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NSF Remote Access


Many NSF IT systems and services will be unavailable from Friday, June 30 at 8:00 PM EDT until Tuesday, July 4 at 6:00 PM EDT due to NSF’s move of its Data Center IT servers to the Foundation’s new headquarters in Alexandria.

Remote access through the NSF Virtual Desktop (VDI) will not be available from Friday, June 30 at 8:00 PM EDT until Tuesday, July 4 at 6:00 PM EDT.

The following systems and services are available for staff and contractors during the extended outage:

  • Email
  • Office 365
  • LearnNSF
  • OneDrive
  • Skype for Business/Lync
  • External SharePoint

We appreciate your understanding and apologize for any inconvenience.


  • A computer with a stable Internet connection
  • Your NSF User ID
  • Your password
  • Your SecurID token and PIN


Virtual Desktop

Need to use multiple NSF applications and systems from a non-NSF computer?
The NSF Virtual Desktop lets you work remotely from any Windows or Mac computer. It includes a virtual Windows 7 desktop that you can set up to match how you use Windows 7 on your NSF computer. It also includes access to Office 2013, other standard applications, NSF eBusiness applications, and internal resources such as Inside NSF, SharePoint sites, and your R: drive.

NSF Virtual Desktop User Guide

Office 365

Need quick access to your email, calendar, or contacts?
Use Outlook Web Application (OWA) to read and send email or to access your calendar and contact list

OWA light version (use for troubleshooting if instructed by IT Help Central)

Access NSF

If you are required to use your Smart Card, you will not be able to connect to your desktop using the Access NSF remote desktop feature. Get started with Virtual Desktop, which allows you to access a desktop that resembles a Windows 7 environment, or make the switch to Seamless Mobile Computing.

(If you are not yet required to use your Smart Card, and you still want to use the remote desktop feature of Access NSF, please note that you must use Internet Explorer and leave your NSF computer powered on).

Access NSF Quick Reference Guide
How to Use Remote Desktop


If you do not already have a Windows or Mac SMC laptop, visit the SMC page on Inside NSF or contact your IT Specialist or IT Help Central.


Contact IT Help Central - 7 AM to 7 PM - Room 357S
703.292.HELP (x4357) or toll free: 800.711.8084 or