National Science Foundation

Elizabeth Lyons
Head of NSF’s Tokyo Regional Office

The U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF), created in 1950, is an independent U.S. government agency with the Congressional mandate to “promote the progress of science” by:

  1. Supporting research in colleges, universities and non-profit institutions
  2. Supporting programs for the improvement of education in mathematics, science and engineering at all levels.

The NSF headquarters is located in Arlington, Virginia. NSF’s fiscal 2007 budget appropriation is $5.92 billion.

Because of the importance of international aspects of science and engineering, support for the international interests of U.S. researchers and educators has long been recognized as an essential part of NSF’s mission. To that end, NSF has established close working relations with counterpart organizations throughout the world. It also maintains overseas offices in Beijing, Paris and Tokyo.

The National Science Foundation’s Tokyo Regional Office has four interrelated responsibilities:

  1. Reporting on science and science policy developments in Japan and in the East Asia Pacific region
  2. Representing the interests of NSF and the American science and engineering communities in Japan
  3. Carrying out coordination and liaison functions with respect to cooperative programs in Japan
  4. Assisting American researchers in Japan to obtain access to Japanese facilities to advance their research interests

NSF’s Tokyo Regional Office coordinates its activities with several Japanese government and quasi-government organizations including the Council for Science and Technology Policy (CSTP), the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (MEXT), the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS), and the Japan Science and Technology Agency (JST). The office also maintains close relations with working scientists and engineers in Japanese university, corporate, and government laboratories.

NSF’s Tokyo Regional Office has a staff of three, including the Director sent from headquarters, and two local employees. The Director of the Office works closely with the Environment, Science, and Technology section, and is a member of the Tokyo Science and Technology Diplomat’s Circle.

For further information about the office as well as opportunities for American researchers and students in Japan, visit