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Committee on Programs and Plans (CPP)

Charge (NSB-13-22-May 10, 2013)

The standing Committee on Programs and Plans (CPP) is established to provide guidance and advice on major policy issues related to the research and related activities portfolio, to deliberate and make recommendations on the formulation of programs, and to make recommendations to the Board on approval of grants, contracts, and other arrangements and on the delegation of award authority to the Director.

Consequently, CPP is charged with providing oversight, guidance, and advice on major policy, process, and operational issues related to projects and programs. The Committee's deliberations are expected to provide a forum in which the Director fulfills his or her statutory obligation[1] to consult with the Board on the formulation of programs. CPP also has primary responsibility for Board's statutory obligations to approve the Major Research Equipment and Facilities (MREFC) projects and their priority[2].

In addition, NSF has a unique federal role in the Polar Regions[3]. This is especially true in the Antarctic, where the Foundation is required, by Presidential directive, to budget for and manage the entire United States national program[4]. In recognition of the significance of these activities within the overall NSF portfolio, this Committee is specifically charged with overseeing and providing recommendations to the Board on these large scale investments.

  1. The Committee engages in strategic planning for NSF research and related activities, monitoring and providing guidance on the creation, development, implementation, and termination of initiatives in collaboration with NSF management and other NSB committees, particularly the Committee on Strategy and Budget. This is reflected in the Committee's deliberations on:
    • planning, management, and oversight of large projects;

    • candidates for large agency investments;

    • opportunities created by new discoveries; joint ventures across Federal agencies, U.S. economic sectors, or national boundaries; and Administration or Congressional priorities;

    • initiatives that may impact the research portfolio broadly, including those which involve multiple disciplines, industry or centers and those which are directed toward increasing the participation of traditionally underrepresented groups and organizations as well as early career researchers; and

    • major policy issues related to the research portfolio, including agency award processes; solicited and unsolicited proposals; institutional contributions; reporting; renewals and supplementary awards; re-competition; sun setting or phase-out; and the criteria for merit review.

    • other activities as deemed appropriate for Committee planning and deliberation.

  2. Following comprehensive review and discussion, the Committee may submit recommendations for consideration by the full Board and action on:
    • proposed awards for NSB approval as required by law and as set forth in the NSB delegation of authority;

    • new programs, major projects/facilities and their prioritization;

    • polar programs, MREFC projects, and other long-term investments, including management and operational issues;

    • programs, initiatives, or policies that may significantly impact the research portfolio or the balance of activities across the Foundation; and

    • the results of task forces assigned to its purview.

[1] 42 USC § 1864(d)
[2] 42 USC § 1862(n-4(d))
[3] 15 USC § 4101
[4] Presidential Memorandum 6646, February 5, 1982


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Last Updated:
May 21, 2013
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