Rebecca Keiser, head of the Office of International Science & Engineering (OISE) at the National Science Foundation (NSF) issued the following statement.
The National Science Foundation is committed to international cooperation in science, engineering and education research. We value our international partnerships around the globe and recognize that the most challenging science requires international cooperation.
NSF is changing to a new overseas presence and updating our approach as to how we support international scientific collaboration. To ensure we are aware of, and have access to, the best minds and facilities, the foundation will transition our international engagement to a new model that allows us to expand our outreach and cooperation around the globe. The new approach will deploy NSF experts for short-term expeditions to selected areas to explore opportunities for collaboration.
We seek to improve cooperation by increasing outreach to our foreign counterparts instead of relying on a small number of static offices with a limited number of employees. The resources for this revised approach will be gained from the closure of our three overseas offices. The closures will take place by summer 2018.
These offices have been integral to our successful collaborations in the past. However, the impact of having physical offices has changed as the world has changed. NSF's decision to reallocate personnel from the three overseas offices is an opportunity to modernize and broaden our international collaboration.
We look forward to continued cooperation with our partners in China, Japan the European Union, and elsewhere, and look forward to the new partners we will be able to gain through this strategic transition.