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42 U.S. Code § 1870 - General authority of Foundation

The Foundation shall have the authority, within the limits of available appropriations, to do all things necessary to carry out the provisions of this chapter, including, but without being limited thereto, the authority—
to prescribe such rules and regulations as it deems necessary governing the manner of its operations and its organization and personnel;
to make such expenditures as may be necessary for administering the provisions of this chapter;
to enter into contracts or other arrangements, or modifications thereof, for the carrying on, by organizations or individuals in the United States and foreign countries, including other government agencies of the United States and of foreign countries, of such scientific or engineering activities as the Foundation deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter, and, at the request of the Secretary of State or Secretary of Defense, specific scientific or engineering activities in connection with matters relating to international cooperation or national security, and, when deemed appropriate by the Foundation, such contracts or other arrangements, or modifications thereof may be entered into without legal consideration, without performance or other bonds, and without regard to section 6101 of title 41;
to make advance, progress, and other payments which relate to scientific or engineering activities without regard to the provisions of section 3324(a) and (b) of title 31;
to acquire by purchase, lease, loan, gift, or condemnation, and to hold and dispose of by grant, sale, lease, or loan, real and personal property of all kinds necessary for, or resulting from, the exercise of authority granted by this chapter;
to receive and use funds donated by others, if such funds are donated without restriction other than that they be used in furtherance of one or more of the general purposes of the Foundation, except that funds may be donated for specific prize competitions for “basic research” as defined in the Office of Management and Budget Circular No. A–11;
to publish or arrange for the publication of scientific and engineering information so as to further the full dissemination of information of scientific or engineering value consistent with the national interest, without regard to the provisions of section 501 of title 44;
to accept and utilize the services of voluntary and uncompensated personnel and to provide transportation and subsistence as authorized by section 5703 of title 5 for persons serving without compensation;
to prescribe, with the approval of the Comptroller General of the United States, the extent to which vouchers for funds expended under contracts for scientific or engineering research shall be subject to itemization or substantiation prior to payment, without regard to the limitations of other laws relating to the expenditure of public funds and accounting therefor;
to arrange with and reimburse the heads of other Federal agencies for the performance of any activity which the Foundation is authorized to conduct;
during the 5-year period beginning on August 21, 1986, to indemnify grantees, contractors, and subcontractors associated with the Ocean Drilling Program under the provisions of section 2354 [1] of title 10 with all approvals and certifications required by such indemnification made by the Director; and
to provide for the widest practicable and appropriate dissemination of information within the United States concerning the Foundation’s activities and the results of those activities.

[1]  See References in Text note below.
Editorial Notes
References in Text

Section 2354 of title 10, referred to in subsec. (k), was renumbered section 3861 of title 10 by Pub. L. 116–283, div. A, title XVIII, § 1836(b), Jan. 1, 2021, 134 Stat. 4241.


In subsec. (c), “section 6101 of title 41” substituted for “section 3709 of the Revised Statutes” on authority of Pub. L. 111–350, § 6(c), Jan. 4, 2011, 124 Stat. 3854, which Act enacted Title 41, Public Contracts.

In subsec. (d), “section 3324(a) and (b) of title 31” substituted for “section 3648 of the Revised Statutes (31 U.S.C., sec. 529)” on authority of Pub. L. 97–258, § 4(b), Sept. 13, 1982, 96 Stat. 1067, the first section of which enacted Title 31, Money and Finance.

In subsec. (g), “section 501 of title 44” substituted for “section 87 of the Act of January 12, 1895 (28 Stat. 622), and section 11 of the Act of March 1, 1919 (40 Stat. 1270; 44 U.S.C., sec. 111)” on authority of Pub. L. 90–620, § 2(b), Oct. 22, 1968, 82 Stat. 1305, the first section of which enacted Title 44, Public Printing and Documents.


2022—Subsec. (l). Pub. L. 117–167 added subsec. (l).

2007—Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 110–69 inserted before semicolon at end “, except that funds may be donated for specific prize competitions for ‘basic research’ as defined in the Office of Management and Budget Circular No. A–11”.

1986—Subsec. (k). Pub. L. 99–383 added subsec. (k).

1985—Subsecs. (c), (d). Pub. L. 99–159, § 110(a)(14)(A), inserted references to engineering.

Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 99–159, § 110(a)(14)(B), (C), substituted “engineering” for “technical” and inserted reference to engineering value.

Subsec. (i). Pub. L. 99–159, § 110(a)(14)(A), inserted applicability to engineering.

1968—Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 90–407, § 9(a), substituted “scientific activities” for “basic scientific research activities” and “scientific research activities”, “international cooperation or national security” for “national defense”, and inserted “Secretary of State” after “at the request of the”.

Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 90–407, § 9(b), substituted “activities” for “research”.

Subsec. (h). Pub. L. 90–407, § 9(c), substituted “section 5703 of title 5” for “section 5 of the Act of August 2, 1946 (5 U.S.C. 73b–2)”.

Subsec. (j). Pub. L. 90–407, § 9(d), added subsec. (j).

1959—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 86–232 included acquisition of property by condemnation.

Statutory Notes and Related Subsidiaries
Continuation of Existing Offices, Procedures, and Organization of the National Science Foundation

Amendment by Pub. L. 90–407 intended to continue in effect the existing offices, procedures, and organization of the Foundation, see section 16 of Pub. L. 90–407, set out as a note under section 1862 of this title.

Misrepresentation of Research Results

Pub. L. 114–329, title I, § 115, Jan. 6, 2017, 130 Stat. 2994, provided that:

“(a) Prohibition.—
The Director of the Foundation may revise the regulations under part 689 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations (relating to research misconduct) to ensure that the findings and conclusions of any article authored by a principal investigator, using the results of research conducted under a Foundation grant, that is published in a peer-reviewed publication, made publicly available, or incorporated in an application for a research grant or grant extension from the Foundation, does not contain any falsification, fabrication, or plagiarism.
“(b) Interagency Communication.—
Upon a finding that research misconduct has occurred, the Foundation shall, in addition to any possible final action under section 689.3 of title 45, Code of Federal Regulations, notify other Federal science agencies of the finding.”

[For definitions of “Foundation” and “Federal science agency” as used in section 115 of Pub. L. 114–329, set out above, see section 2 of Pub. L. 114–329, set out as a note under section 1862s of this title.]