Our Directorates and Offices

Office of the Director (OD)

Supports the director, chief operating officer, and other senior officials who are responsible for agency management, operations and strategic planning in support of NSF's mission to advance innovation anywhere and opportunities everywhere.

Offices within the Office of the Director:

National Science Board (NSB)

As NSF's governing board, identifies issues critical to NSF's future and establishes its policies. Serves as an independent advisor to Congress and the president on policy matters related to STEM.

Biological Sciences (BIO)

Supports research and education on the principles and mechanisms governing life — from cells to ecosystems and across space and time.

Divisions:

Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE)

Supports research and education on the principles and uses of advanced computing, communications, information systems and advanced cyberinfrastructure across science and engineering.

Units:

  • Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure (OAC): Supports the conceptualization, design, implementation and operation of research cyberinfrastructure essential for advancing and transforming research and education in science and engineering. 
  • Computing and Communication Foundations (CCF): Supports research in the mathematical, scientific and technological foundations of computing, communication, hardware, software and emerging technologies such as quantum information science. 
  • Computer and Network Systems (CNS): Supports research on computer systems and networks, hardware and software systems, future-generation computing and communication systems, cyber-physical systems, and secure and trustworthy cyberspace. 
  • Information and Intelligent Systems (IIS): Supports research on the interrelated roles of people, computers and information to advance knowledge of artificial intelligence, data management, assistive technologies and human-centered computing.

Engineering (ENG)

Invests in engineering research and education and the development of innovations to benefit society.

Divisions:

Geosciences (GEO)

Supports research and education on understanding and adapting to the changes in the earth, ocean, atmosphere and polar regions.

Divisions:

Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS)

Supports research and education in the astronomical sciences, chemistry, materials science, mathematical sciences and physics.

Divisions:

Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE)

Advances research and education on human behavior and social organizations and how social, economic, political, cultural and environmental forces affect people's lives.

Divisions:

  • Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences (BCS): Promotes investigation of psychological, linguistic, anthropological and geographic sciences, including human origins, brain development and learning, and archaeology. 
  • National Center for Science and Engineering Statistics (NCSES): Collects and reports data on the science and engineering workforce, U.S. competitiveness in science and technology and the progress of education in these fields. 
  • Social and Economic Sciences (SES): Invests in the study of how societies, organizations and economies function, including how decisions are made, how institutions function and how scientific and technological progress are pursued. 
  • Multidisciplinary Activities (SMA): Cultivates interdisciplinary research and training in the social, behavioral and economic sciences, including capacity-building at minority-serving institutions, international collaborations and the ethical conduct of scientific research.

STEM Education (EDU)

Invests in education and education research in STEM — science, technology, engineering and mathematics — across age groups and settings.

Divisions:

  • Equity for Excellence in STEM (EES): Promotes activities that strengthen STEM education for underserved communities, broaden their participation in the workforce, and increase knowledge about promoting inclusion. 
  • Graduate Education (DGE)Supports graduate students and the development of innovative programs to prepare tomorrow's leaders in STEM fields. 
  • Research on Learning in Formal and Informal Settings (DRL): Invests in research, development and evaluation of learning and teaching across all STEM disciplines in both formal and informal learning settings. 
  • Undergraduate Education (DUE)Strengthens STEM education at two- and four-year colleges and universities by improving instruction, assessment, laboratories, infrastructure, collaborations and the diversity of students and faculty.

Technology, Innovation and Partnerships (TIP)

Advances critical and emerging technologies, accelerates use-inspired and translational research, and empowers all Americans to participate in the U.S. research and innovation enterprise.

Focus areas:

Budget, Finance and Award Management (BFA)

Provides business, financial and analytical services to NSF and its recipients.

Divisions:

Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO)

Supports centralized information technology and data activities across NSF, including IT services, digital innovation and governance, and data and artificial intelligence services.

Divisions:

Information and Resource Management (OIRM)

Supports NSF operations and management, ensuring NSF remains one of the best places to work in the federal government.

Divisions:

  • Division of Administrative Services (DAS): Provides building support services and a broad range of administrative services for NSF's day-to-day business operations, including state-of-the-art conference and meeting facilities.  
  • Division of Information Systems (DIS): Balances NSF's information technology requirements with external regulations and constraints — ensuring smooth and secure IT operations with continuous improvements and modernization. 
  • Division of Human Resource Management (HRM): Provides human capital management support in areas such as staffing, recruitment, professional and leadership development, learning and education, employee awards and recognition, and labor relations.

Office of Inspector General (OIG)

Provides independent oversight of NSF to improve the effectiveness, efficiency and economy of its programs and operations and to prevent and detect fraud, waste and abuse.