The National Science Foundation (NSF) has taken social distancing directives to heart and achieved a 100 percent employee telework rate, the agency told MeriTalk. NSF employs about 2,100 people including permanent, contract, and temporary employees, according to its website.

NSF has released various guidance directives along with its measures to work from home, including for the effects of COVID-19 on Human Subjects Research, on Vertebrate Animal Research, and major facilities and contracts.

NSF guidance on facilities and contracts dates back to March 9 and features provisions including:

  • “Safety of the people comes first, safety and security of the facility is also critical, and you should have response plans in place;”
  • In consultation with their environmental health/safety and medical personnel and collaboration with appropriate government authorities, managing organizations and contractors should make decisions about what is needed to keep the facility and its people safe; and
  • Managing organizations and prime contractors should communicate with NSF staff to best keep informed on status.

“Your work is also crucial to our future success. When this pandemic passes, basic research will still be an engine of our economy, it will still underpin our national defense, and it will still be the main driver of innovations and technology that enhances every aspect of our lives,” NSF Director France Cordova wrote in a community letter.

MeriTalk is surveying large Federal agencies on their telework rates since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic. Stay tuned for news from more agencies…

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.