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Welcome to the Office of Equity and Civil Rights

Thank you for visiting the Office of Equity and Civil Rights (OECR). OECR works across the Foundation and with the NSF awardee community to promote diversity and inclusion, provide equal opportunity and access and eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation in employment at NSF and in participation with NSF-funded or conducted programs. Our services are briefly described below. If you want more detailed information or wish to access online forms, please use the buttons on the left side of this page or click on the weblinks embedded throughout this page.


Organizations receiving funding awards from NSF are prohibited from discriminating against individuals who participate in any of their programs, services, and activities under the follow civil rights laws: Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, (prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, or national origin); Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability); Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972 (prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex in Federally assisted education programs or activities); and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 (prohibits discrimination on the basis of age). To that end, OECR investigates complaints of unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation in NSF-funded programs services and activities. OECR also conducts civil rights compliance reviews of NSF awardee organizations and their NSF-funded programs and activities. In addition, OECR provides technical assistance and information on how awardee organizations can comply with these laws and how NSF-funded program participants can assert their rights and protections against discrimination, harassment or retaliation under these laws.

If you wish to file a complaint, please use the NSF Awardee Program Complaint Form. If you do not want to file a complaint but wish to inform NSF of unlawful discrimination or harassment in an NSF-funded program or have questions regarding the Awardee Civil Rights Compliance Program please contact us at (703) 292-8020 or at Please refer to for more information on the Awardee Civil Rights Compliance program.


Since October 22, 2018, NSF requires awardee organizations to notify NSF of any findings/determinations of sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, or sexual assault regarding an NSF funded Principal Investigator (PI) or co-PI, or of the placement of the PI or co-PI on administrative leave, or the imposition of any administrative action relating to harassment or sexual assault finding or investigation. OECR receives the harassment notifications from NSF awardee organization Authorized Organization Representatives (AORs) and coordinates review of these forms with NSF's Office of General Counsel, the Policy Office and program staff who manage the affected NSF funding awards. AORs initiate the notification process by the filing the harassment notification through our online form. Please go to for more information on the Harassment Notification Term & Condition.

If you have questions regarding Harassment Notification Term & Condition please contact us at (703) 292-8020 or at


Edmund Rhynes serves as the EEO Program Manager. His goal is to help create an environment that will promote equal employment opportunities for all regardless of race, sex (including sexual harassment and pregnancy discrimination), age, disability, color, religion, genetic information, national origin or reprisal.

So what does that mean to you? If you believe you are experiencing discrimination on one of the protected basis, you can reach out to me to explore your options for filing a complaint or early complaint resolution. For more information on my program, please visit OECR Complaints.

If you are an applicant, employee, contractor or conduct business at NSF and have questions about your rights, feel free to contact me at (703) 292-2104 or


Pamela Smith Hall serves as the Disability Program Manager. She works hard to help remove barriers, expand employment opportunities and provide reasonable accommodations to individuals with disabilities.

Here is an example. To a person who has arthritis, typing may pose a serious problem and impact their work. An interactive dialogue would be had with the person to determine some possible solutions, such as the provision of an ergonomic keyboard or speaking to type software. For more information on my program, please visit Reasonable Accommodations.

If there is any way to help make your working environment less strenuous and you are an applicant, employee, contractor or conducting business at NSF, please reach out to me at (703) 292-7328 or Also, please note, medical documentation is often required for me to help process your request.


The Diversity and Inclusion Leadership Group is one example of an intra-agency group that we work with to improve leadership engagement and collaboration on strategic and operational diversity and inclusion priorities in support of NSF's mission. We also prepare the agency's EEO Program report and coordinate, almost monthly, Special Emphasis Program observances to promote inclusivity and cultural awareness.

Please contact our office if you have any questions about upcoming events or suggestions about diversity and inclusion initiatives at NSF. We can be reached at (703) 292-8020.