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Whistleblower Protection


Whistleblower disclosures save lives as well as taxpayer dollars. They play a critical role in keeping our government honest, efficient and accountable. Recognizing that whistleblowers root out waste, fraud and abuse, and protect public health and safety, federal laws strongly encourage employees to disclose wrongdoing. Federal laws also protect whistleblowers from retaliation.

Pursuant to the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act of 2012, the Inspector General for the National Science Foundation established a Whistleblower Ombudsman to educate agency employees about prohibitions on retaliation for whistleblowing, as well as employees' rights and remedies if subjected to retaliation for making a protected disclosure. The Ombudsman is prohibited by law from acting as a Whistleblower's representative, agent, or advocate.

NSF employees may contact the Whistleblower Ombudsman at



Individuals who believe they have been improperly retaliated against may contact:

  1. The National Science Foundation Office of Inspector General:
    Telephone: (800) 428-2189
    Written correspondence: 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, Virginia 22314
  2. The U.S. Office of Special Counsel. OSC is an independent agency enforcing whistleblower protections, safeguarding the merit system and providing a secure channel for whistleblower disclosures. Information on filing a complaint with OSC may be found at
  3. The Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). Certain employees may be able to appeal directly to MSPB. More information on whistleblower MSPB appeals is available at