Committee on Strategy and Budget (CSB)
Charge (NSB-01-104 - May 23, 2001)
The National Science Board is charged by the NSF Act to establish the policies of the National
Science Foundation, within the framework of applicable policies set forth by the Congress and
the Administration. Consistent with this charge, and with other provisions of the NSF Act, the
Board provides strategic direction to the Foundation to:
- Advance promising research areas and the quality of education;
- Assure the vitality of the research personnel infrastructure;
- Strategically improve NSF administrative management; and
- Improve NSF programmatic constructs.
The Board provides direction and oversight through the approval of awards, agreements, and new
programs and through delegation of certain classes of these actions to the Director, according
to criteria approved by the Board. The Board also provides guidance and advice on a broad array
of issues through its standing committees and through special task forces established to examine
One of the Board's most important responsibilities is the provision of strategic budget guidance
and the approval of the annual NSF budget submission to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).
Since the Board sets strategic direction for the Foundation and implementation of that direction
requires substantive effort, the Board's budget evaluation should be based on evaluation of the
implementation of strategic direction as it is realized in the budget. Strategy implementation and
budget are tightly linked and must be developed in concert with one another.
To improve the Board's effectiveness in the NSF strategic budget process, there is established a
standing Committee on Strategy and Budget (CSB).
In the context of the full Board responsibility for recommending strategic direction in national
S&T policy and for establishing strategic directions for NSF, CSB will analyze the Foundation's budget
to ensure progress and consistency against strategic direction for the Foundation.
CSB will identify strategic, typically long term, issues that are critical to NSF's future. Some
issues are national (or international) in scope and in the reports that the Board creates, guidance
to NSF is embedded. Other issues are (almost wholly) specific to NSF and the Board develops statements
of strategic direction. Others are generated and dealt with by the Foundation leadership, with
perhaps consultation or advice the Board and its committees.
Because the Board is focused on strategy, scrutiny of the budget will be more in depth in
strategic areas, but less in others. Strategy topics may vary from year to year. The Board will also
review the NSF budget from the perspective of balance between initiatives and core
The budget analysis will be based on a multi-year view of strategy implementation. It will
consider multi-year budget profiles for each strategic area, and analyze NSF operating budgets under
development for congruence with these multi-year profiles. This analysis is also intended to position
and enable the NSB to better support NSF in the wider community.
CSB will make recommendations to the full Board for the approval of strategic NSF budget
directions and for the approval of the NSF budget submission to OMB.
This budget process must integrally relate to the actions of the other NSB standing committees:
A&O, CEH and CPP. In addition, it should reflect task force reports, including those under development.
At least some members of the committee should have expertise in budget and organizational operation.
The Committee on Strategy and Budget will have access to budget information and must be supported at
an appropriate level by NSF budgetary staff and develop a clear annual operational time table coordinate
and consistent with that of NSF.
Eamon M. Kelly