NSF is open for business! We thank you for your forbearance during this challenging time, and for your support of students, postdocs, faculty, technical and administrative support staff and researchers. It has not been easy for our continuing or new grantees, especially emerging scholars and hopeful aspirants. We thank you for giving them a helping hand and ask you to work with us to get everyone back on track as soon as possible. We thank you for continuing to emphasize and highlight the importance of basic research as the foundation for technological progress, and for health, security and prosperity.
After a long and difficult lapse in appropriations, the agency is operating under a three-week continuing resolution. This means we will not be able to conduct “business as usual,” and we will have to set priorities for what to do first. We will start with the most pressing of issues, including processing the backlog of awards to universities and small businesses, rescheduling merit review panels that were cancelled, funding facilities and renewing oversight of those facilities, and funding graduate student and postdoctoral fellowships. In addition, we will advance the bold new agenda for science envisioned by NSF and the National Science Board, an agenda now being formulated in new solicitations. Our hardworking staff will be pressed to do more. We once again ask for your forbearance as we deal with this unprecedented situation. And we welcome good ideas for making rapid progress, whether they come through scientific organizations and societies or from individuals.
On a happy note: NSF is pleased to welcome Dr. Kelvin Droegemeier as the Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP), an action taken by the 115th Congress on the last day of its session. Dr. Droegemeier previously served as the Vice Chair of the National Science Board. He is a strong and articulate champion of science and the work of NSF. We look forward to working closely with him in his new role.
I am grateful for your continuing support as we work our way back to normal operations.