NSF, through the Office of the Chief of Research Security Strategy and Policy (OCRSSP), seeks to establish an independent Research Security and Integrity Information Sharing Analysis Organization (RSI-ISAO) to empower the U.S. research community (institutions of higher education (IHEs), non-profit research institutions, and small and medium-sized for-profit organizations) to address foreign government interference, support security-informed decision-making, and serve as a conduit that connects research community stakeholders with one another and with U.S. government (USG) agencies via NSF.
We invite proposals that articulate a vision and actionable plan for the RSI-ISAO that would build the capacity of the research community to make risk-informed decisions and create a trusted partnership between USG research-awarding agencies and the research communities they serve. We invite proposers to identify strategic objectives to accomplish this vision consistent with the requirements set out in Section 10338 of the CHIPS and Science Act of 2022 (Public Law 117-167), enacted on August 9, 2022 (CHIPS and Science Act).
The RSI-ISAO's principal duties include:
- Serving as a clearinghouse for information;
- Developing a set of standard risk assessment frameworks and best practices;
- Providing timely reports on research security risks;
- Providing training and support;
- Enabling standardized information gathering;
- Supporting analysis of patterns of risk and identification; and
- Taking other appropriate steps to enhance research security.
These duties can be categorized using the following three functional domains in research security: (1) tools & training, (2) community engagement & inquiries, and (3) data analysis & reporting.
Informed by stakeholder engagement and statutory requirements, NSF has determined that the RSI-ISAO will:
- Provide uniform quality of service to all members of the research community;
- Respond to specific requests for assistance from research organizations, and from individual researchers through their organization or affiliated entity;
- Handle unclassified information only; including publicly available information and declassified intelligence from USG agencies; and
- Perform analyses and publish reports, based on information provided by USG agencies, research organizations, and the private sector, for the benefit of research stakeholders.
The RSI-ISAO will not:
- Issue formal opinions, recommendations, or decisions to the research community;
- Assume liability for the use of its products and services or the consequences arising from this use;
- Issue policy;
- Hold or analyze classified information; or
- Conduct investigations.