News Release

National Science Board to meet November 8-9, 2017, in Alexandria, VA

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November 2, 2017

Recent listening sessions in Louisiana on the skilled technical workforce and women and underrepresented minorities in STEM, and NSF’s “Windows on the Universe” Big Idea are on the National Science Board’s meeting agenda

The National Science Board (NSB) will meet November 8 – 9, 2017, to address science and engineering policy issues relevant to the National Science Foundation (NSF). Members of the media and the public are invited to open portions of the meeting, which will also be webcast: The meeting agenda is available here.


Meeting sessions open to the public on November 8:

NSB Plenary (8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.)

NSB Chair Maria Zuber will give an overview of major issues and the Board’s recent trip to Louisiana and NSF Director France Córdova will give a brief presentation.

Committee on Strategy (9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.)

The Committee on Strategy will resume its series of briefings on NSF’s Big Ideas and Portfolio Briefs. This session will include a presentation on “Windows on the Universe: The Era of Multi-Messenger Astrophysics” and a presentation from the agency’s Directorate of Engineering.

Committee on Awards and Facilities (10:45 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.)

The agenda includes upcoming changes to the Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) Panel in response to recent report recommendations as well as language in the American Innovation and Competitiveness Act. The committee will also discuss the future of the Facility Plan and the use of the Facility Portal and other mechanisms as substitutes for a NSF-generated Facility Plan.

Committee on Oversight (1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.)

The committee will review the semiannual report of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) and authorize sending it to the Board for approval to submit to Congress. NSF’s Inspector General and her staff will describe next year’s audit plan and the agency’s acting Chief Financial Officer will give an overview of current and recent audits and evaluations. The committee will also be briefed on the agency’s recent relocation to its new headquarters in Alexandria, VA.


Meeting sessions open to the public on November 9:

Committee on National Science and Engineering Policy (8:00 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.)

The committee will discuss and vote on whether to recommend to the NSB final approval of the 2018 Science and Engineering Indicators report. The committee will also consider possible topics for a NSB policy companion statement to Indicators 2018.

Committee on External Engagement (9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.)

NSB’s recent listening sessions with educators and students in Louisiana, an upcoming event at the University of Florida, and rollout plans for the 2018 Science and Engineering Indicators report are on the committee’s agenda. The committee will also discuss engagement priorities for the coming year. 

National Science Board Plenary (11:30 a.m. – 12:00 Noon and 1:00 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.)

During the first plenary session, the Board will consider a charge to its Task Force on the Skilled Technical Workforce. In the second plenary, the Board will take votes on the future of the Facility Plan and the 2018 Science and Engineering Indicators report.

In a closed session on November 8, the Committee on Awards and Facilities will be asked to consult with the Director on the Record of Decision for Arecibo Observatory. The full Board will vote on a related authorization on November 9. In closed session on November 9, the Board will also review recommendations for the NSB class of 2024 as well as recommendations for the Board’s 2018 Vannevar Bush and Public Service awards.


About the National Science Board

Jointly, the National Science Board and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Director—the ex-officio 25th member—pursue the goals and function of the Foundation. NSB establishes the agency’s policies within the framework of applicable national policies set forth by the President and Congress. NSB identifies issues critical to NSF's future, approves the agency's strategic budget directions and the annual budget submission to the Office of Management and Budget, and new major programs and awards. The NSB also provides the President and Congress with a biennial report on U.S. progress in science and technology, providing comparisons to other nations in the areas of research and development, STEM education, and workforce training.

The President appoints Board members for six-year terms and may reappoint members for a second term. Members are drawn primarily from universities and industry and selected for their eminence in research, education, and records of distinguished service. Collectively, the Board represents a variety of science and engineering disciplines and regions across the United States. Learn more about the NSB and its current composition here.

Note: Reporters are invited to attend all open sessions, subject to provisions of the Government in the Sunshine Act. All sessions will be held at the NSF headquarters—please note our new address—at 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, Virginia.  Journalists interested in attending and covering the meeting should contact Nadine Lymn at (703) 292-2490 or

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2018, its budget is $7.8 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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