NIOSH Board of Scientific Counselors

At a glance

The NIOSH Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC) is a federal advisory committee that provides advice to the NIOSH Director. It has 15 members from industry, labor, and academia, who are also experts in their fields. It meets twice per year.

Silhouettes of people sitting at a conference table with speech bubbles above.

What we do

The NIOSH Board of Scientific Counselors (BSC) is a federal advisory committee. It was created in 1984 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
  • Applicability and dissemination of research findings.

Most recent BSC meeting‎

The BSC met on March 13, 2024. Learn more from the meeting agenda and meeting materials.


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

  • Data sciences (e.g., biostatistics, epidemiology)
  • Natural sciences (e.g., chemistry, toxicology)
  • Occupational safety and health (e.g., ergonomics, industrial hygiene)
  • Occupational medicine and nursing
  • Research translation
  • Safety and health education
  • Social sciences (e.g., psychology)

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.

Keep Reading: NIOSH BSC Membership


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. They always 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


The National Firefighter Registry Subcommittee provides advice to NIOSH about the National Firefighter Registry for Cancer (NFR). This is a voluntary registry of firefighters to collect health and occupational information. The data will be used to determine cancer incidence in the U.S. fire service and answer other important questions. The Firefighter Cancer Registry Act of 2018 that established the NFR also mandated consultation with interested parties about the NFR. This requirement is fulfilled through a subcommittee of the BSC.

National Firefighter Registry logo
The subcommittee provides recommendations to the BSC about the NFR. Image by NIOSH

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.