NSF News

NSF announcement on JASON report: Safeguarding the Research Enterprise

Today, the U.S. National Science Foundation released the latest report by JASON, an independent science advisory group, Safeguarding the Research Enterprise. Building on the Fundamental Research Security report released in 2019, NSF commissioned this new study to satisfy legislative requirements in Section 10339 of the "CHIPS and Science Act of 2022" and the Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations bill. JASON was asked to comment on specific steps NSF might take to identify sensitive areas of research and describe processes to address security in those areas.  

Safeguarding the Research Enterprise has eight findings and provides six recommendations for NSF to consider. The findings underscore the value of international collaboration while recognizing the spectrum of risks and the need for differentiation between sensitive and nonsensitive research.  

"NSF is committed to helping researchers navigate the new and evolving risks to research security. Transparency and openness are essential to the science and engineering enterprise, both for the nation and for the global research community. At the same time, there are real security concerns that must be addressed,” said NSF Director Sethuraman Panchanathan. “International collaboration and partnerships power tremendous new discoveries and innovation, and NSF will continue to support those efforts while also expanding how to identify risks, inform the R&D community and safeguard the integrity of the research enterprise."

JASON recommendations highlight the importance of fostering a culture of research security awareness within the scientific community by providing substantive information to researchers about real risks, making resources available and encouraging continuous engagement with researchers and their institutions about the efficacy of research risk mitigation and control efforts.  

NSF is analyzing the findings and will consider the implementation of the recommendations as it continues to develop and implement new policy review processes for national security concerns. These will be made effective in time to meet the May 24, 2024, deadline established under the "CHIPS & Science Act of 2022."