Email Print Share

Office of Investigations

Megan Wallace
Assistant Inspector General for Investigations

The Office of Investigations (OI) assesses and investigates allegations of wrongdoing, and develops and coordinates our outreach efforts. We investigate wrongdoing involving organizations or individuals that receive awards from, conduct business with, or work for NSF. We assess the seriousness of misconduct and recommend proportionate action. When possible, we work in partnership with agencies and awardees to resolve issues. When appropriate, the results of our investigations are referred to the Department of Justice or other prosecutorial authorities for criminal prosecution or civil litigation, or to NSF management for administrative resolution. Our investigations are conducted in a thorough and impartial manner and are consistent with the requirements of the Quality Standards for Federal Offices of Inspector General.

Our criminal and civil investigators focus on allegations of intentional diversion of NSF funds and material false statements in information submitted to the Foundation. Intentional diversion of NSF funds for personal use is a criminal act, which can be prosecuted under several statutes. NSF awardees are required to notify NSF of any significant problems relating to their NSF awards. We encourage awardees to practively contact OIG to discuss issues related to the misuse of NSF funds. These communications significantly increase our ability to work with awardees and to conduct timely investigations.

Our administrative investigators focus on violations of rules, regulations, or policy including allegations of research misconduct (falsification, fabrication, and plagiarism). Research misconduct erodes the integrity of the research enterprise and strikes at the core of NSF's mission; it is a special focus of investigative efforts within OIG. NSF awardees are required to notify NSF when they determine an RM allegation has substance and they proceed to investigation. We encourage awardees to contact OIG to facilitate their investigations and to coordinate on these very sensitive issues.

When investigations uncovers matters that must be brought to the attention of NSF leadership, we report those matters through Management Implication Reports (MIRs).

When investigations uncover systemic concerns or other matters that must be brought to the attention of NSF leadership, we report such matters through Management Implication Reports (MIRs).

Our outreach efforts are essential to building partnerships within the agency and with other federal agencies, NSF awardees, and research communities. These partnerships assist us in promoting education on ethical issues, responsible conduct of research, and resolving integrity and efficiency matters effectively.

You can learn more about our office and operations, view summaries of MIRs, and view/print Case Closeout Memoranda by clicking on one of the following: