A National Visiting Committee is a group of experts who provide advice to an Advanced Technological Education (ATE) center and assess that center’s progress. In its advising role, the NVC helps the center make improvements and enhances its likelihood of success. In the assessing role, the NVC helps gather evidence that the center is on track and is carrying out the activities that it promised. If activity changes have been made, these changes should be documented and approved by the appropriate NSF program officer. In this way, the NVCs expand the capability of the National Science Foundation (NSF) to monitor its larger grants. NVC advisors can also assist a center by bringing its strengths and accomplishments to the attention of the faculty and administrators of the host institution. They may also disseminate information about the ATE center at their home institutions, at meetings of professional associations, and to the business/industrial community.
ATE centers are required to have a National Visiting Committee. In general, NVCs are like the advisory committees that many NSF-funded projects already have. However, a key difference is that an NVC reports directly to the NSF, as well as to the center they serve. NVCs are expected to prepare written reports and share them with center staff for review and comment. The final reports are then submitted to the center’s NSF program officer.