NSF Releases Its New 5-Year Strategic Plan

February 15th, 2018

The National Science Foundation’s new Strategic Plan, Building the Future: Investing in Discovery and Innovation – NSF Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years (FY) 2018 – 2022, was released on February 12, 2018. To achieve NSF’s vision of “A Nation that is the global leader in research and innovation,” the Plan lays out three strategic goals. The first, “Expand knowledge in science, engineering, and learning,” is aligned with the first part of NSF’s mission, “to promote the progress of science.” It aims to advance knowledge through investments in ideas, people, and infrastructure, and to advance the practice of research. The second strategic goal, “Advance the capability of the Nation to meet current and future challenges,” flows from the latter part of the NSF mission statement—”to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense; and for other purposes.” It focuses on societal impacts and the STEM workforce. The third goal, “Enhance NSF’s performance of its mission,” includes strategies to attract, retain, and empower a talented and diverse workforce, and to continually improve agency operations.

NSF’s new Strategic Plan lays out a vision for sustaining the momentum of discovery through research and innovation. The Plan includes examples of discoveries that NSF-supported researchers have made, and the impacts these have had on the Nation’s economy and well-being. It also includes examples of exciting new opportunities for research at the frontiers of science and engineering. With the support of the American people, NSF-funded researchers will continue to transform the world with their ingenuity and creativity, providing new knowledge and innovations that will propel our economy and enhance our lives.