Science Board Office, Arlington, Virginia
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, its budget is $7.5 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 48,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.
Useful NSF Web Sites: