Controlled Unclassified Information at NSF

The U.S. National Science Foundation's Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI) program standardizes the management of sensitive, unclassified information handled by NSF, its partners and organizations funded by the foundation.

NSF's CUI program is part of a government-wide information security reform.

What is CUI?

Visit the National Archives' website to learn about the different categories of CUI. 

CUI is sensitive, unclassified information that requires safeguarding and controls on dissemination.

CUI is an umbrella term. It refers to a variety of information types that must be protected, including but not limited to:

  • Personally identifiable information.
  • Proprietary business information.
  • International agreements.
  • Procurement and acquisition information.
  • Law enforcement-sensitive information.

What is NSF's CUI policy?

NSF's CUI policies apply to any of the foundation's partnerships, agreements or contracts where controlled unclassified information will be handled. The requirements are:


Documents, emails, presentations, systems and other materials containing CUI must be marked accordingly.


Materials containing CUI must be stored in protected digital and physical environments.


CUI should only be shared with those with a lawful government purpose.


When CUI is no longer needed, it must be destroyed or decontrolled.

Who can I contact about CUI?

Contact the NSF CUI program office at with any questions or suggestions.

Additional information