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NSF Authorizing Legislation and Rules

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is governed by the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended (42 U.S.C. 1861-75, our "Organic Act" or the "NSF Act") and other statutes, such as the Science and Engineering Equal Opportunities Act and various permanent ("codified") sections of legislation authorizing and making appropriations to the Foundation. At any time, several bills affecting the Foundation may be pending in Congress that would, if enacted, change or add to our statutory authority. Information on pending legislation can be viewed on the NSF and Congress webpage. Under the authority of section 11(a) of the NSF Act [42 U.S.C. 1870(a)], the Foundation has prescribed rules deemed necessary governing the manner of its operations and its organization and personnel. Legal interpretation of the Foundation's statutes and rules and any pending legislation is the responsibility of the Office of the General Counsel.

  • NSF Act - NSF's organic statute is located in the United States Code at 42 U.S.C. §1861, et seq.
  • NSF Regulations - NSF's regulations are located in the Code of Federal Regulations at 45 C.F.R. Part VI. The Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) is a codification of the general and permanent rules published in the Federal Register by the Executive departments and agencies of the Federal Government. OGC maintains a paper copy of the CFR in its library. NSF's regulations are also maintained online through a joint project authorized by the publisher, the National Archives and Records Administration's Office of the Federal Register, and the Government Printing Office (GPO) to provide the public with enhanced access to Government information.

Disclaimer: The materials on this web site do not constitute legal advice. You should consult with an OGC attorney before acting on or convey to someone outside NSF any interpretation of these materials.