GPRA Plan    
NSF GPRA Strategic Plan
FY 2001 - 2006



About the NSF

NSF Role

I.  Introduction

II.  Vision and Mission

III.  Outcome Goals

IV.  Strategy


Appendix 1: Critical Factors for Success

Appendix 2: External Factors Affecting Success

Appendix 3: Assessing NSF’s Performance

Appendix 4: Integration of NSF Plans with those of Other Agencies

Appendix 5: Resource Utilization

Appendix 6: Linking the Strategic Plan to the Performance Plan

Appendix 7: Crosswalk of NSF Goals and Programs

How We Operate

Our Attributes

National Science Board

Director's Policy Group

II.  NSF’s Vision and Mission


Enabling the Nation’s future through discovery, learning and innovation.

Realizing the promise of the 21st century depends in large measure on today’s investments in science, engineering and mathematics research and education. NSF investments – in people, in their ideas, and in the tools they use - will catalyze the strong progress in science and engineering needed to secure the Nation’s future.


NSF’s mission, set out in the NSF Act of 1950 (Public Law 810507) is:

To promote the progress of science; to advance the National health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the National defense; and for other purposes.

The Act authorizes and directs NSF to initiate and support:

  • Basic scientific research and research fundamental to the engineering process,

  • Programs to strengthen scientific and engineering research potential,

  • Science and engineering education programs at all levels and in all fields of science and engineering, and

  • An information base on science and engineering appropriate for development of national and international policy.

The NSF Act conferred on the presidentially appointed National Science Board the responsibility for establishing the policies of the Foundation and serving as its governing board. The Act also directs the Board to advise the President and Congress to assure the productivity and excellence of the Nation's science and engineering enterprise.

Over time, the following additional responsibilities were added to the agency’s mission: (1) foster the interchange of scientific and engineering information nationally and internationally; (2) support the development of computer and other methodologies; (3) maintain facilities in the Antarctic and promote the US presence through research conducted there, and (4) address issues of equal opportunity in science and engineering