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National Science Foundation (NSF)

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency  created by Congress in 1950 “To promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense.” 

Notifications

06/22/2021 ANNOUNCEMENT

We are pleased to announce that a revised version of the NSF  Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide  (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1) has been issued.

The new PAPPG will be effective for proposals submitted or due on or after October 4, 2021. Significant changes include:

  • A new section covering requests for reasonable and accessibility accommodations regarding the proposal process or requests for accessibility accommodations to access NSF’s electronic systems, websites and other digital content;

  • A table entitled,  NSF Pre-award and Post-award Disclosures Relating to the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support . This table identifies where pre- and post-award current and pending support disclosure information must be provided. Proposers and awardees may begin using this table immediately;

  • Increasing the page limit for the biographical sketch from two to three pages;

  • Updates to the current and pending support section of NSF proposals to require that information on objectives and overlap with other projects is provided to help NSF and reviewers assess overlap/duplication;

  • Adding planning proposals and Career-Life Balance supplemental funding requests as new proposal types;

  • Updates to travel proposals will require that AORs certify that prior to the proposer’s participation in the meeting for which NSF travel support is being requested, the proposer will assure that the meeting organizer has a written policy or code-of-conduct addressing harassment.

You are encouraged to review the by-chapter summary of changes provided in the Introduction section of the PAPPG.

NSF plans to conduct a webinar covering these changes. Visit the NSF policy outreach website to sign up for notifications about this and other outreach events.

While this version of the PAPPG becomes effective on October 4, 2021, in the interim, the guidelines contained in the current PAPPG (NSF 20-1) continue to apply. 

If you have any questions regarding these changes, please contact the DIAS/Policy Office at policy@nsf.gov.

06/16/2021 ANNOUNCEMENT

In an effort to provide the community with helpful reference information regarding pre-award and post-award disclosure information in the biographical sketch and current and pending support proposal sections, NSF has developed a disclosure table entitled, NSF Pre-award and Post-award Disclosures Relating to the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support, to identify where these disclosures must be provided in proposals as well as in project reports. Proposers and awardees may begin using this resource immediately to assist with completing the relevant proposal and project report sections. As a reminder, current and pending support information is used to assess the capacity of the individual to carry out the research as proposed, as well as to help assess any potential overlap/duplication with the project being proposed.

A revised Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) will be released next week with an effective date of October 4, 2021, and the disclosures table will be included in this revised version. As noted above, however, proposers and awardees may begin using this table immediately.

E-systems

FASTLANE

FastLane is an interactive real-time system used to conduct NSF business with researchers and potential researchers, reviewers, and research administrators and their organizations. In collaboration with NSF, more than 400,000 people use FastLane each year.

Button FASTLANE

RESEARCH.GOV

Research.gov provides grants management for the research community. Research.gov will eventually become a full replacement for FastLane, providing quick access to research information and grants management services, all in one location.

  • Research.gov Overview
  • NSF still has no announced plans for administrators to initiate applications
  • Instructions within research.gov override the PAPPG
  • Once the application is initiated, the following items on Cover Sheet cannot be changed (a new application must be initiated):
    • Funding Opportunity
    • Directorate/Division/Program
    • Proposal Type (Research, RAPID, etc.)
    • Submission Type (Full Proposal, Renewal, LOI, Preliminary, etc.)
    • Proposal Details (not collaborative, collaborative from one organization, collaborative from multiple organizations)
    • NOTE: There is a workaround to change PI by adding a Co-PI and then removing the original PI.
  • Separately-Submitted Collaborative Proposal:
    • When the non-lead institution submits before the lead institution, a permanent proposal number is not assigned until the lead submits its proposal. Until that time, the application can still be edited.
    • When a non-lead application is linked to the lead application, the applicable items on the Cover Sheet are replaced (Funding Opportunity, Title, etc.)

Button RESEARCH.GOV

Sponsor Specific Guidance

PAPPG

The  Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG)  contains policies and guidance relating to the Foundation's proposal and award process for the assistance programs of NSF. The PAPPG, in conjunction with NSF’s Grant General Conditions, serves as the Foundation’s implementation of 2 CFR § 200,  Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards.

NSF Proposal Submission Templates for Senior Personnel

  Link   Template Name
Button Biographical Sketch (Biosketch)
Button Collaborators and Other Affiliations Infomation (COA)
Button Current and Pending Support (C&P)
Help

Below is a step-by-step video tutorial on how to create a Research.gov account.

CREATE A RESEARCH.GOV ACCOUNT

**All proposals must be processed through VERA as well as any outside submission system.**

You must electronically prepare and submit a proposal to the NSF through either FastLane, Research.gov or Grants.gov. For instructions on submitting via Grants.gov, see the Grants.gov Application Guide. For all instructions on the contents of a proposal, see the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), Chapter II.  

Who Prepares and Submits Proposals?

These individuals may have roles in preparing and submitting a proposal: 

  • Principal Investigator (PI)
  • Co-PIs
  • Other Authorized Users (OAUs)
  • Sponsored Programs Administration Representative 
  • Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR)

Process

If you are a PI, you may take these actions in preparing and submitting a proposal:

  • Create a proposal
  • Edit a proposal
  • Give SPA access to view and edit the proposal
  • Give your AOR access to view, edit and submit the proposal

Additional Resources

RESEARCH.GOV PROPOSAL SUBMISSION (if applicable)

FASTLANE HELP DOCUMENT

Grantee-Approved Extension

Grantees may authorize a one-time extension of the expiration date of the grant of up to 12 months if additional time beyond the established expiration date is required to assure adequate completion of the original scope of work within the funds already made available. This one-time extension may not be exercised merely for the purpose of using the unliquidated balances. Grantees are not authorized to extend an award that contains a zero balance. The grantee shall notify NSF, providing supporting reasons for the extension and the revised expiration date, at least ten days prior to the expiration date specified in the grant to ensure accuracy of NSF’s grant data. All grantee-approved extension notifications must be submitted via the Research.gov system. For grantee-approved extensions, no amendment will be issued.

**NCE requests must be submitted as a Modification Request through VERA as well as Research.gov.**

NSF-Approved Extension

If additional time beyond the awarded period of performance end date is necessary to complete the statement of work, and exceptional circumstances warrant, a formal request must be submitted to NSF via FastLane. The request must be submitted to NSF at least 45 days prior to the expiration date of the grant. The request must explain the need for the extension and include an estimate of the unobligated funds remaining and a plan for their use. As indicated above, that unobligated funds may remain at the expiration of the grant is not in itself sufficient justification for an extension. The plan must adhere to the previously approved objectives of the project. All requests for NSF-approved extensions must be submitted via the Research.gov system. Grantees are not authorized to extend an award that contains a zero balance. NSF program officers are authorized to approve the first no cost extension request on current active awards.

The first no-cost extension request will be subject to the approval of the cognizant NSF Program Officer. The sponsored projects office and PI will be electronically notified of the disposition of this request by the cognizant NSF Program Officer. The second no-cost extension will continue to be subject to the approval of an NSF Grants and Agreements Officer, and, if approved, will be in the form of an amendment to the grant specifying a new expiration date. Grantees are cautioned not to make new commitments or incur new expenditures after the expiration date in anticipation of a no-cost extension.

Grantees are not authorized to extend an award that contains a zero balance.

AWARD AND ADMINISTRATION GUIDE

For a PI who is retiring, a Change in PI/Co-PI request can be submitted through FastLane by the PI. Additionally, please notify SPA about this change in project personnel.

For a PI that is transferring institutions, a decision needs to be made if they are willing and able to take their award with them to the new institution. If they would like to take the award with them, a PI Transfer Request must be submitted in NSF's system. If the award will stay at Vanderbilt University, a Change in PI/Co-PI request must be submitted in NSF's system. Contact your SPA Specialist for additional information. Additionally, please notify SPA staff of this change in project personnel.

PI SEPARATION CHECKLIST - COMING SOON