The responsibilities of the NSF program officer are constantly evolving. The program officer is guided by the goals of NSF’s Strategic Plan: (1) enable the United States to uphold a position of world leadership in all aspects of science, mathematics, and engineering, (2) promote the discovery, integration, dissemination, and employment of new knowledge in service to society, and (3) achieve excellence in U.S. science, mathematics, engineering, and technology education at all levels. The core strategies NSF staff employ include developing intellectual capital, strengthening the physical infrastructure integrating research and education, and promoting partnerships.
The responsibilities of the NSF Program officer include, for example, long-range planning and budget development for the areas of science represented by the program or program cluster, the administration of the merit review process and proposal recommendations, the preparation of press releases, feature articles and material describing advances in the research supported, and coordination and liaison with other programs in NSF, other Federal agencies and organizations. Additional duties and responsibilities include:
- Represents the National Science Foundation, as required, on national and international committees, boards, panels, etc. Interprets NSF policies for groups and acts as liaison between these and the Foundation.
- Determines the need for workshops and special studies and works with the directorate's scientific staff in the development of such activities, including defining their purpose and identifying areas of emphasis.
- Establishes administrative procedures for special meetings of oversight review panels to evaluate the operations of the program.
- Provides advice and assistance in the development and revision of suitable internal program structures, the arrangement of program and project goals and levels of effort, and the continuing review, evaluation, and coordination of all program activities.
- Furthers equal opportunity through fair treatment of women, minority group members, and persons with disabilities, and sensitivity to the issues involving these groups in the workplace and in advice rendered. Participates in NSF efforts to broaden participation in the STEM workforce through its policies and programs.