Email Print Share

Research Infrastructure Office (RIO)

The statutory role of the Research Infrastructure Office, formerly the Large Facilities Office, is to support the research directorates in the development, implementation, and oversight of Major Facilities, by:

  1. serving as the agency's primary resource for all policy or process issues related to the development and implementation of Major Facilities;
  2. providing expert assistance on the nonscientific and nontechnical aspects of project planning, budgeting, implementation, management, and oversight;
  3. coordinating and collaborating with research directorates to share best management practices and lessons learned from prior Major Facility activities; and
  4. assessing each Major Facility construction project for cost and schedule risk.

This same role has been extended by the agency to the Mid-scale Research Infrastructure portfolio, Major Facilities and a Mid-scale RI are defined by their cost to construct, acquire, or implement (regardless of funding account) with Major Facilities costing more than $100M and Mid-scale RI bounded by the upper limit of the Major Research Instrumentation program (currently $4M) and the lower threshold for a Major Facility. Sharing of lessons learned and good practices has also been extended to the scientific community through the annual Research Infrastructure Workshop and other periodic learning opportunities.

Based on its role, RIO is positioned within the Office of Budget, Finance and Award Management (BFA). The Head of RIO works closely with the Chief Officer for Research Facilities (CORF) in the Office of the Director, who is ultimately responsible for full life-cycle oversight of Major Facilities across the Foundation and advises the NSF Director on strategic issues.

Do you have questions about the Research Infrastructure Guide (RIG), emerging guidance, or upcoming RIO-hosted events? Just send a note to:




2024 Research Infrastructure Workshop    2023 Research Infrastructure Workshop    2022 Research Infrastructure Workshop    2019 Large Facilities Workshop    Prior Events


In the Spring of 2023, NSF RIO engaged with experienced Project Management experts to produce a series of three project management webinars tailored toward NSF current and future Mid-scale Research Infrastructure awardees and all others wishing to add to their project management knowledge.

2023 Mid-scale Research Infrastructure Webinars

Part I: Mid-scale Project Planning & Management

Part II: Mid-scale Project Development, Definition and Risk

Part III: Mid-scale Project Performance Management



NSF's Research Infrastructure Office has additional resources designed to facilitate the sharing of knowledge and lessons learned between facilities throughout the year: the NSF Research Infrastructure Knowledge Sharing Gateway where the community can search for past presentations, webinars and posters from NSF research infrastructure events, and the RI Communities of Interest portal, a cloud-based interactive community forum.

Knowledge Gateway    Communities of Interest