The National Science Foundation released its strategic plan for the next five fiscal years on Tuesday, citing transform the frontiers, innovate for society and perform as a model organization as its three priorities for the next half decade.
“NSF can play a significant role in helping the United States retain global leadership in discovery, in innovation, in advancing the frontiers of science and engineering, and in educating new generations of scientists and engineers,” said NSF Director Subra Suresh. “Our new strategic plan provides a road map that guides us and keeps the agency on track to achieving these goals.”
The plan sets performance targets to measure progress in short, mid and long-term actions for the agency to take. The strategic plan also commits NSF to innovation and experimentation in the assessment process itself.
For example, through the STAR METRICS project (Science and Technology in America’s Reinvestment – Measuring the Effect of Research and Innovation, Competitiveness, and Science), NSF is working with other federal science agencies and with research institutions to improve the tracking of outcomes from investments in science and engineering research and education.
The NSF operates on a $6.9 billion annual budget and awards roughly $400 million in professional services contracts each year.