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About OIA

The Office of Integrative Activities (OIA) works across disciplinary boundaries to lead and coordinate strategic programs and opportunities that: advance research excellence and innovation; develop human and infrastructure capacity critical to the U.S. science and engineering enterprise; and promote engagement of scientists and engineers at all career stages.

As a change agent, OIA catalyzes and incubates initiatives that capitalize on new interdisciplinary scientific and engineering concepts and generate technology-based solutions for economic and societal benefit. OIA strengthens the nation as a knowledge-based society by fostering the development of a diverse and engaged next generation of research leaders. Additionally, OIA administers prestigious honorary award programs and professional internships for aspiring scientists and engineers. OIA provides policy and programmatic analytical support to the NSF Director and Deputy Director and working in partnership with NSF directorates and offices, plays a leadership role in shaping agency-wide policies and new strategic directions that promote cross-Foundational programmatic and operational unity and alignment.

OIA organizations include:

Integrative Programs and Activities Section

OIA administers major NSF-wide programs including Integrative NSF Support Promoting Interdisciplinary Research and Education (INSPIRE), Science and Technology Centers (STC), and Major Research Instrumentation (MRI).

Activities administered by OIA include prestigious honorary award programs-the National Medal of Science and the Alan T. Waterman Award-as well as professional internships for aspiring scientists and engineers. Broadening Participation activities include the Committee on Equal Opportunities in Science and Engineering (CEOSE).

OIA also supports the NSF Director's Office through policy analysis and special projects to address Foundation priorities, and plays a leadership role-in close partnership with other NSF Directorates and Offices-to improve NSF's management practices and promote unity and alignment in support of the Foundation's mission.

Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Section

The mission of EPSCoR is to assist the National Science Foundation in its statutory function "to strengthen research and education in science and engineering throughout the United States and to avoid undue concentration of such research and education." EPSCoR goals are:

a) to provide strategic programs and opportunities for EPSCoR participants that stimulate sustainable improvements in their R&D capacity and competitiveness;
b) to advance science and engineering capabilities in EPSCoR jurisdictions for discovery, innovation and overall knowledge-based prosperity.

EPSCoR objectives are:

  • to catalyze key research themes and related activities within and among EPSCoR jurisdictions that empower knowledge generation, dissemination and application;
  • to activate effective jurisdictional and regional collaborations among academic, government and private sector stakeholders that advance scientific research, promote innovation and provide multiple societal benefits;
  • to broaden participation in science and engineering by institutions, organizations and people within and among EPSCoR jurisdictions;
  • to use EPSCoR for development, implementation and evaluation of future programmatic experiments that motivate positive change and progression.

Evaluation and Assessment Capability (EAC) Section

The mission  of the EAC is to provide NSF with the capacity to operate from a basis of evidence in policy decisions. EAC provides centralized support and resources for data collection, analytics, and the design of evaluation studies and surveys. These activities enable NSF to more consistently evaluate the impacts of its investments, to make more data-driven decisions, and to establish a culture of evidence-based planning and policy-making.

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