The Nomination and Appointment Process

The National Science Board’s Role in the Member Appointment Process

The National Science Board (NSB) is responsible for assembling and transmitting to the White House, recommendations for appointment of new NSB Members from the various scientific, engineering, and educational organizations and societies. In its review of candidates, the Board applies the statutory eligibility requirements and also looks at demographics, balance among professional fields, active researchers, teachers and administrators, and industrial representation.


Statutory Eligibility Requirements for Board Members

The National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended, stipulates that the Board should be composed of broadly experienced individuals of distinguished achievement and representative of a broad range of disciplinary interests. It also draws attention to the need for equitable representation of individuals from underrepresented groups, and provides explicit criteria and eligibility requirements for membership on the Board, as described in Sections 4(c) and (d), quoted here:

(c) The persons nominated for appointment as members on the Board (1) shall be eminent in the fields of basic, medical, or social sciences, engineering, agriculture, education, research management or public affairs; (2) shall be selected solely on the basis of established records of distinguished service; and (3) shall be so selected as to provide representation of the views of scientific and engineering leaders in all areas of the Nation. In making nominations under this section, the President shall give due regard to equitable representation of scientists and engineers who are women or who represent minority groups. The President is requested, in the making of nominations of persons for appointment as members, to give due consideration to any recommendations for nomination which may be submitted to him by the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, the National Association of State Universities and Land Grant Colleges, the Association of American Universities, the Association of American Colleges, the Association of State Colleges and Universities, or by other scientific, engineering, or educational organizations.

(d) The term of office of each member of the Board shall be six years; except that any member appointed to fill a vacancy occurring prior to the expiration of the term for which his predecessor was appointed shall be appointed for the remainder of such term. Any person, other than the Director, who has been a member of the Board for twelve consecutive years shall thereafter be ineligible for appointment during the two-year period following the expiration of such twelfth year.


Nomination and Appointment Process

Nominations must be submitted via NSB’s submissions portal. See "Dear Colleague Letter" for additional information.

The nomination and appointment process takes approximately 12 months. Key steps include the Board's review of nominations and recommendations to the White House and the Office of Science and Technology Policy, evaluation of potential appointees by the Office of Presidential Personnel, appointment by the President, and the swearing in at an open meeting of the Board.


For Further Information

For information on the nominations process, contact:

Faith E. Hixson
National Science Board
Phone: 703-292-7896
Fax: 703-292-9008
TDD: 703-292-5090

Privacy Act

The information requested on the application materials is solicited under the authority of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended. It will be used in connection with the selection of qualified applicants and may be disclosed to qualified reviewers and staff assistants and to other government agencies as part of the review process. Biographical and background information from publicly available sources may also be used for this purpose. See Systems of Records, NSF-12, "Fellowships and Other Awards," 63 Federal Register 265 (January 5, 1998). Submission of the information is voluntary; however, failure to provide full and complete information may reduce the possibility of recommendation for appointment.

The public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 8 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions, searching existing data sources, gathering and maintaining the data needed, and completing and reviewing the collection of information. Send comments regarding this burden estimate or any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden to:

Suzanne Plimpton
Reports Clearance Officer, Office of General Counsel
National Science Foundation
Alexandria, VA 22314

The National Science Foundation has TDD (Telephonic Device for the Deaf) capability, which enables individuals with hearing impairment to communicate with the Foundation about NSF programs, employment, or general information. To access NSF TDD, dial (703) 292-5090; for FIRS, 1-800-877-8339.