Conflicts of Interest
All members of the NSF staff are expected to adhere to high standards of ethical conduct. This includes civil service employees; visiting scientists, engineers, and educators; and those working at NSF under the Intergovernmental Personnel Act. The success of the NSF in performing its functions depends on the effectiveness and evenhandedness of its decision making processes. If judgments are warped or biased because of conflicting outside interests, the decision making process is compromised. NSF must continually earn the public's confidence in its integrity. To do so, each NSF staff member must endeavor to avoid even the appearance of impropriety.
NSF MANUAL 15, CONFLICTS OF INTEREST AND STANDARDS OF ETHICAL CONDUCT
NSF Manual 15 summarizes the relevant conflicts statutes and regulations. An NSF staff member who conscientiously follows NSF Manual 15 should have no difficulty complying with the various Government conflicts rules. In addition, three sets of conflicts regulations are especially important in guiding NSF staff:
- Rules of Practice for the National Science Foundation (45 CFR 680)
- Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the Executive Branch (5 CFR 2635)
- Supplemental Standards of Ethical Conduct for Employees of the National Science Foundation (5 CFR 5301)
If you have any question about conflicts of interests and NSF, please contact the NSF Office of the General Counsel:
National Science Foundation
Office of the General Counsel
2415 Eisenhower Avenue
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
Telephone: (703) 292-8060
NOTE: These materials have been prepared for informational purposes only and are not legal advice. Online readers should not act upon this information without seeking appropriate professional counsel.