NIOSH Board of Scientific Counselors

graphic of people seated at table

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC) is a federal advisory committee created to provide advice and guidance to the Director of NIOSH. Typically, the BSC advises on NIOSH’s occupational safety and health research and prevention programs. The BSC also provides advice on:

  • standards of scientific excellence
  • current needs in the field of occupational safety and health, and
  • the applicability and dissemination of research findings.
BSC Meeting

March 13, 2024


The NIOSH Board of Scientific Counselors will be seeking nominations for new members in April 2024 to serve starting in 2025. NIOSH welcomes nominees from diverse backgrounds and with expertise in a variety of disciplines related to occupational safety and health. More information and what to include in a nomination package will be posted here and in the Federal Register in April 2024.

The NIOSH BSC is made up of 15 experts in occupational safety and health spanning a variety of fields, such as:

  • occupational medicine
  • occupational nursing
  • industrial hygiene
  • chemistry
  • safety and health education
  • ergonomics
  • epidemiology
  • biostatistics
  • occupational safety and health engineering
  • toxicology
  • psychology
  • wellness
  • research translation

The BSC members are representatives of industry, labor, or academia who are knowledgeable in occupational safety and health research. Members serve for overlapping terms up to 4 years.


BSC meetings generally occur two times per year. Meetings may be in-person, online, or a hybrid model. All BSC meetings are open for the public to attend and include time for members of the public to make verbal comments. Meeting dates and locations are posted in advance on the BSC website and in the Federal Register.

National Firefighter Registry Subcommittee

NIOSH established the National Firefighter Registry (NFR) in response to the mandate in the Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2018. This is a voluntary registry of firefighters to collect health and occupational information to determine cancer incidence in the U.S. fire service. The Act also mandated consultation with interested parties about the NFR. This requirement is fulfilled through a subcommittee of the BSC.

Two members of the BSC serve as co-chairs of the Subcommittee. It meets at least once per year, either in person, online, or a hybrid. Advice and recommendations from the Subcommittee are presented to the BSC, which makes final recommendations the NIOSH Director.


The Designated Federal Officer (DFO), also referred to as the Executive Secretary, is a permanent federal employee responsible for the BSC’s overall management. A Committee Management Specialist (CMS) is also assigned to the BSC to work with the DFO on administrative aspects of committee management.