The NSF is currently seeking public comment on its new draft Strategic
Plan for fiscal years 2006 - 2011. Comments on the draft plan
must be provided by JULY 17 through the website at http://www.nsf.gov/about/performance/input.cfm
or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
The draft Strategic Plan, which runs about 20 pages, is available at
the following web site: http://www.nsf.gov/about/performance/nsfplandraft.pdf
. In its introduction, the document acknowledges that the "context
in which science is done is undergoing rapid change and NSF needs to
respond to it." It describes how increasing globalization and advanced
technologies and instrumentation are changing the conduct of science
and engineering, and states that the new plan provides "an overarching
framework for progress in fundamental research and education; a framework
that leaves ample room to experiment and adapt to changing circumstances."
The document addresses NSF's mission, goals and objectives, investment
priorities, and how these concepts could be translated into action.
The four goals cited in the plan are derived from the National Science
Board's December 2005 publication: 2020 Vision for the National science
Foundation (see http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2006/nsb05142/nsb05142.pdf
). Under each of these four goals, the draft Strategic Plan lists several
Long-Term Investment Priorities. The Goals are:
DISCOVERY: "Foster research that will advance the frontiers
of knowledge, emphasizing areas of greatest opportunity and potential
benefit, and establishing the nation as a global leader in fundamental
and transformative science and engineering."
LEARNING: "Cultivate a world-class, broadly inclusive science
and engineering workforce, and expand the scientific literacy of all
RESEARCH INFRASTRUCTURE: "Build the nation's research capability
through critical investments in advanced instrumentation, facilities,
cyberinfrastructure, and experimental tools."
STEWARDSHIP: "Support excellence in science and engineering
research and education through a capable and responsive organization."
During the public comment period, NSF is requesting feedback on the
following questions in particular: What are the strengths and weaknesses
of the draft plan? Does NSF's draft Strategic Plan effectively communicate
NSF's investments and priorities in supporting the science and engineering
community? If not, what is lacking and specifically how can it be improved?
After comments are received and considered, a final plan will be reviewed
by NSF and the Office of Management and Budget, and sent to Congress
by September 30, 2006. At that time it will also be posted on NSF's