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Protecting Research and Facilitating Collaboration

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The National Science Foundation (NSF) is committed to safeguarding the integrity and security of science while also keeping fundamental research open and collaborative. NSF seeks to address an age of new threats and challenges through close work with its partners in academia, law enforcement, intelligence and other federal agencies. By fostering transparency, disclosure and other practices that reflect the values of research integrity, NSF is helping to lead the way in ensuring taxpayer-funded research remains secure.

NSF’S RESEARCH PROTECTION NOTICES

STATEMENT OF NSF’S COMMITMENT

NSF is committed to sustaining the United States’ position as a global innovation leader as well as contributing to its economic strength and national security through basic research. Openness, transparency and collaboration are essential for basic research. These are the values that have driven NSF and its global research partners for decades. Unfortunately, certain actors are benefiting from the system while not upholding these values. This is a challenging and important issue. NSF looks forward to working with all stakeholders in the scientific community to address it.

NSF’S TESTIMONY

To maintain our robust research ecosystem, it is important that we understand and vigilantly address emerging risks to the nation’s science and engineering enterprise. Simultaneously, it is important that we acknowledge that a great strength of the U.S. research and engineering enterprise is the diversity of talent — both domestic and international — and we must commit to maintaining that strength. Therefore, NSF will continue to take steps to protect the integrity of the federal investment in basic research from those who do not share our values, while also fostering an environment of collaboration, innovation and discovery. – Rebecca Keiser, head of NSF’s Office of International Science and Engineering

On November 19, 2019, Rebecca Keiser testified on behalf of NSF before the Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Dr. Keiser discussed NSF's work to implement all reasonable and necessary steps to ensure the integrity of federally-funded research. Dr. Keiser’s written testimony is available on the Senate committee’s website, as is an archived webcast of the hearing.

NSF’S RECENT ACTIONS

NSF is seeking to mitigate risks to the research ecosystem thought the following actions:

  • At the beginning of 2020, NSF will issue a clarification to its longstanding policy requiring researchers seeking NSF funding to disclose their other sources of support. NSF has long required researchers to disclose all other sources of support, both foreign and domestic. The clarification to NSF’s guidance will ensure proposers and awardees understand these requirements.
  • In 2019, NSF issued a policy stating that members of its workforce may not participate in foreign government talent recruitment programs.
  • To ensure expert input into issues related to open science and the security of science, in 2019 NSF commissioned and received a study from the independent JASON advisory group assessing risks to fundamental research. The study includes recommendations for NSF and grantee institutions to maintain balance between openness and security of science.

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

For any questions, comments or concerns, please contact The NSF Research Protection Group at research-protection@nsf.gov.