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:
- serving as the agency's primary resource for all policy or process issues related to the development and implementation of Major Facilities;
- providing expert assistance on the nonscientific and nontechnical aspects of project planning, budgeting, implementation, management, and oversight;
- coordinating and collaborating with research directorates to share best management practices and lessons learned from prior Major Facility activities; and
- 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.
ANNOUNCEMENTS AND REPORTS
- GAO Report: COVID-19 Affected Ongoing Construction of Major Facilities Projects
- GAO Report: NSF Cost and Schedule Performance of Major Facilities Construction Projects and Progress on Prior GAO Recommendations
- GAO Report: NSF Cost and Schedule Performance of Large Facilities Construction Projects and Opportunities to Improve Project Management
- GAO Report: NSF Revised Policies on Developing Costs and Schedules Could Improve the Estimates for Large Facilities
- NAPA Report: NSF Use of Cooperative Agreement to Support Large Scale Investment in Research
- NSF 16-128, Dear Colleague Letter: National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) Implementation
- Major Facilities List, current as of 10/4/2022
- Research Infrastructure Documents and Guidance
- Trusted CI - NSF Cybersecurity Center of Excellence Large Facilities Security Team
WORKSHOPS AND WEBINARS
PROJECT MANAGEMENT MID-SCALE WEBINAR SERIES
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.
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.