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 includes:

Integrative Activities (IA) Section

OIA's Integrative Activities (IA) section administers major NSF-wide programs such as Science and Technology Centers (STC), Major Research Instrumentation (MRI), Mid-scale Research Infrastructure – Track 1 (MSRI-1), Historically Black Colleges and Universities – Excellence in Research (HBCU-EiR), Growing Convergence Research, and NSF 2026.

Activities administered by IA 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).

IA 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.

IA coordinates NSF’s reporting on its merit review process to the National Science Board and the agency’s use of Committees of Visitors.  It also develops and prototypes tools and dashboards that provide NSF staff greater visibility.

MISSION:

IA catalyzes and incubates NSF-wide initiatives; promotes STEM talent; and advances agency policies and research infrastructure.

VISION: 

IA envisions a robust research enterprise that transcends scientific disciplines, cultivates collaboration and uses innovative approaches to achieve scientific breakthroughs. 

GOALS: 

  • Lead strategic planning for the agency;
  • Develop novel analysis and tools to drive policy and practices;
  • Administer high profile recognition programs;
  • Provide leadership on Agency BP Activities; and
  • Prototype and coordinate large-scale cross-directorate initiatives.

To learn more about OIA's Integrative Programs and Activities please click here.

Convergence Accelerator Office (CAO)

OIA's Convergence Accelerator Office (CAO), a new capability within NSF, is designed to accelerate use-inspired convergence research in areas of national importance through partnerships between a variety of stakeholders—academia, industry, non-profits, government, and other sectors. Using a convergence approach, the CAO integrates multidisciplinary research and innovation processes to speed basic research toward impactful solutions.

Key Characteristics:                                                                                                                           

  • Use-inspired and application-oriented
  • Builds upon basic research and discovery
  • Utilizes a convergent approach, transitioning basic research into practice
  • Leverages multidisciplinary teams, connecting academic and non-academic stakeholders
  • Supplies mentorship and innovation curriculum and training incorporating human-centered design, user discovery, and team science
  • Produces high-impact deliverables
  • Proactively and intentionally managed

MISSION:

The Convergence Accelerator speeds the transition of convergence research into practice to address grand challenges of national importance.

VISION:

The Convergence Accelerator envisions the unique NSF innovation process, in which convergence research and multi-organization teams unite, provides an environment to deliver high-impact results to society at scale.

GOALS:

  • Demonstrates a new innovation model, creating long lasting impacts of NSF funded research;
  • Delivers tangible solutions that have a nation-wide and societal impact; and
  • Expands and diversifies multidisciplinary teams and partnerships to include academia, industry, non-profits, government, and other sectors.

To learn more about OIA's Convergence Accelerator Office please click here.

Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Section

OIA's Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR) Section was created by Congress in 1979, to strengthen research in STEM and education infrastructure. EPSCoR partners with states that have historically received smaller amounts of federal research and development funds to enhance science and engineering research, education, and technological capabilities. Through EPSCoR, participating states are building a high-quality academic research base to serve as a backbone of scientific and technological enterprise.

MISSION:

EPSCoR enhances research competitiveness of targeted jurisdictions (states, territories, commonwealth) by strengthening STEM capacity and capability.

VISION:

EPSCoR envisions its targeted jurisdictions as being recognized as strong contributors to the national and global STEM research enterprise.

GOALS:

  • Catalyze jurisdiction-wide research capability;
  • Establish STEM professional development pathways;
  • Broaden participation of diverse groups/institutions in STEM;
  • Effect engagement in STEM at national and global levels; and
  • Impact jurisdictional economic development.

To learn more about OIA's EPSCoR Section please click here.

Evaluation and Assessment Capability (EAC) Section

OIA's Evaluation and Assessment Capability (EAC) Section 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.

EAC develops a coordinated, agency-wide capacity to:

  • 1) harness high-quality data to improve agency results;
  • 2) introduce and use timely, low-cost evaluations; and
  • 3) strengthen agency-wide use of evidence for program and policy decision making and action.

MISSION:

EAC develops a coordinated, agency-wide capacity to 1) harness high-quality data to improve agency results; 2) introduce and use timely, low-cost evaluations; and 3) strengthen agency-wide use of evidence for program and policy decision making and action.

VISION:

EAC envisions NSF as becoming a leader in evaluation and assessment of research and education investment in science and engineering.

GOALS:

  • Create innovative approaches to assessing and improving program investment performance;
  • Create and implement novel tools and measures;
  • Catalyze access to and the analysis and application of qualitative and qualitative data;
  • Consult and collaborate with internal and external stakeholders to identify and meet assessment and evaluation needs; and
  • Connect an array of resources needed to support the NSF evidence-based culture.

To Learn more about OIA's Evaluation and Assessment Capability Section please click here.

Banner Image Credits: Genome design for EPSCoR - Dr. Casey Dunn, Alan T. Waterman awardee and EPSCoR PI; INSPIRE cluster for EAC - Dr. Paul Morris, Program Director (NSF/OD/OIA); Integration collage - Steven Buhneing (OD/OIA); Convergence Accelerator -Trinka Kensill, (NSF/OLPA)