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Understanding the National Science Foundation

Understanding the National Science FoundationWhat is the National Science Foundation (NSF)?

The National Science Foundation is an Independent Federal Agency responsible for the administration, regulatory review, analysis, and disbursement of federal grants awarded to individuals and institutions undertaking scientific development and research; however, the NSF only undertakes the furnishing of grants and awards with regard to non-medical science conducted within the realm of universities and academic institution:

NSF Quick Facts

Independent Federal Agencies are typically without a single director or executive; in contrast, independent government agencies – such as the NSF – are overseen by an executive directorial board; due to this fact, the Executive Branch retains less managerial oversight of the NSF than its agency counterparts. Although the President of the United States retains administrative jurisdiction over the NSF, the presence of a committee of directors allows for a decreased executive authority over hiring, staffing, and administration.

The following details outline the structuring of the NSF:

The NSF was founded on May 10th, 1950

The headquarters of the NSF are located in Arlington, Virginia

The NSF is directed by Subra Suresh – it is not uncommon for independent government agencies to include terms such as ‘Foundation’ in their respective title due to a group management structure in lieu of a single operations manager

Independent Government Agencies

Independent Government Agencies are specific organizations and bureaus under the over arching jurisdiction of the Federal Government of the United States; however, these independent agencies are typically without a specified Department responsible for their respective oversight and administration:

Issues and Affairs Undertaken by the NSF

The foundation of the NSF was implemented in order to address matters concerning non-medical scientific research and development efforts; the following legal and administrative matters and affairs are most commonly related to the operation of the NSF:

The NSF is responsible for the provision of almost 1/4th of federal grants and funding with regard to scientific research and development existing within the United States of America

The acting President of the United States is responsible for the appointment of the 24-person board of executives; these executives are responsible for the review – and subsequent decisions – with regard to the awards process of scientific grants

The NSF meets at an average of 6 times on an annual basis; during these meetings, procedures and policies concerning grants and awards are formulated, established, and reviewed

NSF: Legal Information and Further Assistance

The operation and administration of the NSF resides under the jurisdiction of the legal field classified as Administrative Law; this genre of law is primarily associated with events and circumstances in which the Federal Government of the United States engages its citizens, including the administration of government programs, the administration and operation of government agencies, and the establishment of a legal, regulatory federal standard – you can find both the primary address and telephones number of the NSF below:

National Science Foundation

4201 Wilson Boulevard

Arlington, Virginia


(703) 292-511