Saifur Rahman, the Joseph Loring Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the College of Engineering and director, Virginia Tech Advanced Research Institute (ARI), has been appointed by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to serve a one-year term on its Advisory Committee for GPRA Performance Assessment (AC/GPA) to determine whether NSF-sponsored programs are meeting the foundation's strategic outcome goals of discovery, learning, and research infrastructure.

The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA), passed in 1993, holds federal agencies accountable for using resources wisely and achieving program results. The GPRA requires agencies to develop plans for what they intend to accomplish, measure how well they are doing, make appropriate decisions based on the information they have gathered, and communicate information about their performance to U.S. Congress and to the public.

“I am very pleased to be appointed to this NSF advisory committee whose findings and conclusions have a direct impact on planning and budgeting for the programs within the Foundation,” Rahman said. Rahman’s term began on Jan. 1, 2009, and will run through Dec. 31, 2009.

The AC/GPA is comprised of about 20 members, each of whom has strong academic credentials and substantial experience in academia, government, and/or industry. The committee is responsible for submitting an annual report to the director that evaluates NSF performance under each strategic goal, as required by the GPRA.

To assess outcomes from NSF grant programs in research, education, and research infrastructure, the AC/GPA uses performance indicators that take into account how well the programs are supporting potentially transformative research, stimulating innovation, developing successful models for teaching and learning, achieving active support of undergraduate and graduate students in research projects, and fostering research that requires large facilities or advanced instrumentation that could not have been carried out were it not for NSF support.