Chapter II: Proposal Preparation Instructions

  1. Conformance with Instructions for Proposal Preparation
    1. Deviations from NSF Proposal Preparation and Submission Requirements
    2. Requests for Reasonable and Accessibility Accommodations
  2. NSF Disclosure Requirements
  3. Format of the Proposal
    1. Proposal Pagination Instructions
    2. Proposal Font, Spacing and Margin Requirements
    3. Page Formatting
  4. Proposal Contents
    1. Single-Copy Documents
      1. Authorization to Deviate from NSF Proposal Preparation Requirements
      2. List of Suggested Reviewers or Reviewers Not to Include
      3. Proprietary or Privileged Information
      4. Proposal Certifications Provided by the Organization
      5. Certification Provided by Senior Personnel
      6. Submission of Proposals by Former NSF Staff
    2. Sections of the Proposal
      1. Cover Sheet
      2. Project Summary
      3. Table of Contents
      4. Project Description
      5. References Cited
      6. Budget and Budget Justification
      7. Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources
      8. Senior Personnel Documents
      9. Special Information and Supplementary Documentation
  5. Special Processing Instructions
    1. Proprietary or Privileged Information
    2. Beginning Investigators (applies to proposals submitted to the Biological Sciences Directorate only)
    3. Collaborative Proposals
    4. Proposals Involving Live Vertebrate Animals
    5. Proposals Involving Human Subjects
    6. Potential Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC)
    7. Projects Requiring High-Performance Computing Resources, Data Infrastructure or Advanced Visualization Resources
    8. International Activities
    9. Safe and Inclusive Working Environments for Off-Campus or Off-Site Research
  6. Other Types of Proposals
    1. Planning Proposal
    2. Rapid Response Research (RAPID)
    3. EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER)
    4. Research Advanced by Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering (RAISE)
    5. Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI)
    6. Ideas Lab Proposal
    7. Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED)
    8. Career Life Balance (CLB) Supplemental Funding Requests
    9. Conference Proposal
    10. Equipment Proposal
    11. Travel Proposal
    12. Center Proposal
    13. Research Infrastructure Proposal

Exhibit II-1: Proposal Preparation Checklist

Exhibit II-2:Potentially Disqualifying Conflicts of Interest

Exhibit II-3: Definitions of Categories of Personnel

Each proposing organization that is new to NSF or has not had an active NSF assistance award within the previous five years should be prepared to submit basic organization and management information and certifications, when requested, to the applicable award-making division within the Office of Budget, Finance & Award Management (BFA). The requisite information is described in the NSF Prospective New Awardee Guide. The information contained in this Guide will assist the organization in preparing documents which NSF requires to conduct administrative and financial reviews of the organization. This Guide also serves as a means of highlighting the accountability requirements associated with Federal awards.

Proposers should be aware of core strategies that are essential to the fulfillment of NSF's mission, as articulated in Building the Future: Investing in Discovery and Innovation - NSF Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years (FY) 2018 – 2022. These strategies are integrated in the program planning and implementation process, of which proposal review is one part. NSF's mission is particularly well-implemented through the integration of research and education and broadening participation in NSF programs, projects, and activities.

One of the strategic objectives in support of NSF’s mission is to foster integration of research and education through the programs, projects, and activities it supports at NSF recipient organizations. These organizations recruit, train, and prepare a diverse science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce to advance the frontiers of science and participate in the U.S. technology-based economy. NSF’s contribution to the national innovation ecosystem is to provide cutting-edge research under the guidance of the Nation’s most creative scientists and engineers. NSF also supports development of a strong STEM workforce by investing in building the knowledge that informs improvements in STEM teaching and learning.

NSF will not tolerate research misconduct in proposing or performing research funded by NSF, reviewing research proposals submitted to NSF, or in reporting research results funded by NSF. For additional information, see Chapters I.D.3., IX.B., and XII.C.

NSF’s mission calls for the broadening of opportunities and expanding participation of groups, organizations, and geographic regions that are underrepresented in STEM disciplines, which is essential to the health and vitality of science and engineering. NSF is committed to this principle of diversity and deems it central to the programs, projects, and activities it considers and supports.

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A. Conformance with Instructions for Proposal Preparation

1. Deviations from NSF Proposal Preparation and Submission Requirements

Unless specified in a program solicitation, all proposals must comply with the proposal preparation instructions contained in Part I of the PAPPG or the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide. Conformance will be strictly enforced unless a written deviation authorization is received in advance of proposal submission from the cognizant NSF Assistant Director/Office Head or designee. Such deviation authorizations must be uploaded as a single-copy document and include the name, date, and title of the NSF official, and the nature of the deviation authorized. (See section C.1 below for additional information.)

Except as noted above, NSF will not accept or will return without review proposals that are not consistent with these instructions. See Chapter IV.B for additional information.

2. Requests for Reasonable and Accessibility Accommodations

NSF is dedicated to fostering and maintaining a diverse and inclusive digital environment that eliminates barriers and ensures our programs, systems, and services are accessible to everyone as required by Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, as amended in 2017. Individuals with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations as part of the proposal process must contact the Office of Equity and Civil Rights’ (OECR) Disability Program Manager (DPM) at rarequest@nsf.gov at least 30 calendar days prior to the proposal deadline date. Individuals with disabilities who need accessibility accommodations to access NSF proposal submission and award management systems, websites and other digital content must contact the NSF Section 508 Compliance Officer at least 30 calendar days prior to the proposal deadline date. For reasonable accommodation requests, NSF may request medical documentation signed and dated by the proposer’s physician that describes a) the nature, severity, and duration of the impairment; b) the activities the impairment limits; and c) why and how the particular reasonable accommodation requested will assist the proposer.

The information provided in support of a reasonable accommodation request is confidential and available only to designated agency staff that are responsible for providing and/or coordinating accommodation services. Decisions on reasonable accommodations are made by the DPM, in concert with applicable agency officials and based on the information provided. It is important to note that the desired request may not always be the accommodation that is ultimately provided. NSF is not required to provide accommodations that impose an “undue hardship” on the operation of the organization or that fundamentally alter the nature of its programs or activities. Requests for reasonable or accessibility accommodations may not include personal use items or extensions to proposal deadline dates. All proposals must be received by the deadline date specified in the NSF funding opportunity

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B. NSF Disclosure Requirements

As part of the proposal preparation and submission process, all senior personnel identified on a proposal are required to submit information to assist reviewers and program staff in making informed recommendations and funding decisions. These disclosures are provided in the following proposal sections:

  • Biographical Sketch; (see Chapter II,D.h(i));
  • Current and Pending Support (see Chapter II.D.h(ii); and
  • Collaborators and Other Affiliations (see Chapter II.D.h(iii)).

It is vital that submission of such disclosure information be taken seriously. The Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support documents require the individual to certify that the information provided is accurate, current, and complete. Violation of disclosure requirements may lead to criminal, civil, and/or administrative consequences as may be deemed appropriate based upon the particular facts of the violation. Violations will be thoroughly investigated by the NSF OIG and referred to criminal and/or civil offices within the Department of Justice, when warranted.

Depending on the facts surrounding the violation, and consistent with due process requirements, NSF may consider a range of actions. Such actions include, but are not limited to:

  • non-acceptance of a proposal submitted to NSF;
  • ensuring that individual(s) who violate these requirements are not permitted to perform work under an NSF award;
  • ineligibility for participation as an NSF reviewer;
  • suspension or termination of an award; and/or
  • placement of the individual or research organization in SAM or the Federal Awardee Performance and Integrity Information System (FAPIIS) to alert other agencies.

NSF will require senior personnel on potential awards to submit updated Current and Pending Support information prior to award, as well as part of the annual and final reporting process, when applicable.

NSF may consider the following factors, where relevant and consistent with applicable laws and regulations, in determining the appropriate consequences for violations of disclosure requirements:

  • harm or potential harm to NSF, the Federal Government, U.S. taxpayers, and other national interests;
  • intent of the offender;
  • the offender’s knowledge of requirements;
  • pattern of violation versus isolated incident;
  • existence and timing of self-disclosure;
  • policies, procedures, and training available to the offender; and
  • any other mitigating factors.

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C. Format of the Proposal

Prior to submission, it is strongly recommended that proposers conduct an administrative review to ensure that proposals comply with the guidelines established in Part I of the PAPPG or the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide. The Proposal Preparation Checklist (Exhibit II-1) may be used to assist in this review. The checklist is not intended to be an all-inclusive repetition of the required proposal contents and associated proposal preparation guidelines. It is, however, meant to highlight certain critical items so they will not be overlooked when the proposal is prepared.

During completion of the proposal setup wizard in Research.gov, the PI will be prompted to select the applicable response that describes the nature and type of proposal being developed:

  • Research (see Chapter II, Sections A through D);
  • Planning Proposal (see Chapter II.F.1);
  • Rapid Response Research (RAPID) (see Chapter II.F.2);
  • Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) (see Chapter II.F.3);
  • Research Advanced by Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering (RAISE) (see Chapter II.F.4);
  • Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) (see Chapter II.F.5);
  • Ideas Lab (see Chapter II.F.6);
  • Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED) (see Chapter II.F.7);
  • Career-Life Balance (CLB) Supplemental Funding Requests (see Chapter II.F.8);
  • Conference (see Chapter II.F.9);
  • Equipment (see Chapter II.F.10);
  • Travel (see Chapter II.F.11);
  • Center (see relevant funding opportunity and Chapter II.F.12);
  • Research Infrastructure (see relevant funding opportunity and Chapter II.F.13); or
  • Fellowship (see relevant funding opportunity).

Whether the proposal is:

  • A collaborative proposal from one organization (see Chapter II.E.3.a);
  • A collaborative proposal from multiple organizations (see Chapter II.E.3.b); or
  • Not a collaborative proposal.

The requested proposal information noted above will be used to determine the applicable proposal preparation requirements that must be followed. Proposers are strongly advised to review the applicable sections of Part I of the PAPPG pertinent to the type of proposal being developed prior to submission.

All proposals are checked for compliance with applicable requirements prior to submission in Research.gov. Additional information on NSF auto-compliance checks is available on the NSF website.

1. Proposal Pagination Instructions

For proposals submitted via Research.gov, the system will automatically paginate a proposal. Each section of the proposal that is uploaded as a file should leave out page numbering unless otherwise directed within Research.gov.

2. Proposal Font, Spacing, and Margin Requirements

The proposal must conform to the following requirements:

  1. Use one of the following fonts identified below:

    • Arial[6] (not Arial Narrow), Courier New, or Palatino Linotype at a font size of 10 points or larger;
    • Times New Roman at a font size of 11 points or larger; or
    • Computer Modern family of fonts at a font size of 11 points or larger.

    A font size of less than 10 points may be used for mathematical formulas or equations, figures, tables, or diagram captions and when using a Symbol font to insert Greek letters or special characters. Other fonts not specified above, such as Cambria Math, may be used for mathematical formulas, equations, or when inserting Greek letters or special characters. PIs are cautioned, however, that the text must still be readable.

  2. No more than six lines of text within a vertical space of one inch.

  3. Margins, in all directions, must be at least an inch. No proposer-supplied information may appear in the margins.

  4. Paper size must be no larger than standard letter paper size (8 ½ by 11”).

These requirements apply to all uploaded sections of a proposal, including supplementary documentation.

3. Page Formatting

Proposers are strongly encouraged to use only a standard, single-column format for the text.

The guidelines specified above establish the minimum font size requirements; however, PIs are advised that readability is of paramount importance and should take precedence in selection of an appropriate font for use in the proposal. Use of a small font size makes it difficult for reviewers to read the proposal; consequently, the use of small fonts not in compliance with the above guidelines may be grounds for NSF to return the proposal without review. Adherence to font size and line spacing requirements also is necessary to ensure that no proposer will have an unfair advantage, by using smaller font or line spacing to provide more text in the proposal.

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D. Proposal Contents

1. Single-Copy Documents

Certain categories of information that are submitted in conjunction with a proposal are for "NSF Use Only." As such, the information is not provided to reviewers for use in the review of the proposal. With the exception of NSF-specific proposal certifications, these documents should be submitted in Research.gov. A summary of each of these categories follows:

a. Authorization to Deviate from NSF Proposal Preparation Requirements (if applicable)

Instructions for obtaining authorization to deviate from NSF proposal preparation instructions are provided in Chapter II.A.

b. List of Suggested Reviewers or Reviewers Not to Include (optional)

Proposers may include a list of suggested reviewers (including email address and organizational affiliation) who they believe are especially well qualified to review the proposal. Proposers also may designate persons they would prefer not to review the proposal. These suggestions are optional. Exhibit II-2 contains information on conflicts of interest that may be useful in preparation of this list.

The cognizant Program Officer handling the proposal considers the suggestions and may contact the proposer for further information. The decision regarding whether to use these suggestions, however, remains with the Program Officer.

c. Proprietary or Privileged Information (if applicable)

Instructions for submission of proprietary or privileged information are provided in Chapter II.E.1.

See also Chapter II.B. for additional information on Single Copy Documents.

d. Proposal Certifications Provided by the Organization

Government-wide certifications and representations are provided by the proposer on an annual basis in SAM (see PAPPG Chapter I.G.2). Note that the box for "Disclosure of Lobbying Activities" must be checked on the Cover Sheet if, pursuant to the Lobbying certification provided in SAM, submission of the SF LLL is required. The AOR must use the "Authorized Organizational Representative function" to sign and submit the proposal, including NSF-specific proposal certifications. It is the proposing organization's responsibility to assure that only properly authorized individuals perform this function.[7]

See also PAPPG Chapters II.F.8 and II.F.11 for additional information on proposal certifications.

The required NSF-specific proposal certifications are as follows:

  • (i) Certification for Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) or Individual Proposer:

    The AOR is required to complete certifications regarding the accuracy and completeness of statements contained in the proposal, as well as to certify that the organization (or individual) agrees to accept the obligation to comply with award terms and conditions.

  • (ii) Certification Regarding Conflict of Interest:

    The AOR is required to complete certifications stating that the organization has implemented and is enforcing a written policy on conflicts of interest (COI), consistent with the provisions of Chapter IX.A: that, to the best of the AOR’s knowledge, all financial disclosures required by the conflict of interest policy were made; and that conflicts of interest, if any, were, or prior to the organization’s expenditure of any funds under the award, will be, satisfactorily managed, reduced or eliminated in accordance with the organization’s conflict of interest policy. Conflicts that cannot be satisfactorily managed, reduced or eliminated, and research that proceeds without the imposition of conditions or restrictions when a conflict of interest exists, must be disclosed to NSF via use of NSF’s electronic systems.

  • (iii) Certification Regarding Flood Hazard Insurance[8]:

    Two sections of the National Flood Insurance Act of 1968 (42 USC §4012a and §4106) bar Federal agencies from giving financial assistance for acquisition or construction purposes in any area identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as having special flood hazards unless the:

    • (1) community in which that area is located participates in the national flood insurance program; and

      (2) building (and any related equipment) is covered by adequate flood insurance.

    By signing the certification pages, AORs for prospective recipients located in FEMA-designated special flood hazard areas are certifying that adequate flood insurance has been or will be obtained in the following situations:

    • (1) for NSF awards for the construction of a building or facility, regardless of the dollar amount of the award; and

      (2) for other NSF awards when more than $25,000 has been budgeted in the proposal for repair, alteration, or improvement (construction) of a building or facility.

    Prospective recipients should contact their local government or a Federally-insured financial institution to determine what areas are identified as having special flood hazards and the availability of flood insurance in their community.

  • (iv) Certification Regarding Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research (RECR):

    Note: The requirement specified in Section 7009 of the America Creating Opportunities to Meaningfully Promote Excellence in Technology, Education, and Science (COMPETES) Act (42 USC 1862o–1), as amended, to have a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to faculty and other senior personnel who will be supported by NSF to conduct research will go into effect for new proposals submitted or due on or after July 31, 2023. NSF, however, encourages the community to establish such training and oversight for faculty and other senior personnel prior to the July 31, 2023, implementation. In the interim, proposers must continue to meet the guidance specified in PAPPG Chapter IX.B.

    The AOR is required to complete a certification that the institution has a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduate students, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, faculty, and other senior personnel who will be supported by NSF to conduct research and that such training addresses mentor training and mentorship.

    NSF’s RECR policy is available in Chapter IX.B. While training plans are not required to be included in proposals submitted to NSF, institutions are advised that they are subject to review upon request. NSF has provided funding to the Online Ethics Center for S&E, an online collaborative resource environment that provides resources that may be used by the institution in developing their training plan. This site contains RECR resources by discipline, provides links to published codes of ethics, as well as includes pages dedicated to resources produced or used by specific professional groups.

  • (v) Certification Regarding Organizational Support:

    The AOR is required to complete a certification that there is organizational support for the proposal as required by Section 526 of the America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010. This support extends to the portion of the proposal developed to satisfy the broader impacts review criterion as well as the intellectual merit review criterion, and any additional review criteria specified in the solicitation. Organizational support will be made available, as described in the proposal, in order to address the broader impacts and intellectual merit activities to be undertaken.

  • (vi) Certification Regarding Dual Use Research of Concern:

    The AOR is required to complete a certification that the organization will be or is in compliance with all aspects of the United States Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern.

  • (vii) Certification Requirement Specified in the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, Section 223(a)(1) (42 USC 6605(a)(1)):

    The AOR is required to complete a certification that each individual employed by the organization and identified on the proposal as senior personnel has been made aware of the certification requirements identified in the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, Section 223(a)(1) (42 USC 6605(a)(1)).

  • (viii) Safe and Inclusive Working Environments for Off-Campus or Off-Site Research

    For each proposal that proposes to conduct research off-campus or off site, the AOR must complete a certification that the organization has a plan in place for this proposal regarding safe and inclusive working environments.  See Chapter II.E.9 for additional information.

e. Certification Requirement for Senior Personnel Specified in the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021, Section 223(a)(1) (42 USC 6605(a)(1)):

In accordance with Section 223(a)(1) of the William M. (Mac) Thornberry National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2021 (42 USC 6605(a)(1)),senior personnel are required to certify in SciENcv that the information provided in their Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support documents are accurate, current, and complete.

Senior personnel are required to update their Current and Pending Support disclosures prior to award, and at any subsequent time the agency determines appropriate during the term of the award.

False representations may be subject to prosecution and liability pursuant to, but not limited to, 18 U.S.C. §§287, 1001, 1031 and 31 U.S.C. §§3729-3733 and 3802.

See additional information on NSF Disclosure Requirements in Chapter II.B.

f. Submission of Proposals by Former NSF Staff

For one year following separation from the Foundation, any communication with NSF by a former employee or IPA must be done through use of a "substitute negotiator." Unless a substitute negotiator has been designated by the proposer/recipient, the Division of Grants and Agreements (DGA) or the Division of Acquisition and Cooperative Support (DACS) will not process a new proposal with a former employee or IPA as PI or co-PI. If it has been less than a year since a former employee separated from NSF or an IPA ended their appointment and they submit a proposal, documentation from the AOR needs to be included which designates a substitute negotiator for that proposal. The substitute negotiator must be from the same organization as the PI or co-PI for whom the negotiator is required. A co-PI on a new proposal should designate the PI as the substitute negotiator. This information should be submitted as a single copy document and uploaded in the “Additional Single Copy Documents” category.

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2. Sections of the Proposal

The sections described below represent the body of a research proposal submitted to NSF. Failure to submit the required sections will result in the proposal not being accepted[9], or being returned without review. See Chapter IV.B for additional information.

A full research proposal must contain the following sections[10]. Note that the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide may use different naming conventions, and sections may appear in a different order than in Research.gov, however, the content is the same:

  1. Cover Sheet
  2. Project Summary
  3. Table of Contents
  4. Project Description
  5. References Cited
  6. Budget and Budget Justification
  7. Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources
  8. Senior Personnel Documents
    • (i) Biographical Sketch(es)
    • (ii) Current and Pending Support
    • (iii)Collaborators and Other Affiliations (see also PAPPG Chapter II.D.1 for additional information on submission of single copy documents
  9. Special Information and Supplementary Documentation[11]
    • (i) Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan (if applicable)
    • (ii) Data Management Plan

The proposal preparation instructions for Planning, RAPID, EAGER, RAISE, GOALI, Ideas Lab, FASED, conference, equipment, travel, center, research infrastructure, and fellowship proposal types may deviate from the above content requirements.

All proposals submitted to NSF will be reviewed using the two NSB-approved merit review criteria described in greater length in Chapter III.

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a. Cover Sheet

There are seven components of the Cover Sheet. The Cover Sheet data elements are as follows:

  • Requested Start Date and Proposal Duration

    The proposed duration for which support is requested should be consistent with the nature and complexity of the proposed activity. The Foundation encourages proposers to request funding for durations of three to five years when such durations are necessary for completion of the proposed work and are technically and managerially advantageous. The requested start date should allow at least six months for NSF review, processing, and decision. PIs should consult their organization’s SPO for unusual situations (e.g., a long lead time for procurement) that create problems regarding the proposed start date. Specification of a desired start date for the project is important and helpful to NSF staff; however, requests for specific start dates may not be met.

  • Related Letter of Intent (LOI)

    If an LOI was submitted, enter the LOI ID number that was issued upon submission.

  • Related Preliminary Proposal

    If a preliminary proposal was submitted, and the organization was either invited or encouraged/discouraged to submit a full proposal, provide the Preliminary Proposal Number.

  • Prime Organization

    The information on the Awardee Organization is prefilled on the Cover Sheet based on the login information entered. NSF uses the legal business name and physical address from the organizations’ SAM registration.

    The awardee organization name, address, NSF organization code, UEI, and Employer Identification Number/Taxpayer Identification Number are derived from the profile information provided by the organization or pulled by NSF from the SAM database and are not entered when preparing the Cover Sheet.

    Organizations must identify their status by checking all the applicable boxes on the Cover Sheet:

    • For-profit organizations must be U.S.-based commercial organizations, including small businesses, with strong capabilities in scientific or engineering research or education and a passion for innovation. See PAPPG Chapter I.E.3 for additional information.

    • A small business must be organized for profit, independently owned, and operated (not a subsidiary of, or controlled by, another firm), have no more than 500 employees, and not be dominant in its field.

    • A minority business must be: (i) at least 51 percent owned by one or more minority or disadvantaged individuals or, in the case of a publicly owned business, have at least 51 percent of the voting stock owned by one or more minority or disadvantaged individuals; and (ii) one whose management and daily business operations are controlled by one or more such individuals.

    • A woman-owned business must be at least 51 percent owned by a woman or women, who also control and operate it. "Control" in this context means exercising the power to make policy decisions. "Operate" in this context means being actively involved in the day-to-day management.

  • Primary Place of Performance

    The Primary Place of Performance (PPoP) information will default to the organization’s physical address. If the project will be performed at a location other than the awardee organization, provide the following information (where applicable).

    • Organization Name (identify the organization name of the primary site where the work will be performed, if different than the awardee);
    • Country
    • Street Address;
    • City;
    • State/Territory; and
    • 9-digit Postal Code.

    Note that not all fields listed above are required. Research.gov specifies the fields that are required for projects that will be performed at locations other than that of the proposing organization.

    For research infrastructure projects, the project/performance site should correspond to the physical location of the asset. For research infrastructure that is mobile or geographically distributed, information for the primary site or organizational headquarters (as defined by the proposer) should be provided.

  • Other Federal Agencies

    If the proposal is being submitted for consideration by another Federal agency, the abbreviated name(s) of the Federal agency(ies) must be identified in the space provided.

  • Other Information

    If any of the following items on the Cover Sheet are applicable to the proposal being submitted, the relevant box(es) must be checked.

    • Beginning Investigator (See Chapter II.E.2) (Note: this box is applicable only to proposals submitted to the Biological Sciences Directorate.)

    • Disclosure of Lobbying Activities (See Chapter II.D.1.d)

    • Proprietary or Privileged Information (See Chapter II.D.1.c and II.E.1)

    • Special Exceptions to the Deadline Date Policy (See Chapter I.F.3)

    • Historic Places (See Chapter II.D.2.i(vii))

    • Live Vertebrate Animals[12] (See Chapter II.E.4)

    • Human Subjects[13] (See Chapter II.E.5)

    • Funding of an International Branch Campus of a U.S. IHE (See Chapter I.E.1) – If this box is checked, the proposer also must enter the name of the applicable country(ies) in the International Activities Country Name(s) box described below.

    • Funding of a Foreign Organization or Foreign Individual (See Chapter I.E.6) – If this box is checked, the proposer also must enter the name of the applicable country(ies) in the International Activities Country Name(s) box described below.

    • International Activities Country Name(s) – each proposal that describes an international activity, proposers should list the primary countries involved. An international activity is defined as research, training, and/or education carried out in cooperation with international counterparts either overseas or in the U.S. using virtual technologies. Proposers also should enter the country/countries with which project participants will engage and/or travel to attend international conferences. If the specific location of the international conference is not known at the time of the proposal submission, proposers should enter “Worldwide”. (See Chapter II.E.8)

    • Potential Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC) (See Chapters II.E.6 and XI.B.5)

    • Off-Campus or Off-Site Research – For purposes of this requirement, off-campus or off-site research is defined as data/information/samples being collected off-campus or off-site, such as fieldwork and research activities on vessels and aircraft. (See Chapter II.D.1.d(viii) and II.E.9).

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b. Project Summary

Each proposal must contain a summary of the proposed project not more than one page in length. The Project Summary consists of an overview, a statement on the intellectual merit of the proposed activity, and a statement on the broader impacts of the proposed activity.

The overview includes a description of the activity that would result if the proposal were funded and a statement of objectives and methods to be employed. The statement on intellectual merit should describe the potential of the proposed activity to advance knowledge. The statement on broader impacts should describe the potential of the proposed activity to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes.

The Project Summary should be informative to other persons working in the same or related fields, and, insofar as possible, understandable to a broad audience within the scientific domain. It should not be an abstract of the proposal.

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c. Table of Contents

A Table of Contents is automatically generated for the proposal. The proposer cannot edit this form.

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d. Project Description (including Results from Prior NSF Support)

(i) Content

The Project Description should provide a clear statement of the work to be undertaken and must include the objectives for the period of the proposed work and expected significance; the relationship of this work to the present state of knowledge in the field, as well as to work in progress by the PI under other support.

The Project Description should outline the general plan of work, including the broad design of activities to be undertaken, and, where appropriate, provide a clear description of experimental methods and procedures. Proposers should address what they want to do, why they want to do it, how they plan to do it, how they will know if they succeed, and what benefits could accrue if the project is successful. The project activities may be based on previously established and/or innovative methods and approaches, but in either case must be well justified. These issues apply to both the technical aspects of the proposal and the way in which the project may make broader contributions.

The Project Description also must contain, as a separate section within the narrative, a section labeled “Broader Impacts”. This section should provide a discussion of the broader impacts of the proposed activities. Broader impacts may be accomplished through the research itself, through the activities that are directly related to specific research projects, or through activities that are supported by, but are complementary to the project. NSF values the advancement of scientific knowledge and activities that contribute to the achievement of societally relevant outcomes. Such outcomes include, but are not limited to: full participation of women, persons with disabilities, and underrepresented minorities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); improved STEM education and educator development at any level; increased public scientific literacy and public engagement with science and technology; improved well-being of individuals in society; development of a diverse, globally competitive STEM workforce; increased partnerships between academia, industry, and others; improved national security; increased economic competitiveness of the U.S.; use of science and technology to inform public policy; and enhanced infrastructure for research and education. These examples of societally relevant outcomes should not be considered either comprehensive or prescriptive. Proposers may include appropriate outcomes not covered by these examples.

Plans for data management and sharing of the products of research, including preservation, documentation, and sharing of data, samples, physical collections, curriculum materials and other related research and education products should be described in the Special Information and Supplementary Documentation section of the proposal (see Chapter II.D.2.i(ii) for additional instructions for preparation of this section).

For proposals that include funding to an International Branch Campus of a U.S. IHE or to a foreign organization or foreign individual (including through use of a subaward or consultant arrangement), the proposer must provide the requisite explanation/justification in the project description. See Chapter I.E for additional information on the content requirements.

(ii) Page Limitations and Inclusion of Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) within the Project Description

Brevity will assist reviewers and Foundation staff in dealing effectively with proposals. Therefore, the Project Description (including Results from Prior NSF Support, which is limited to five pages) may not exceed 15 pages. Visual materials, including charts, graphs, maps, photographs, and other pictorial presentations are included in the 15-page limitation. PIs are cautioned that the Project Description must be self-contained, and that URLs must not be used because: 1) the information could circumvent page limitations; 2) the reviewers are under no obligation to view the sites; and 3) the sites could be altered or deleted between the time of submission and the time of review.

Conformance to the 15-page limit will be strictly enforced and may not be exceeded unless a deviation has been specifically authorized. (Chapter II.A contains information on deviations.)

(iii) Results from Prior NSF Support

The purpose of this section is to assist reviewers in assessing the quality of prior work conducted with prior or current NSF funding. If any PI or co-PI identified on the proposal has received prior NSF support including:

  • an award with an end date in the past five years; or

  • any current funding, including any no cost extensions

Information on the award is required for each PI and co-PI, regardless of whether the support was directly related to the proposal or not. In cases where the PI or any co-PI has received more than one award (excluding amendments to existing awards), they need only report on the one award that is most closely related to the proposal. Support means salary support, as well as any other funding awarded by NSF, including research, Graduate Research Fellowship, Major Research Instrumentation, conference, equipment, travel, and center awards, etc.

The following information must be provided:

  • (a) the NSF award number, amount and period of support;

    (b) the title of the project;

    (c) a summary of the results of the completed work, including accomplishments, supported by the award. The results must be separately described under two distinct headings: Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts;

    (d) a listing of the publications resulting from the NSF award (a complete bibliographic citation for each publication must be provided either in this section or in the References Cited section of the proposal); if none, state “No publications were produced under this award.”

    (e) evidence of research products and their availability, including, but not limited to: data, publications, samples, physical collections, software, and models, as described in any Data Management Plan; and

    (f) if the proposal is for renewed support, a description of the relation of the completed work to the proposed work.

If the project was recently awarded and therefore no new results exist, describe the major goals and broader impacts of the project. Note that the proposal may contain up to five pages to describe the results. Results may be summarized in fewer than five pages, which would give the balance of the 15 pages for the Project Description.

(iv) Unfunded Collaborations

Any substantial collaboration with individuals not included in the budget should be described in the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section of the proposal (see Chapter II.D.2.g) and documented in a letter of collaboration from each collaborator. Such letters should be provided in the supplementary documentation section of Research.gov and follow the format instructions specified in Chapter II.D.2.i. Collaborative activities that are identified in the budget should follow the instructions in Chapter II.E.3.

(v) Group Proposals

NSF encourages submission of proposals by groups of investigators; often these are submitted to carry out interdisciplinary projects. Unless stipulated in a specific program solicitation, however, such proposals will be subject to the 15-page Project Description limitation established in Section (ii) above. PIs who wish to exceed the established page limitations for the Project Description must request and receive a deviation in advance of proposal submission. (Chapter II.A contains information on deviations.)

(vi) Proposals for Renewed Support

See Chapter V for guidance on preparation of renewal proposals.

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e. References Cited

Reference information is required. Each reference must include the names of all authors (in the same sequence in which they appear in the publication), the article and journal title, book title, volume number, page numbers, and year of publication. (See also Chapter II.D.2.d(iii)(d)) If the proposer has a website address readily available, that information should be included in the citation. It is not NSF's intent, however, to place an undue burden on proposers to search for the URL of every referenced publication. Therefore, inclusion of a website address is optional. A proposal that includes reference citation(s) that do not specify a URL is not considered to be in violation of NSF proposal preparation guidelines and the proposal will still be reviewed.

Proposers must be especially careful to follow accepted scholarly practices in providing citations for source materials relied upon when preparing any section of the proposal. While there is no established page limitation for the references, this section must include bibliographic citations only and must not be used to provide parenthetical information outside of the 15-page Project Description.

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f. Budget and Budget Justification

The proposal budget sets forth how much money the proposer is requesting, by category, to complete the project. The budget justification provides a more detailed breakdown of proposed spending in each category as well as a justification supporting the numbers provided in each budget category. This information is relied upon by NSF in formulating the total award amount and final award budget that is incorporated into any resultant award. (See PAPPG Chapter VI.B.1.)

Each proposal must contain a budget for each year of support requested. The budget justification must be no more than five pages per proposal. The amounts for each budget line item requested must be documented and justified in the budget justification as specified below.

For proposals that contain a subaward(s), each subaward must include a separate budget justification of no more than five pages. See Chapter II.D.2.f(vi)(e) for further instructions on proposals that contain subawards. For collaborative proposals submitted by multiple organizations, each organization must include a separate budget justification of no more than five pages.

The proposal may request funds under any of the categories listed so long as the item and amount are considered necessary, reasonable, allocable, and allowable under 2 CFR §200, Subpart E, NSF policy, and/or the program solicitation. For-profit entities are subject to the cost principles contained in the Federal Acquisition Regulation, Part 31. Amounts and expenses budgeted also must be consistent with the proposing organization's policies and procedures and cost accounting practices used in accumulating and reporting costs.

Proposals for mid-scale and major facilities also should consult NSF’s Research Infrastructure Guide as well as the relevant solicitation for additional budgetary preparation guidelines.

(i) Salaries and Wages (Lines A and B on the Proposal Budget)

  • (a) Senior Personnel Salaries & Wages Policy

    NSF regards research as one of the normal functions of faculty members at institutions of higher education. Compensation for time normally spent on research within the term of appointment is deemed to be included within the faculty member’s regular organizational salary.

    As a general policy, NSF limits the salary compensation requested in the proposal budget for senior personnel to no more than two months of their regular salary in any one year. (See Exhibit II-3 for the definitions of Senior Personnel.) It is the organization’s responsibility to define and consistently apply the term “year”, and to specify this definition in the budget justification. This limit includes salary compensation received from all NSF-funded grants. This effort must be documented in accordance with 2 CFR §200, Subpart E, including 2 CFR §200.430(i). If anticipated, any compensation for such personnel in excess of two months must be disclosed in the proposal budget, justified in the budget justification, and must be specifically approved by NSF in the award notice budget.[14]

    Under normal rebudgeting authority, as described in Chapters VII and X, a recipient can internally approve an increase or decrease in person months devoted to the project after an award is made, even if doing so results in salary support for senior personnel exceeding the two-month salary policy. No prior approval from NSF is necessary unless the rebudgeting would cause the objectives or scope of the project to change. NSF prior approval is necessary if the objectives or scope of the project change.

    These same general principles apply to other types of non-academic organizations.

  • (b) Administrative and Clerical Salaries & Wages Policy

    In accordance with 2 CFR §200.413, the salaries of administrative and clerical staff should normally be treated as indirect costs (F&A). Direct charging of these costs may be appropriate only if all the conditions identified below are met:

    • (i) Administrative or clerical services are integral to a project or activity;

      (ii) Individuals involved can be specifically identified with the project or activity;

      (iii) Such costs are explicitly included in the approved budget or have the prior written approval of the cognizant NSF Grants and Agreements Officer; and

      (iv) The costs are not also recovered as indirect costs.

    Conditions (i) (ii) and (iv) above are particularly relevant for consideration at the budget preparation stage.

  • (c) Procedures

    The names of the PI(s), faculty, and other senior personnel and the estimated number of full-time-equivalent person-months for which NSF funding is requested, and the total amount of salaries requested per year, must be listed. For consistency with the NSF cost sharing policy, if person months will be requested for senior personnel, a corresponding salary amount must be entered on the budget. If salary and person months are not being requested for an individual designated as senior personnel, they should be removed from Section A of the budget. Their name(s) will remain on the Cover Sheet and the individual(s) role on the project should be described in the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section of the proposal.

    For postdoctoral associates and other professionals, the total number of persons for each position must be listed, with the number of full-time-equivalent person-months and total amount of salaries requested per year. For graduate and undergraduate students, secretarial, clerical, technical, etc., whose time will be charged directly to the project, only the total number of persons and total amount of salaries requested per year in each category is required. Compensation classified as salary payments must be requested in the salaries and wages category. Salaries requested must be consistent with the organization’s regular practices. The budget justification should detail the rates of pay by individual for senior personnel, postdoctoral associates, and other professionals.

  • (d) Confidential Budgetary Information

    The proposing organization may request that salary data on senior personnel not be released to persons outside the Government during the review process. In such cases, the item for senior personnel salaries in the proposal may appear as a single figure and the person-months represented by that amount omitted. If this option is exercised, senior personnel salaries and person-months must be itemized in a separate statement and forwarded to NSF in accordance with the instructions specified in Chapter II.E.1. This statement must include all of the information requested on the proposal budget for each person involved. NSF will not forward the detailed information to reviewers and will hold it privileged to the extent permitted by law. The information on senior personnel salaries will be used as the basis for determining the salary amounts shown in the budget. The box for "Proprietary or Privileged Information" must be checked on the Cover Sheet when the proposal contains confidential budgetary information.[15]

(ii) Fringe Benefits (Line C on the Proposal Budget)

If the proposer’s usual accounting practices provide that its contributions to employee benefits (leave, employee insurance, social security, retirement, other payroll-related taxes, etc.) be treated as direct costs, NSF award funds may be requested to fund fringe benefits as a direct cost. These are typically determined by application of a calculated fringe benefit rate for a particular class of employee (full time or part-time) applied to the salaries and wages requested. They also may be paid based on actual costs for individual employees if that institutional policy has been approved by the cognizant Federal agency. See 2 CFR §200.431 for the definition and allowability of inclusion of fringe benefits on a proposal budget.

(iii) Equipment (Line D on the Proposal Budget)

Equipment is defined as tangible personal property (including information technology systems) having a useful life of more than one year and a per-unit acquisition cost which equals or exceeds the lesser of the capitalization level established by the proposer for financial statement purposes, or $5,000. It is important to note that the acquisition cost of equipment includes modifications, attachments, and accessories necessary to make an item of equipment usable for the purpose for which it will be purchased. Items of needed equipment must be adequately justified, listed individually by description and estimated cost.

Allowable items ordinarily will be limited to research equipment and apparatus not already available for the conduct of the work. General purpose equipment such as office equipment and furnishings, and information technology equipment and systems are typically not eligible for direct cost support. Special purpose or scientific use computers or associated hardware and software, however, may be requested as items of equipment when necessary to accomplish the project objectives and not otherwise reasonably available. Any request to support such items must be clearly disclosed in the proposal budget, justified in the budget justification, and be included in the NSF award budget. See 2 CFR §200.313 and 200.439 for additional information.

(iv) Travel (Line E on the Proposal Budget)

  • (a) General

    When anticipated, travel and its relation to the proposed activities must be specified, itemized, and justified by destination and cost. Funds may be requested for field work, attendance at meetings and conferences, and other travel associated with the proposed work, including subsistence. To qualify for support, however, attendance at meetings or conferences must be necessary to accomplish proposal objectives or disseminate research results. Travel support for dependents of key project personnel may be requested only when the travel is for a duration of six months or more either by inclusion in the approved budget or with the prior written approval of the cognizant NSF Grants and Agreements Officer. Temporary dependent care costs above and beyond regular dependent care that directly result from travel to conferences are allowable costs provided that the conditions established in 2 CFR §200.475 are met.

    Allowance for air travel normally will not exceed the cost of round-trip, economy airfares. Persons traveling under NSF awards must travel by U.S.-Flag Air carriers, if available.

  • (b) Domestic Travel

    Domestic travel includes travel within and between the U.S., its territories, and possessions.[16] Travel, meal, and hotel expenses of recipient employees who are not on travel status are unallowable. Costs of employees on travel status are limited to those specifically authorized by 2 CFR §200.475.

  • (c) Foreign Travel

    Travel outside the areas specified above is considered foreign travel. When anticipated, the proposer must enter the names of countries and dates of visit on the proposal budget, if known.

(v) Participant Support (Line F on the Proposal Budget)

This budget category refers to direct costs for items such as stipends or subsistence allowances, travel allowances, and registration fees paid to or on behalf of participants or trainees (but not employees) in connection with NSF-sponsored conferences or training projects. Any additional categories of participant support costs other than those described in 2 CFR §200.1 (such as incentives, gifts, souvenirs, t-shirts, and memorabilia), must be justified in the budget justification, and such costs will be closely scrutinized by NSF. (See also Chapter II.F.7.) Speakers and trainers generally are not considered participants and should not be included in this section of the budget. However, if the primary purpose of the individual’s attendance at the conference is learning and receiving training as a participant, then the costs may be included under participant support. If the primary purpose is to speak or assist with management of the conference, then such costs should be budgeted in appropriate categories other than participant support.

For some educational projects conducted at local school districts, the participants being trained are employees. In such cases, the costs must be classified as participant support if payment is made through a stipend or training allowance method. The school district must have an accounting mechanism in place (i.e., sub-account code) to differentiate between regular salary and stipend payments.

To help defray the costs of participating in a conference or training activity, funds may be proposed for payment of stipends, per diem or subsistence allowances, based on the type and duration of the activity. Such allowances must be reasonable, in conformance with the policy of the proposing organization and limited to the days of attendance at the conference plus the actual travel time required to reach the conference location. Where meals or lodgings are furnished without charge or at a nominal cost (e.g., as part of the registration fee), the per diem or subsistence allowance should be correspondingly reduced. Although local participants may participate in conference meals and coffee breaks, funds may not be proposed to pay per diem or similar expenses for local participants in the conference. Costs related to an NSF-sponsored conference (e.g., venue rental fees, catering costs, supplies, etc.) that will be secured through a service agreement/contract should be budgeted on line G.6., “Other Direct Costs” to ensure appropriate allocation of indirect costs.

This section of the budget also may not be used for incentive payments to research subjects. Human subject payments should be included on line G.6. of the NSF budget under “Other Direct Costs,” and any applicable indirect costs should be calculated on the payments in accordance with the organization’s Federally negotiated indirect cost rate.

Funds may be requested for the travel costs of participants. If so, the restrictions regarding class of accommodations and use of U.S.-Flag air carriers are applicable.[17] In training activities that involve off-site field work, costs of transportation of participants are allowable. The number of participants to be supported must be entered in the parentheses on the proposal budget. Participant support costs must be specified, itemized, and justified in the budget justification section of the proposal. Indirect costs (F&A) are not usually allowed on costs budgeted as participant support unless the recipient’s current, Federally approved indirect cost rate agreement provides for allocation of F&A to participant support costs. Participant support costs must be accounted for separately should an award be made.

(vi) Other Direct Costs (Lines G1 through G6 on the Proposal Budget)

Any costs proposed to an NSF project must be allowable, reasonable, and directly allocable to the supported activity. When anticipated, the budget must identify and itemize other anticipated direct costs not included under the headings above, including materials and supplies, publication costs, and computer and vendor services. Examples include aircraft rental, space rental at research establishments away from the proposing organization, minor building alterations, payments to human subjects, and service charges. Reference books and periodicals only may be included on the proposal budget if they are specifically allocable to the project being supported by NSF.

  • (a) Materials and Supplies (including Costs of Computing Devices) (Line G1 on the Proposal Budget)

    When anticipated, the proposal budget justification must indicate the general types of expendable materials and supplies required. Supplies are defined as all tangible personal property other than those described in paragraph (d)(iii) above. A computing device is considered a supply if the acquisition cost is less than the lesser of the capitalization level established by the proposer or $5,000, regardless of the length of its useful life. In the specific case of computing devices, charging as a direct cost is allowable for devices that are essential and allocable, but not solely dedicated, to the performance of the NSF project. Details and justification must be included for items requested to support the project.

  • (b) Publication/Documentation/Dissemination (Line G2 on the Proposal Budget)

    The proposal budget may request funds for the costs of documenting, preparing, publishing or otherwise making available to others the findings and products of the work to be conducted under the award. This generally includes the following types of activities: reports, reprints, page charges or other journal costs (except costs for prior or early publication); necessary illustrations; cleanup, documentation, storage and indexing of data and databases; development, documentation and debugging of software; and storage, preservation, documentation, indexing, etc., of physical specimens, collections, or fabricated items. Line G.2. of the proposal budget also may be used to request funding for data deposit and data curation costs.[18]

  • (c) Consultant Services (also referred to as Professional Service Costs) (Line G3 on the Proposal Budget)[19]

    The proposal budget may request costs for professional and consultant services. Professional and consultant services are services rendered by persons who are members of a particular profession or possess a special skill, and who are not officers or employees of the proposing organization. Costs of professional and consultant services are allowable when reasonable in relation to the services rendered and when not contingent upon recovery of costs from the Federal government. Anticipated services must be justified, and information furnished on each individual’s expertise, primary organizational affiliation, normal daily compensation rate, and number of days of expected service. Consultants’ travel costs, including subsistence, may be included. If requested, the proposer must be able to justify that the proposed rate of pay is reasonable. Additional information on the allowability of consultant or professional service costs is available in 2 CFR §200.459. In addition to other provisions required by the proposing organization, all contracts made under the NSF award must contain the applicable provisions identified in 2 CFR §200 Appendix II.

  • (d) Computer Services (Line G4 on the Proposal Budget)

    The cost of computer services, including computer-based retrieval of scientific, technical, and educational information, may be requested only where it is institutional policy to charge such costs as direct charges. A justification based on the established computer service rates at the proposing organization must be included. The proposal budget also may request costs for leasing of computer equipment.

  • (e) Subawards (Line G5 on the Proposal Budget)[20] [21]

    Except for the purpose of obtaining goods and services for the proposer's own use which creates a procurement relationship with a contractor, no portion of the proposed activity may be subawarded or transferred to another organization without prior written NSF authorization. Such authorization must be provided either through approval specifically granted in the award notice or by receiving written prior approval from the cognizant NSF Grants and Agreements Officer after an award is issued. If the subaward organization is changed, prior approval of the new subaward organization must be obtained from the cognizant NSF Grants and Agreements Officer.

    If known at the time of proposal submission, the intent to enter into such arrangements must be disclosed in the proposal. A separate budget and a budget justification of no more than five pages, must be provided for each subrecipient, if already identified. The description of the work to be performed must be included in the project description.

    All proposing organizations are required to make a case-by-case determination regarding the role of a subrecipient versus contractor for each agreement it makes. 2 CFR §200.331 provides characteristics of each type of arrangement to assist proposing organizations in making that determination. However, inclusion of a subaward or contract in the proposal budget or submission of a request after issuance of an NSF award to add a subaward or contract will document the required organizational determination.

    NSF does not negotiate rates for organizations that are not direct recipients of NSF funding (e.g., subrecipients). Consistent with 2 CFR §200.332, NSF recipients must use the domestic subrecipient’s applicable U.S. Federally negotiated indirect cost rate(s). If no such rate exists, the NSF recipient must determine the appropriate rate in collaboration with the subrecipient. The appropriate rate will be: a negotiated rate between the NSF recipient and the subrecipient; a prior rate negotiated between a different pass-through entity and the same subrecipient, or the de minimis indirect cost recovery rate of 10% of modified total direct costs.

    It is also NSF’s expectation that NSF recipients will use foreign subrecipients’ applicable U.S. Federally negotiated indirect cost rate(s). However, if no such rate exists, the NSF recipient will fund the foreign subrecipient using the de minimis indirect cost rate recovery of 10% of modified total direct costs. See also Chapter I.E.2. for additional requirements on issuance of a subaward or consultant arrangement to a foreign organization or a foreign individual.

    Proposers are responsible for ensuring that proposed subrecipient costs, including indirect costs, are reasonable and appropriate.

  • (f) Other (Line G6 on the Proposal Budget)[22]

    Any other direct costs not specified in Lines G.1. through G.5. must be identified on Line G.6. Such costs must be itemized and detailed in the budget justification. Examples include:

    • Contracts for the purpose of obtaining goods and services for the proposer’s own use (see 2 CFR §200.331 for additional information); and
    • Incentive payments, for example, payments to human subjects or incentives to promote completion of a survey, should be included on line G.6. of the NSF budget. Incentive payments should be proposed in accordance with organizational policies and procedures. Indirect costs should be calculated on incentive payments in accordance with the organization’s approved U.S. Federally negotiated indirect cost rate(s). Performance based incentive payments to employees as described in 2 CFR §200.430(f) should not be included in this section of the budget.

(vii) Total Direct Costs (Line H on the Proposal Budget)

The total amount of direct costs requested in the budget, to include Lines A through G, must be entered on Line H.

(viii) Indirect Costs (also known as Facilities and Administrative Costs (F&A) for Colleges and Universities) (Line I on the Proposal Budget)

Except where specifically identified in an NSF program solicitation, the applicable U.S. Federally negotiated indirect cost rate(s) must be used in computing indirect costs (F&A) for a proposal. Use of an indirect cost rate lower than the organization’s current negotiated indirect cost rate is considered a violation of NSF’s cost sharing policy. See section (xii) below. The amount for indirect costs must be calculated by applying the current negotiated indirect cost rate(s) to the approved base(s), and such amounts must be specified in the budget justification. Indirect cost recovery for IHEs is additionally restricted by 2 CFR §200, Appendix III, paragraph C.7. which specifies Federal agencies are required to use the negotiated F&A rate that is in effect at the time of the initial award throughout the life of the sponsored agreement. Additional information on the charging of indirect costs to an NSF award is available in Chapter X.D.

Domestic proposing organizations that do not have a current negotiated rate agreement with a cognizant Federal agency may choose to apply the de minimis rate of 10% to a base of modified total direct costs (MTDC) as authorized by 2 CFR §200.414(f). No supporting documentation is required for proposed rates of 10% or less of modified total direct costs. Organizations without a current negotiated indirect cost rate agreement and that wish to request indirect cost rate recovery above 10% should prepare an indirect cost proposal based on expenditures for its most recently ended fiscal year. Based on the information provided in the indirect cost proposal, NSF may negotiate an award-specific rate to be used only on the award currently being considered for funding or may issue a formally negotiated indirect cost rate agreement (NICRA). The contents and financial data included in indirect cost proposals vary according to the make-up of the proposing organization. Instructions for preparing an indirect cost rate proposal can be found on the NSF website. NSF formally negotiates indirect cost rates for the organizations for which NSF has rate cognizance. NSF does not negotiate rates for entities that do not yet hold direct NSF funding, nor does NSF negotiate rates for subrecipients.

Foreign organizations that do not have a current U.S. Federally negotiated indirect cost rate(s) are limited to a de minimis indirect cost rate recovery of 10% of modified total direct costs. Foreign recipients that have a U.S. Federally negotiated indirect cost rate(s) may recover indirect costs at the current negotiated rate.

(ix) Total Direct and Indirect Costs (F&A) (Line J on the Proposal Budget)

The total amount of direct and indirect costs (F&A) (sum of Lines H and I) must be entered on Line J.

(x) Fees (Line K on the Proposal Budget)

This line is available for use only by the SBIR/STTR programs and Major Facilities programs when specified in the solicitation.

(xi) Amount of This Request (Line L on the Proposal Budget)

The total amount of funds requested by the proposer.

(xii) Cost Sharing (Line M on the Proposal Budget)

The National Science Board issued a report entitled "Investing in the Future: NSF Cost Sharing Policies for a Robust Federal Research Enterprise" (NSB 09-20, August 3, 2009), which contained eight recommendations for NSF regarding cost sharing. In implementation of the Board’s recommendation, NSF’s guidance[23] is as follows:

  • Voluntary Committed and Uncommitted Cost Sharing

    As stipulated in 2 CFR §200.1, Voluntary committed cost sharing means cost sharing specifically pledged on a voluntary basis in the proposal's budget or the Federal award on the part of the non-Federal entity and that becomes a binding requirement of Federal award.” As such, to be considered voluntary committed cost sharing, the amount must appear on the NSF proposal budget and be specifically identified in the approved NSF budget.[24] Unless required by NSF (see the section on Mandatory Cost Sharing below), inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited and Line M on the proposal budget will not be available for use by the proposer. NSF Program Officers are not authorized to impose or encourage mandatory cost sharing unless such requirements are explicitly included in the program solicitation.

    In order for NSF, and its reviewers, to assess the scope of a proposed project, all organizational resources necessary for, and available to, a project must be described in the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section of the proposal (see Chapter II.D.2.g for further information). While not required by NSF, the recipient may, at its own discretion, continue to contribute voluntary uncommitted cost sharing to NSF-sponsored projects. As noted above, however, these resources are not auditable by NSF and should not be included in the proposal budget or budget justification.

  • Mandatory Cost Sharing

    Mandatory cost sharing will only be required for NSF programs when explicitly authorized by the NSF Director, the NSB, or legislation. A complete listing of NSF programs that require cost sharing is available on the NSF website. In these programs, cost sharing requirements will be clearly identified in the solicitation and must be included on Line M of the proposal budget. For purposes of budget preparation, the cumulative cost sharing amount must be entered on Line M of the first year’s budget. Should an award be made, the organization’s cost sharing commitment, as specified on the first year’s approved budget, must be met prior to the award end date.

    Such cost sharing will be considered as an eligibility, rather than a review criterion. Proposers are advised not to exceed the mandatory cost sharing level or amount specified in the solicitation.[25]

    When mandatory cost sharing is included on Line M, and accepted by the Foundation, the commitment of funds becomes legally binding and is subject to audit. When applicable, the estimated value of any in-kind contributions also should be included on Line M. An explanation of the source, nature, amount, and availability of any proposed cost sharing must be provided in the budget justification[26]. It should be noted that contributions derived from other Federal funds or counted as cost sharing toward projects of another Federal agency must not be counted towards meeting the specific cost sharing requirements of the NSF award.

    Failure to provide the level of cost sharing required by the NSF solicitation and reflected in the NSF award budget may result in termination of the NSF award, disallowance of award costs and/or refund of award funds to NSF by the recipient.

(xiii) Allowable and Unallowable Costs

2 CFR §200, Subpart E provides comprehensive information regarding costs allowable under Federal awards. The following categories of unallowable costs are highlighted because of their sensitivity:

  • (a) Entertainment

    Costs of entertainment, amusement, diversion and social activities, and any costs directly associated with such activities (such as tickets to shows or sporting events, meals, lodging, rentals, transportation, and gratuities) are unallowable. When costs typically considered as entertainment are necessary to accomplish the proposed objectives, they must be included in the budget and justified in the budget justification. Travel, meal, and hotel expenses of recipient employees who are not on travel status are unallowable. See also 2 CFR §200.438.

  • (b) Meals and Coffee Breaks

    No funds may be requested for meals or coffee breaks for intramural meetings of an organization or any of its components, including, but not limited to, laboratories, departments, and centers. (See 2 CFR §200.432, for additional information on the charging of certain types of costs generally associated with conferences supported by NSF.) Meal expenses of recipient employees who are not on travel status are unallowable. See also 2 CFR §200.438.

  • (c) Alcoholic Beverages

    No NSF funds may be requested or spent for alcoholic beverages.

  • (d) Home Office Workspace

    Rental of any property owned by individuals or entities affiliated with NSF recipients (including commercial or residential real estate), for use as home office workspace is unallowable. See 2 CFR §200.465(f).

  • (e) Prohibition on Certain Telecommunications and Video Surveillance Services or Equipment

    Section 889 of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year (FY) 2019 (Public Law 115-232) prohibits the head of an executive agency from obligating or expending loan or grant funds to procure or obtain, extend, or renew a contract to procure or obtain, or enter into a contract (or extend or renew a contract) to procure or obtain the equipment, services, or systems as identified in section 889 of the NDAA for FY 2019. See 2 CFR §§200.216, 200.471, PAPPG Chapter X.F, and the applicable award terms and conditions for additional information.

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g. Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources

This section of the proposal is used to assess the adequacy of the resources available to perform the effort proposed to satisfy both the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts review criteria. Proposers should describe only those resources that are directly applicable. Proposers should include an aggregated description of the internal and external resources (both physical and personnel) that the organization and its collaborators, and subawardees will provide to the project, should it be funded. Such information must be provided in this section, in lieu of other parts of the proposal (e.g., Budget Justification, Project Description). The description should be narrative in nature and must not include any quantifiable financial information. Reviewers will evaluate the information during the merit review process and the cognizant NSF Program Officer will review it for programmatic and technical sufficiency.

Although these resources are not considered voluntary committed cost sharing as defined in 2 CFR §200.1, the Foundation does expect that the resources identified in the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section will be provided, or made available, should the proposal be funded. Chapter VII.B.1 specifies procedures for use by the recipient when there are postaward changes to objectives, scope, or methods/procedures.

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h. Senior Personnel Documents

(i) Biographical Sketch(es)

Note: The mandate to use SciENcv only for preparation of the biographical sketch will go into effect for new proposals submitted or due on or after October 23, 2023. In the interim, proposers may continue to prepare and submit this document via use of SciENcv or the NSF fillable PDF. NSF, however, encourages the community to use SciENcv prior to the October 2023 implementation.

  • (a) Senior Personnel

    This section of the proposal is used to assess how well qualified the individual, team, or organization is to conduct the proposed activities. A Biographical Sketch (limited to three pages) must be provided separately for each individual designated as senior personnel through use of SciENcv (Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae). SciENcv will produce an NSF-compliant PDF version of the Biographical Sketch. Senior personnel must prepare, save, certify, and submit these documents as part of their proposal via Research.gov or Grants.gov.

    Senior personnel include the individuals designated by the proposer/awardee organization and approved by NSF who contribute in a substantive, meaningful way to the scientific development or execution of a research and development project proposed to be carried out with a research and development award.[27]

    A table entitled, NSPM-33 Implementation Guidance Pre- and Post-award Disclosures Relating to the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending (Other) Support [28] has been created to provide helpful reference information regarding pre-award and post-award disclosures. The table includes the types of activities to be reported, where such activities must be reported in the proposal, as well as when updates are required in the proposal and award lifecycle. A final column identifies activities that are not required to be reported.

    Inclusion of additional information beyond that specified below may result in the proposal being returned without review. Do not submit any personal information in the Biographical Sketch. This includes items such as: home address; home telephone, fax, or cell phone numbers; home e-mail address; driver’s license number; marital status; personal hobbies; and the like. Such personal information is not appropriate for the Biographical Sketch and is not relevant to the merits of the proposal. NSF is not responsible or in any way liable for the release of such material. (See also Chapter III.H).

    The format of the Biographical Sketch is as follows:

    *= required

    • (1) Identifying Information
      • (i) *Name: Enter the name of the senior person (Last name, First name, Middle name, including any applicable suffix).

        (ii) ORCID ID[29] (Optional): Enter the ORCID ID of the senior person.

        (iii) *Position Title: Enter the current position title of the senior person.

    • (2) *Organization and Location:
      • (i) Name: Enter the name of the primary organization of the senior person.

        (ii) Location: Enter the City, State/Province, and Country where the primary organization is located. If the State/Province is not applicable, enter N/A. Indicate “virtual” if the project is not based in a physical location.

    • (3) *Professional Preparation

      Provide a list of the senior person’s professional preparation (e.g., education and training), listed in reverse chronological order by start date. Include all postdoctoral and fellowship training, as applicable, listing each separately. Also include the baccalaureate degree or other initial professional education.

      For each entry provide:

      • the name of the organization;
      • the location of the organization: Enter the City, State/Province, and Country where the primary organization is located. If the State/Province is not applicable, enter N/A.
      • the degree received (if applicable);
      • the month and year the degree was received (or expected receipt date). For fellowship applicants only, also include the start date of the fellowship; and
      • the field of study.

       

    • (4) *Appointments and Positions

      Provide a list, in reverse chronological order by start date, of all the senior person’s academic, professional, or institutional appointments and positions, beginning with the current appointment (including the associated organization and location). Appointments and positions include any titled academic, professional, or institutional position whether or not remuneration is received, and whether full-time, part-time, or voluntary (including adjunct, visiting, or honorary).

      For each entry provide:

      • Start date: YYYY
      • End date: YYYY
      • Appointment or Position Title
      • Name of organization
      • Department (if applicable)
      • Location of organization: City, State/Province, Country

      With regard to professional appointments, senior personnel must only identify all current domestic and foreign professional appointments outside of the individual's academic, professional, or institutional appointments at the proposing organization.

    • (5) *Products

      Provide a list of: (i) up to five products most closely related to the proposed project; and (ii) up to five other significant products, whether or not related to the proposed project that demonstrate the senior person’s qualifications to carry out the project as proposed. Acceptable products must be citable and accessible, including but not limited to:

      • publications, conference papers, and presentations;
      • website(s) or other Internet site(s);
      • technologies or techniques;
      • inventions, patent applications, and/or licenses; and
      • other products, such as data, databases, or datasets, physical collections, audio or video products, software, models, educational aids or curricula, instruments or equipment, research material, interventions (e.g., clinical or educational), or new business creation.

      Only the list of ten will be used in the review of the proposal.

      Each product must include full citation information including:

      • names of authors;
      • product title;
      • date of publication or release;
      • website URL;
      • other persistent identifier (if available); and
      • other relevant citation information (e.g., in the case of publications, title of enclosing work such as journal or book, volume, issue, pages).

      If any of the items specified above is not applicable, enter N/A.

      Senior personnel who wish to include publications in the products section of the Biographical Sketch that include multiple authors may, at their discretion, choose to list one or more of the authors and then "et al" in lieu of including the complete listing of authors' names.

    • (6) *Synergistic Activities

      Provide a list of up to five distinct examples that demonstrates the broader impact of the individual’s professional and scholarly activities that focus on the integration and transfer of knowledge as well as its creation. Examples may include, among others: innovations in teaching and training; contributions to the science of learning; development and/or refinement of research tools; computation methodologies and algorithms for problem-solving; development of databases to support research and education; broadening the participation of groups underrepresented in STEM; participation in international research collaborations; participation in international standards development efforts; and service to the scientific and engineering community outside of the individual’s immediate organization.

      Synergistic activities must be specific and must not include multiple examples to further describe the activity. Examples with multiple components, such as committee member lists, sub-bulleted highlights of honors and prizes, or a listing of organizations for which the individual has served as a reviewer, are not permitted.

    • (7) *Certification

      When the individual signs the certification on behalf of themselves, they are certifying that the information is current, accurate, and complete. This includes, but is not limited to, information related to domestic and foreign appointments and positions. Misrepresentations and/or omissions may be subject to prosecution and liability pursuant to, but not limited to, 18 U.S.C. §§287, 1001, 1031 and 31 U.S.C. §§3729-3733 and 3802.

  • (b) Other Personnel

    For the personnel categories listed below, the proposal also may include information on exceptional qualifications that merit consideration in the evaluation of the proposal. While the requirement to use SciENcv for preparation and submission of the biographical sketch is for any individual designated as senior personnel, the biographical information for 'other personnel' may be freeform. The biographical information must be clearly identified as “Other Personnel” biographical information and uploaded as a single PDF file in the Other Supplementary Documents section of the proposal.

    • (1) Postdoctoral associates

      (2) Other professionals

      (3) Students (research assistants)

  • (c) Equipment Proposals

    For equipment proposals, the following must be provided for each auxiliary user:

    • (1) Short biographical sketch; and

      (2) List of up to five publications most closely related to the proposed acquisition.

    Such information should be clearly identified as “Equipment Proposal” biographical information and uploaded as a single PDF file in the Other Supplementary Documents section of the proposal.

(ii) Current and Pending (Other) Support

Note: The mandate to use SciENcv only for the preparation of Current and Pending (Other) Support information will go into effect for new proposals submitted or due on or after October 23, 2023. In the interim, proposers may continue to prepare and submit this document via use of SciENcv or the NSF fillable PDF. NSF, however, encourages the community to use SciENcv prior to the October 2023 implementation.

  • (a) Current and Pending (Other) Support[30] information is used to assess the capacity of the individual to carry out the research as proposed and helps assess any potential scientific and budgetary overlap/duplication, as well as overcommitment with the project being proposed. Note that there is no page limitation for this section of the proposal, though some fields have character limitations for consistency and equity.

    (b) Senior personnel include the individuals designated by the proposer/awardee organization and approved by NSF who contribute in a substantive, meaningful way to the scientific development or execution of a research and development project proposed to be carried out with a research and development award.[31]

    (c) Current and Pending (Other) Support must be provided separately for each individual designated as senior personnel through use of SciENcv. SciENcv will produce an NSF-compliant PDF version of the Current and Pending (Other) Support. Senior personnel must prepare, save, certify, and submit these documents as part of their proposal via Research.gov or Grants.gov.

    (d) Consistent with NSPM-33, senior personnel are required to disclose contracts associated with participation in programs sponsored by foreign governments, instrumentalities, or entities, including foreign government-sponsored talent recruitment programs[32]. Further, if an individual receives direct or indirect support that is funded by a foreign government-sponsored talent recruitment program, even where the support is provided through an intermediary and does not require membership in the foreign government-sponsored talent recruitment program, that support must be disclosed. Senior personnel must also report other foreign government sponsored or affiliated activity. Note that non-disclosure clauses associated with these contracts are not acceptable exemptions from this disclosure requirement.

    (e) A table entitled, NSPM-33 Implementation Guidance Pre- and Post-award Disclosures Relating to the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending (Other) Support[33]has been created to provide helpful reference information regarding pre-award and post-award disclosures. The table includes the types of activities to be reported, where such activities must be reported in the proposal, as well as when updates are required in the proposal and award lifecycle. A final column identifies activities that are not required to be reported.

    (f) Do not submit any personal information in the Current and Pending (Other) support. This includes items such as: home address; home telephone, fax, or cell phone numbers; home e-mail address; driver’s license number; marital status; personal hobbies; and the like. Such personal information is not appropriate for current and pending (other) support and is not relevant to the merits of the proposal. NSF is not responsible or in any way liable for the release of such material.

    (g) A separate submission must be provided for each active project/pending proposal as well as in-kind contributions using the format specified below.

    The formats of Current and Pending (Other) Support are as follows:

    *= required

    • (i) Identifying Information
      • *Name: Enter the name of the senior person (Last name, First name, Middle name, including any applicable suffix).

        ORCID ID[34] (Optional): Enter the ORCID ID of the senior person.

        *Position Title: Enter the current position title of the senior person.

    • (ii) Organization and Location
      • *Name: Enter the name of the primary organization of the senior person.

        *Location: Enter the City, State/Province, and Country where the primary organization is located. If the State/Province is not applicable, enter N/A.

    • (iii) Projects/Proposals
      • In this section, disclose ALL existing projects, as well as all projects currently under consideration for funding, in accordance with the definitions for “current” and “pending” below. Unless otherwise specified, there is no page or character limit.

        *Project/Proposal Title: Enter the title of each project/proposal being reported.

        *Status of Support: Select the appropriate status type as defined below:

        • Current – all ongoing projects, or projects with ongoing obligations, from whatever source irrespective of whether such support is provided through the proposing organization or is provided directly to the individual.
        • Pending – any proposal currently under consideration for funding (including this proposal) from whatever source irrespective of whether such support is provided through the proposing organization or is provided directly to the individual.

        Proposal/Award Number (if available): Enter the applicable proposal/award number for each proposal and/or award, if available.

        *Source of Support: Identify the entity for each proposal and/or award that is providing the support. Include all Federal, State, Tribal, territorial, local, foreign, public, or private foundations, non-profit organizations, industrial or other commercial organizations, or internal funds allocated toward specific projects.

        *Primary Place of Performance: Identify the primary location where the project or activity is being executed. Enter the City, State/Province, and Country where the organization is located. If the State/Province is not applicable, enter N/A. Indicate “virtual” if the project is not based in a physical location.

        *Project/Proposal Start Date: Indicate the start date (MM/YYYY) of the project/activity as proposed/approved.

        *Project/Proposal End Date: Indicate the end date (MM/YYYY) of the project/activity as proposed/approved.

        *Total Award Amount: Enter the total award amount for the entire period of performance, including indirect costs, rounded to the nearest dollar. If the support is in a foreign country’s currency, convert to U.S. dollars at time of submission.

        *Person-Month(s) (or Partial Person-Months) Per Year Committed to the Project: Enter how much time the individual anticipates is necessary to complete the scope of work on the proposed project or award. Enter the number of person-months (even if unsalaried) for the current budget period and enter the proposed person-months for each subsequent budget period. If the individual is reporting person-months that span two calendar years, the individual should enter the latter year. For example, if the entry covers the organization’s fiscal year of June 2023 through May 2024, the individual would enter “2024” for the year and include the corresponding person-months as defined and used by the organization in proposals submitted to NSF. If the time commitment is not readily ascertainable, reasonable estimates should be provided.

        *Overall Objectives: Provide a brief statement of the overall objectives of the proposal/award. This field is limited to 1500 characters.

        *Statement of Potential Overlap: Provide a description of the potential overlap with any pending proposal or award and this proposal in terms of scope, budget, or person-months planned or committed to the project by the individual. If there is no potential overlap, enter N/A in this field.

    • (iv) In-Kind Contributions

      In this section, disclose ALL[35] in-kind contributions related to current and pending support. In-kind contributions include, but are not limited to, office/laboratory space, equipment, supplies, and employee or student resources.

      *Status of Support: Select the appropriate status type as defined below:

      • Current – all in-kind contributions obligated from whatever source irrespective of whether such support is provided through the proposing organization or is provided directly to the individual.
      • Pending – all in-kind contributions currently under consideration from whatever source irrespective of whether such support is provided through the proposing organization or is provided directly to the individual.

      *In-Kind Contribution Start Date: Indicate the start date (MM/YYYY) of the in-kind contribution as proposed/approved.

      *In-Kind Contribution End Date: Indicate the end date (MM/YYYY) of the in-kind contribution as proposed/approved.

      *Source of Support: Identify the entity(ies) that is/are providing the in-kind contribution. Include, for example, Federal, State, Tribal, territorial, local, foreign, public, or private foundations, non-profit organizations, industrial or other commercial organizations, or internal funds allocated toward specific projects.

      *Summary of In-Kind Contribution(s): Provide a summary of the in-kind contribution(s) not intended for use on the project/proposal being proposed to NSF, whether or not it has an associated time commitment. If the time commitment or dollar value is not readily ascertainable, reasonable estimates should be provided.

      *Person-Month(s) (or Partial Person-Months) Per Year Associated with the In-kind Contribution: Enter how much time the individual anticipates is necessary to complete the scope of work associated with the in-kind contribution. Enter the number of person-months (even if unsalaried) for the current budget period and enter the proposed person-months for each subsequent budget period. If the individual is reporting person-months that span two calendar years, the individual should enter the latter year. For example, if the entry covers the organization’s fiscal year of June 2023 through May 2024, the individual would enter “2024” for the year and include the corresponding person-months as defined and used by the organization in proposals submitted to NSF. If the time commitment is not readily ascertainable, reasonable estimates should be provided.

      *U.S. Dollar Value of In-Kind Contribution: Enter the U.S. dollar value of the in-kind contribution. If the dollar value is not readily ascertainable, reasonable estimates should be provided. If the support is in a foreign country’s currency, convert to U.S. dollars at time of submission, rounded to the nearest dollar.

      *Overall Objectives: Provide a brief statement of the overall objectives of the in-kind contribution(s). This field is limited to 1500 characters.

      *Statement of Potential Overlap: Provide a description of the potential overlap with any current or pending in-kind contribution and this proposal in terms of scope, budget, or person-months planned or committed to the project by the individual. If there is no overlap, then enter N/A in the field.

    • (v) *Certification

      When the individual signs the certification on behalf of themselves, they are certifying that the information is current, accurate, and complete. This includes, but is not limited to, information related to current, pending, and other support (both foreign and domestic) as defined in 42 U.S.C. §§6605. Misrepresentations and/or omissions may be subject to prosecution and liability pursuant to, but not limited to, 18 U.S.C. §§ 287, 1001, 1031 and 31 U.S.C. §§3729-3733 and 3802.

    (h) The individual also must report any proposal, other than the proposal currently being submitted, that will likely be submitted imminently or in the near future.

    (i) Prior to making a funding recommendation, the cognizant NSF program officer will request that an updated version of Current and Pending (Other) Support be submitted via Research.gov.

(iii) Collaborators & Other Affiliations Information (Single Copy Document) (See Chapter II.D.1 for additional information on Single Copy Documents.)

The following information regarding collaborators and other affiliations (COA) must be separately provided for each individual identified as senior personnel on the project. The COA information must be provided through use of the COA template. The information in the tables is not required to be sorted, alphabetically or otherwise. Refer to the frequently asked questions on the COA template page for additional information.

There are five separate categories of information which correspond to the five tables in the COA template:

COA template Table 1:

List the individual’s last name, first name, middle initial, and organizational affiliation in the last 12 months.

COA template Table 2:

List names as last name, first name, middle initial, for whom a personal, family, or business relationship would otherwise preclude their service as a reviewer. In the “Type of Relationship” column please specify the personal, family, or business relationship involved.

COA template Table 3:

List names as last name, first name, middle initial, and provide organizational affiliations, if known, for the following:

  • The individual’s Ph.D. advisors; and
  • All of the individual’s Ph.D. thesis advisees.

COA template Table 4:

List names as last name, first name, middle initial, and provide organizational affiliations, if known, for the following:

  • Co-authors on any book, article, report, abstract or paper with collaboration in the last 48 months (publication date may be later); and
  • Collaborators on projects, such as funded awards, graduate research, or others in the last 48 months.

COA template Table 5:

List editorial board, editor-in chief, and co-editors with whom the individual interacts. An editor-in-chief must list the entire editorial board.

  • Editorial Board:[36] List name(s) of editor-in-chief and journal in the past 24 months; and
  • Other co-Editors of journal or collections with whom the individual has directly interacted in the last 24 months.

The template has been developed to be fillable, however, the content and format requirements must not be altered by the user. When completing the template, do not change the column sizes or the font type. The instructions at the top of the template may be deleted, and rows may be inserted as needed to provide additional names[37].

This information is used to manage reviewer selection. See Exhibit II-2 for additional information on potential reviewer conflicts.

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i. Special Information and Supplementary Documentation

Except as specified below, Special Information and Supplementary Documentation must be included as part of the Project Description (or part of the Budget Justification), if it is relevant to determining the quality of the proposed work. Information submitted in the following areas is not considered part of the 15-page Project Description limitation. This Special Information and Supplementary Documentation section also is not considered an appendix. Specific guidance on the need for additional documentation may be obtained from the organization’s SPO or in the references cited below.

(i) Postdoctoral Researcher Mentoring Plan. Each proposal[38] that requests funding to support postdoctoral researchers[39] must upload under "Mentoring Plan" in the supplementary documentation section of Research.gov, a description of the mentoring activities that will be provided for such individuals. In no more than one page, the mentoring plan must describe the mentoring that will be provided to all postdoctoral researchers supported by the project, regardless of whether they reside at the submitting organization, any subrecipient organization, or at any organization participating in a simultaneously submitted collaborative proposal. Proposers are advised that the mentoring plan must not be used to circumvent the 15-page Project Description limitation. See Chapter II.E.3 for additional information on collaborative proposals. Mentoring activities provided to postdoctoral researchers supported on the project will be evaluated under the Broader Impacts review criterion.

Examples of mentoring activities include but are not limited to: career counseling; training in preparation of proposals, publications and presentations; guidance on ways to improve teaching and mentoring skills; guidance on how to effectively collaborate with researchers from diverse backgrounds and disciplinary areas; and training in responsible professional practices.

(ii) Plans for Data Management and Sharing of the Products of Research. Proposals must include a document of no more than two pages uploaded under “Data Management Plan” in the supplementary documentation section of Research.gov. This supplementary document should describe how the proposal will conform to NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results (see Chapter XI.D.4), and may include:

  1. the types of data, samples, physical collections, software, curriculum materials, and other materials to be produced in the course of the project;
  2. the standards to be used for data and metadata format and content (where existing standards are absent or deemed inadequate, this should be documented along with any proposed solutions or remedies);
  3. policies for access and sharing including provisions for appropriate protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual property, or other rights or requirements;
  4. policies and provisions for re-use, re-distribution, and the production of derivatives; and
  5. plans for archiving data, samples, and other research products, and for preservation of access to them.

Data management requirements and plans specific to the Directorate, Office, Division, Program, or other NSF unit, relevant to a proposal are available on the NSF website. If guidance specific to the program is not available, then the requirements established in this section apply.

Simultaneously submitted collaborative proposals and proposals that include subawards are a single unified project and should include only one supplemental combined Data Management Plan, regardless of the number of non-lead collaborative proposals or subawards included. In such collaborative proposals, the data management plan should discuss the relevant data issues in the context of the collaboration.

A valid Data Management Plan may include only the statement that no detailed plan is needed, as long as the statement is accompanied by a clear justification. Proposers who feel that the plan cannot fit within the limit of two pages may use part of the 15-page Project Description for additional data management information. Proposers are advised that the Data Management Plan must not be used to circumvent the 15-page Project Description limitation. The Data Management Plan will be reviewed as an integral part of the proposal, considered under Intellectual Merit or Broader Impacts or both, as appropriate for the scientific community of relevance.

(iii) Rationale for Performance of All or Part of the Project Off-campus or Away from Organizational Headquarters.

(iv) Documentation of Collaborative Arrangements of Significance to the Proposal through Letters of Collaboration. (See Chapter II.D.2.d.(iv).) Letters of collaboration should be limited to stating the intent to collaborate and should not contain endorsements or evaluation of the proposed project. While not required, the following format may be used in preparation of letters of collaboration:

  • "If the proposal submitted by Dr. [insert the full name of the Principal Investigator] entitled [insert the proposal title] is selected for funding by NSF, it is my intent to collaborate and/or commit resources as detailed in the Project Description or the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section of the proposal."

While letters of collaboration are permitted, unless required by a specific program solicitation, letters of support should not be submitted as they are not a standard component of an NSF proposal. A letter of support is typically from a key stakeholder such as an organization, collaborator, or Congressional Representative, and is used to convey a sense of enthusiasm for the project and/or to highlight the qualifications of the PI or co-PI. A letter of support submitted in response to a program solicitation requirement must be unique to the specific proposal submitted and cannot be altered without the author’s explicit prior approval. Proposals that contain letters of support not authorized by the program solicitation may be returned without review.

(v) In order for NSF to comply with Federal Environmental Statutes (including, but not limited to, the National Environmental Policy Act (42 USC §4321, et seq.)), the National Historic Preservation Act (54 USC §306108 [previously codified at 16 USC §470, et seq.], and the Endangered Species Act (16 USC §1531, et seq.), the proposer may be requested to submit supplemental post-proposal submission information to NSF in order that a reasonable and accurate assessment of environmental impacts by NSF may be made. Supplemental information also may be requested to assist NSF in complying with Executive Orders and Presidential memoranda directing Federal agencies to carry out their obligations to engage in Tribal consultation when Tribal interests may be impacted. The types of information that may be requested is shown in the Organization Environmental Impacts Checklist.

(vi) Antarctic Proposals to any NSF program require “Logistical Requirements and Field Plan” supplementary documents to be submitted with the proposal. See “proposal with fieldwork” in Chapter V.A of the Antarctic Research solicitation. Special budgetary considerations also apply. See also Chapter V.B of the Antarctic Research solicitation.

(vii) Research in a Location Designated, or Eligible to be Designated, a Registered Historic Place. (See Chapter XI.J). Where applicable, the box for “Historic Places” must be checked on the Cover Sheet.

(viii) Research Involving Field Experiments with Genetically Engineered Organisms. (See Chapter XI.B.2)

(ix) Documentation Regarding Research Involving the Use of Human Subjects, Hazardous Materials, Live Vertebrate Animals, or Endangered Species. (See Chapter II.E.4, Chapter II.E.5, and Chapter XI.B).

(x) Special Components in New Proposals or in Requests for Supplemental Funding. This includes, for example, Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED), Research Opportunity Awards (ROAs), Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REUs), Facilitating Research at Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (RUIs), Research Experiences for Veterans (REV), and Research Experiences for Teachers, and Research Experiences for Graduates. See Chapter II.F.7 for information on FASED, and, for the other programs identified, consult the relevant solicitation or Dear Colleague Letter.

In addition, the supplementary documentation section should alert NSF officials to unusual circumstances that require special handling, including, for example, proprietary or other privileged information in the proposal, matters affecting individual privacy, required intergovernmental review under E.O. 12372 (Intergovernmental Review of Federal Programs) for activities that directly affect State or local governments, or possible national security implications.

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E. Special Processing Instructions

1. Proprietary or Privileged Information

Patentable ideas, trade secrets, privileged or confidential commercial or financial information, disclosure of which may harm the proposer, should be included in proposals only when such information is necessary to convey an understanding of the proposed project. Such information must be clearly marked in the proposal and be appropriately labeled with a legend such as,

  • "The following is (proprietary or confidential) information that (name of proposing organization) requests not be released to persons outside the Government, except for purposes of review and evaluation."

Such information also may be included as a separate statement. If this method is used, the statement must be submitted as a single-copy document in the Proposal Preparation Module in Research.gov. (See also Chapter II.D.1 for further information regarding submission of single-copy documents.)[40]

The box for "Proprietary or Privileged Information" must be checked on the Cover Sheet when the proposal contains such information. While NSF will make every effort to prevent unauthorized access to such material, the Foundation is not responsible or in any way liable for the release of such material.

2. Beginning Investigators (applies to proposals submitted to the Biological Sciences Directorate only)

Research proposals to the Biological Sciences Directorate ONLY (not proposals for conferences) cannot be duplicates of proposals to any other Federal agency for simultaneous consideration. The only exceptions to this rule are: (1) when the Program Officers at the relevant Federal agencies have previously agreed to joint review and possible joint funding of the proposal; or (2) proposals for PIs who are beginning investigators (individuals who have not been a PI or co-PI on a Federally funded award with the exception of doctoral dissertation, postdoctoral fellowship or research planning grants). For proposers who qualify under this latter exception, the box for "Beginning Investigator" must be checked on the Cover Sheet.

3. Collaborative Proposals

A collaborative proposal is one in which investigators from two or more organizations wish to collaborate on a unified research project. Collaborative proposals may be submitted to NSF in one of two methods: as a single proposal, in which a single award is being requested (with subawards administered by the lead organization); or by simultaneous submission of proposals from different organizations, with each organization requesting a separate award. In either case, the lead organization’s proposal must contain all of the requisite sections as a single package to be provided to reviewers (that will happen automatically when procedures below are followed). All collaborative proposals must clearly describe the roles to be played by the other organizations, specify the managerial arrangements, and explain the advantages of the multi-organizational effort within the Project Description.

  1. Submission of a collaborative proposal from one organization

    The single proposal method allows investigators from two or more organizations who have developed an integrated research project to submit a single, focused proposal. A single investigator bears primary responsibility for the administration of the award and discussions with NSF, and, at the discretion of the organizations involved, investigators from any of the participating organizations may be designated as co-PIs. Note, however, that if awarded, a single award would be made to the submitting organization, with any collaborators listed as subawards. (See Chapter II.D.2.f(vi)(e) for additional instructions on preparation of this type of proposal.)

    If a proposed subaward includes funding to support postdoctoral researchers, the mentoring activities to be provided for such individuals must be incorporated in the supplemental mentoring plan outlined in Chapter II.D.2.i(i).

  2. Submission of a collaborative proposal from multiple organizations

    Simultaneous submission of proposals allows multiple organizations to submit a unified set of certain proposal sections, as well as information unique to each organization as specified below. All collaborative proposals arranged as separate submissions from multiple organizations must be submitted via Research.gov. For these proposals, the project title must begin with the words "Collaborative Research:” If funded, each organization bears responsibility for a separate award.

    Required sections of the proposal differ based on the organization’s role. The following sections are required for a collaborative proposal submitted by:

    Lead Organization Non-Lead Organization
    • Cover Sheet
    • Project Summary
    • Table of Contents (automatically generated)
    • Project Description
    • References Cited
    • Biographical Sketch(es)
    • Budget and Budget Justification
    • Current and Pending Support
    • Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources
    • Data Management Plan
    • Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan (if applicable)
    • Collaborators & Other Affiliations Information
    • Cover Sheet
    • Table of Contents (automatically generated)
    • Biographical Sketch(es)
    • Budget and Budget Justification
    • Current and Pending Support
    • Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources
    • Collaborators & Other Affiliations Information

     

    See Chapter II.D.2.i for additional guidance on the mentoring and data management plan requirements for collaborative proposals. NSF will combine the proposal submission for printing or electronic viewing.

    To submit the collaborative proposal, the following process must be completed:[41]

    • (i) Each non-lead organization must assign their proposal a proposal PIN. This proposal PIN and the temporary proposal ID generated by Research.gov when the non-lead proposal is created must be provided to the lead organization before the lead organization submits its proposal to NSF.

      (ii) The lead organization must then enter each non-lead organization(s) proposal PIN and temporary proposal ID into the Research.gov lead proposal by using the "Link Collaborative Proposals" option found on the "Form Preparation" screen.

      (iii) All components of the collaborative proposal must meet any established deadline date, and failure to do so may result in the entire collaborative proposal being returned without review.

      (iv) Each collaborative proposal that includes funding to an International Branch Campus of a U.S. IHE or to a foreign organization or foreign individual (including through use of a subaward or consultant arrangement), must check the appropriate box on the proposal cover sheet. The requirement to check the box only applies to the proposing organization that includes the international component. The lead organization also must provide the requisite explanation/justification in the project description. See Chapter I.E. for additional information on the content requirements.

      (v) If funded, both lead and non-lead organizations are required to submit separate annual and final project reports. These reports should reference the work of the collaborative, while focusing on the distinct work conducted at each funded organization.

4. Proposals Involving Live Vertebrate Animals

  1. Any project proposing use of live vertebrate animals for research or education shall comply with the Animal Welfare Act (7 USC 2131, et seq.) and the regulations promulgated thereunder by the Secretary of Agriculture (9 CFR 1.1-4.11) pertaining to the humane care, handling, and treatment of live vertebrate animals held or used for research, teaching, or other activities supported by Federal awards. In accordance with these requirements, proposed projects involving use of any live vertebrate animal for research or education must be approved by the submitting organization's Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC) before an award can be made. For this approval to be accepted by NSF, the organization must have a current Public Health Service (PHS) Approved Assurance. See also Chapter XI.B.3 for additional information on the administration of awards that utilize live vertebrate animals. Note that for some types of live vertebrate animals, additional review may be required.

    Any project proposing use of live vertebrate animals for research or education must comply with the provision in the PHS Assurance for Institutional Commitment (Section II) that requires the submitting organization to establish and maintain a program for activities involving animals in accordance with the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (Guide). Taxon-specific guidelines may be used as supplemental references.[42] Departures from the Guide must be approved by the IACUC and based on scientific, veterinary, medical, or animal welfare issues (for more information, see Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare (OLAW) Departures from the Guide).

  2. Sufficient information must be provided within the 15-page Project Description to enable reviewers to evaluate the:

    • (i) rationale for involving animals;

    • (ii) choice of species and number of animals to be used;

    • (iiii) description of the proposed use of the animals;

    • (iv) exposure of animals to discomfort, pain, or injury; and

    • (v) description of any euthanasia methods to be used.

  3. Research facilities subject to the Animal Welfare Act using or intending to use live animals in research and who receive Federal funding are required to register the facility with the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS), US Department of Agriculture. A current listing of licensed animal dealers also may be obtained from APHIS. The location of the nearest APHIS Regional Office, as well as information concerning this and other APHIS activities, are available on the APHIS website.

  4. Projects involving the care or use of live vertebrate animals at an international organization or international field site also require approval of research protocols by the U.S. recipient’s IACUC. If the project is to be funded through an award to an international organization or through an individual fellowship award that will support activities at an international organization, NSF will require a statement from the international organization explicitly listing the proposer’s name and referencing the title of the award to confirm that the activities will be conducted in accordance with all applicable laws in the international country and that the International Guiding Principles for Biomedical Research Involving Animals will be followed.

  5. The following information regarding the organization’s intention to utilize live vertebrate animals as part of the project should be provided on the Cover Sheet:

    • (i) The box for "Live Vertebrate Animals" must be checked on the Cover Sheet if care and use of live vertebrate animals is envisioned.

    • (ii) The date of IACUC approval of the animal-use protocol covering the proposed work, if such approval has been granted prior to proposal submission, must be identified in the space provided. If IACUC approval has not been obtained prior to submission, the proposer should indicate "Pending" in the space provided for the approval date. If a decision is made to fund the proposal,the organization must provide a copy of the approval letter from the IACUC. The approval letter must affirm that an animal-use protocol covering the proposed activities has been approved and should explicitly list the organization’s PHS Animal Welfare Assurance Number, the proposer’s name, the title and number of the NSF proposal, and the date of IACUC approval, as well as show an organizational signature. The approval letter must be provided to the cognizant NSF Program Officer before an award can be issued.

    • (iii) The PHS-approved Animal Welfare Assurance Number must be entered in the space provided. If a PHS Animal Welfare Assurance has not been obtained prior to submission, the proposer should indicate “Pending” in the space provided for the PHS Animal Welfare Assurance Number. If a decision is made to fund the proposal, the cognizant NSF Program Officer will notify the NSF Animal Welfare Officer to initiate negotiation of a PHS-approved Animal Welfare Assurance with OLAW. A PHS Animal Welfare Assurance must be approved by OLAW before an award can be issued.

  6. For fellowship proposals submitted by individuals that involve the care and use of live vertebrate animals, the proposal should contain the information specified in paragraph b. above. In addition, a copy of the approval letter from the IACUC of the organization that provides oversight of the proposed work should be included as an “Other Supplementary Document” in Research.gov. The approval letter must affirm that an animal-use protocol covering the proposed activities has been approved and should explicitly list the organization’s PHS Animal Welfare Assurance Number, the proposer’s name, the title and number of the NSF proposal, and the date of IACUC approval, as well as show an organizational signature. If IACUC approval has not been obtained prior to submission, the individual should indicate “Pending” in the space provided for the approval date. If a decision is made to fund the proposal,the individual must provide a signed copy of the official IACUC approval letter (which includes the items specified above) to the cognizant NSF Program Officer before an award can be issued.

See also Chapter XI.B.3 for additional information on the administration of awards that include use of live vertebrate animals.

5. Proposals Involving Human Subjects

  1. Projects involving research with human subjects must ensure that subjects are protected from research risks in conformance with the relevant Federal policy known as the Common Rule (Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects, 45 CFR §690). All projects involving human subjects must either have: (1) approval from an Institutional Review Board (IRB); or, (2) an IRB determination that the project is exempt from review, in accordance with the applicable subsection, as established in 45 CFR §690.104(d) of the Common Rule. If certification of exemption is provided after submission of the proposal and before the award is issued, the exemption number corresponding to one or more of the exemption categories also must be included in the documentation provided to NSF.

    NSF cannot accept any IRB document that requires continued monitoring of the award activities involving human subjects by NSF. For projects lacking definite plans for the use of human subjects, their data, or their specimens, pursuant to 45 CFR §690.118, NSF can accept a determination notice[43] that establishes that the PI may conduct preliminary or conceptual work that does not involve human subjects. Further instructions are provided in paragraph (iv) below.

    If the project involves human subjects and is to be performed outside of the U.S., evidence of IRB approval is required. If IRB approval is provided, and a Federal Wide Assurance (FWA) is not on file with the Department of Health and Human Services, Office for Human Research Protections (OHRP), NSF may decline to support the project. Pursuant to 45 CFR §690.101(g), the Common Rule is not intended to supersede any additional protections that may be afforded to human subjects under foreign laws or regulations. OHRP maintains the International Compilation of Human Research Standards which contains a listing of over 1000 laws, regulations, and guidelines on human subjects protections in 130 countries and from many organizations. This site is an excellent resource regarding the conduct of human subjects research in an international setting.

  2. The following information regarding the organization’s intention to use human subjects as part of the project should be provided on the Cover Sheet:

    • (i) The box for "Human Subjects" must be checked on the Cover Sheet if use of human subjects is envisioned.

    • (ii) If human subject activities are exempt from IRB review, provide the exemption number(s) corresponding to one or more of the exemption categories. The eight categories of research that qualify for exemption from coverage by the regulations are defined in the Common Rule for Protection of Human Subjects.

    • (iii) If the research is not designated as exempt, and has an approved, unexpired protocol at the time of submission, the IRB approval date should be identified in the space provided. If IRB approval has not been obtained at the time of submission, the proposer should indicate "Pending" in the space provided for the approval date. If a decision is made to fund the proposal, a signed copy of the IRB approval letter must be provided to the cognizant program prior to award. The letter should indicate approval of the proposed activities and must be submitted prior to an award being issued.

    • (iv) If the project lacks definite plans regarding use of human subjects, their data or their specimens, pursuant to 45 CFR §690.118, the proposer must check the box for "Human Subjects" on the Cover Sheet and enter “Pending” in the space provided for the approval date. If available at the time of proposal submission, the determination notice should be uploaded as an “Other Supplementary Document”. If the determination notice is not available, and, the decision is made to fund the proposal, a determination notice must be provided to the cognizant program prior to award.

      NSF will be flexible with the form that this notice takes, as long as the written determination makes clear that no work with human subjects, including recruitment, will be conducted until full IRB approval is obtained. NSF will add a term and condition to the award that prevents any research involving human subjects from being carried out, or otherwise restricts the drawing down of funds, until IRB approval has been obtained. The PI may conduct preliminary or conceptual work that does not involve human subjects while the protocol is being developed or is under review, consistent with organizational guidelines.

    • (v) The FWA Number that the proposer has on file with OHRP should be entered, if available.

    See also Chapter XI.B.1 for additional information on the administration of awards that include use of human subjects.

6. Potential Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC)

  1. Applicability

    This section applies to all research, for which NSF award funds may be used, that potentially falls within the scope of the U.S. Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern as published in September, 2014, and/or would fall under the Department of Health and Human Service’s Framework for Guiding Decisions about Proposed Research Involving Enhanced Potential Pandemic Pathogens, as published in January 2017, hereafter referred to as the "Policy".

  2. NSF Implementation of the Policy

    NSF is committed to preserving the benefits of life sciences research while minimizing the risk of misuse of the knowledge, information, products, or technologies provided by such research. The purpose of NSF’s implementation of the Policy is to clarify proposer expectations about NSF-funded research with certain high-consequence pathogens and toxins with potential to be considered DURC or involve enhanced potential pandemic pathogens (PPPs).

    Proposing organizations are responsible for identifying NSF-funded life sciences proposals that could potentially be considered DURC or involve enhanced PPPs as defined in the Policy and for compliance with the requirements established in that Policy therein.

    The box for “Potential Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern” must be checked on the Cover Sheet if use of select agents or other enhanced potential pandemic pathogens, as defined by the Policy, are envisioned, and those agents or PPPs are used in ways that lead to enhancement of specific properties specified within the Policy.

    If a decision is made to fund the proposal, and use of a select agent as identified by the Policy is proposed, the proposer must submit evidence of registration of the select agent with the CDC or USDA as required by the Select Agent Regulations. In addition, the proposer must submit a justification demonstrating how the potential benefits of the research far outweigh the risks. The justification must be signed and certified by the Institutional Biosafety Committeeor other appropriate Institutional Review Entity whose role includes review of research involving agents covered under the Policy before an award can be issued.

    NSF will not fund research that would be considered to lead to a gain of function of agents associated with the U.S. Government Policy on DURC (See also Chapter XI.B.5 for additional information.) NSF also will not fund research that involves the creation, transfer, or use of enhanced PPPs except under special circumstances where the potential benefits to society far outweigh the risks and all other conditions of the Policy are met.

7. Projects Requiring High-Performance Computing Resources, Data Infrastructure, or Advanced Visualization Resources

Many research projects require access to computational, data and/or visualization resources in order to complete the work proposed. Typically, such resources will be described in the proposal under Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources. However, for those projects that require such resources at scales beyond what may be available locally, NSF supports a number of national resources. For the most computationally- and/or data-intensive projects, the Frontera system at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) at the University of Texas at Austin is the most suitable. Frontera is designed to support research teams requiring the most advanced computational and data capabilities. The Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure within the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering oversees the allocation process for this system. Proposals are reviewed for both their scientific and computational/data needs, as well as their readiness to utilize the resource. The Frontera system is among the largest and most powerful supercomputers ever deployed at a U.S. IHE; it offers over 16,000 processors, as well as significant other processing capabilities, to advance research that would not otherwise be possible. More information about the system and how researchers can request access can be found on the Frontera website.

The National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) provides high-performance computing resources for NSF-funded researchers in atmospheric and related sciences. To access these supercomputers, data storage systems, and other resources, users must apply for allocations through NCAR. Applications are reviewed, and time is allocated according to the needs of the projects and the availability of resources. More details on the allocations process can be found on the NCAR website. The intention to request use of these NSF-supported national resources should be described in the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section of the proposal. No letter of support or collaboration is required.

The most general set of large computational and data resources funded by NSF are accessible through the eXtreme Science and Engineering Discovery Environment (XSEDE) project. XSEDE provides the integrating fabric for a collection of very powerful supercomputers, a high-throughput computing environment, high-volume data storage facilities, and advanced visualization services, connected by a high-bandwidth private network. Additionally, XSEDE offers an education and outreach program on how to use its services, and an extended collaborative support program to assist researchers in using the advanced computational resources. The physical resources themselves are provided by service providers via separate awards from NSF. Allocations of those resources for large projects are determined by the XSEDE Resource Allocation Committee, which meets quarterly, using an external set of experts. Smaller requests do not require a proposal or review, and a simple online process may be used to request such an allocation. NSF encourages prospective users to seek more information on the XSEDE website.

For researchers requiring high-throughput computing – computing that is characterized by executing large numbers of tasks over a long period of time - The Partnership to Advance Throughput Computing (PATh) makes Distributed High Throughput Computing (dHTC) capacity available to researchers through a fabric of services. These services enable the federation of resources into an effective source of computing capacity for a wide spectrum of science applications. PATh supports single-PIs and collaborative science groups across science and engineering disciplines to join the cohort of international physical science collaborations who have leveraged the dHTC paradigm for decades. More information on accessing dHTC services and computing capacity can be found on the PATh website.

8. International Activities

  1. International Research/Education/Training Activities. For each proposal that describes an international activity, PIs should list the primary countries involved on the Cover Sheet.

  2. An international activity is defined as research, training, and/or education carried out in cooperation with foreign counterparts either overseas or in the U.S. using virtual technologies. If the “Funding of an International Branch Campus of a U.S. IHE, including through use of a subaward or consultant agreement” box or “Funding of a Foreign Organization, including through use of a subaward or consultant agreement” box is checked on the Cover Sheet, the proposer also must enter the name of the applicable country(ies) in the International Activities Country Name(s) box(es) on the Cover Sheet. (See also PAPPG Chapter I.E for additional information.)

  3. International Conferences. Proposers also should enter on the Cover Sheet the country/countries with which project participants will engage and/or travel to attend international conferences. If the specific location of the international conference is not known at the time of the proposal submission, proposers should enter “Worldwide” on the Cover Sheet.

  4. Work in foreign countries. Some governments require nonresidents to obtain official approval to carry out investigations within their borders and coastal waters under their jurisdiction. PIs are responsible for obtaining the required authorizations. Advance coordination should minimize disruption of the research. (See Chapter XI.B.4.)

9. Safe and Inclusive Working Environments for Off-Campus or Off-Site Research

It is NSF policy (see Chapter XI.A.1.g.) to foster safe and harassment-free environments wherever science is conducted.  NSF’s policy recognizes that a community effort is essential to eliminate sexual and other forms of harassment in science and to build inclusive scientific climates where people can learn, grow, and thrive.  Accordingly, for each proposal that proposes to conduct research off-campus or off site[44], the AOR must complete a certification[45] that the organization has a plan in place for that proposal that describes how the following types of behavior will be addressed:

  1. Abuse of any person, including, but not limited to, harassment, stalking, bullying, or hazing of any kind, whether the behavior is carried out verbally, physically, electronically, or in written form; or

  2. Conduct that is unwelcome, offensive, indecent, obscene, or disorderly.

This plan should also identify steps the proposing organization will take to nurture an inclusive off-campus or off-site working environment, e.g., trainings; processes to establish shared team definitions of roles, responsibilities, and culture, e.g., codes of conduct; and field support, such as mentor/mentee support mechanisms, regular check-ins, and/or developmental events

Communications within team and to the organization should be considered in the plan, minimizing singular points within the communications pathway (e.g., a single person overseeing access to a single satellite phone), and any special circumstances such as the involvement of multiple organizations or the presence of third parties in the working environment should be taken into account.  The process or method for making incident reports as well as how any reports received will be resolved should also be accounted for.

 The organization’s plan for the proposal must be disseminated to individuals participating in the off-campus or off-site research prior to departure.  Proposers should not submit the plan to NSF for review.

 

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F. Other Types of Proposals

In addition to standard research proposals that follow the proposal preparation instructions contained in sections A through D of this chapter, there are other types of proposals that may be submitted to NSF. Each of them is described below, along with instructions that may supplement or deviate from NSF's standard proposal preparation instructions specified in sections A through D of this chapter. All proposals will be evaluated through use of the two National Science Board (NSB)-approved merit review criteria of Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts.

1. Planning Proposal

A planning proposal is a type of proposal used to support initial conceptualization, planning and collaboration activities that aim to formulate new and sound plans for large-scale projects in emerging research areas for future submission to an NSF program. This type of proposal is not intended to provide seed funding for a proposal that has been declined, nor is it appropriate for preliminary research on efforts that are aligned with established research programs. Rather, planning proposals are appropriate for the development of larger-scale proposals in specific areas in which NSF wishes to ensure a sufficiently robust competition in the future. These include areas in which NSF is initiating new funding opportunities; assessment of infrastructure (including cyberinfrastructure) needs; and/or large-scale research, infrastructure (including cyberinfrastructure), or training efforts that require coordination of multi-disciplinary approaches, expertise, and/or organizations at regional scales. In these cases, NSF is especially interested in activities that would catalyze new collaborations that broaden the participation of individuals or organizations underrepresented in NSF award portfolios.

PIs are advised that they must submit a Concept Outline prior to submission of a planning proposal. This will aid in determining the appropriateness of the work for consideration under this type of proposal. Concept Outlines can be submitted either by email to a cognizant Program Officer or via the Program Suitability and Proposal Concept Tool (ProSPCT). An NSF funding opportunity that includes planning proposals will provide specific guidance on submission of Concept Outlines using either email or the ProSPCT form. See Chapter I.D.1 for additional information on Concept Outlines. For Concept Outlines that must be submitted via ProSPCT, users must have a valid Login.gov account to access the tool. PIs will receive an email from the cognizant NSF program officer that specifies whether a full proposal may be submitted. The email confirming approval to submit a planning proposal must be uploaded by the prospective PI in the “Program Officer Concurrence Email” section of Research.gov.

Planning proposals do not constitute any commitment on behalf of the PI/co-PI(s) or their organizations to submit a future proposal or carry out a research, education, or infrastructure project, nor do they imply an intent on the part of NSF to support a future proposed project beyond the planning grant.

The following provides guidance regarding the preparation, review, or administration of planning proposals/awards:

  • The Project Description is expected to be brief and must be no more than eight pages. It must include clear statements as to why this project is appropriate for planning proposal, including how the funds will be used to formulate a sound approach for future submission to an NSF program. Note this proposal preparation instruction deviates from the standard proposal preparation instructions contained in this Guide; planning proposals must otherwise be compliant with the proposal preparation requirements specified in Part I of the PAPPG.

  • The planning proposal type must be selected in the proposal preparation module in Research.gov.

  • Only internal merit review is required for planning proposals. In some instances, Program Officers may elect to obtain external reviews to inform their decision. If external review is to be obtained, then the PI will be informed in the interest of maintaining the transparency of the review and recommendation process.

  • Email documentation from at least one NSF Program Officer confirming approval to submit a planning proposal must be uploaded by the PI as a document entitled "Planning – Program Officer Concurrence Email" in the Supplementary Documentation section of Research.gov.

  • Requests may be for up to $100,000 per year (including indirect costs) and for up to two years in duration. The award size, however, will be consistent with the scope of the proposed planning activities and of a size comparable to planning grants in similar areas.

  • Planning proposals are not eligible for reconsideration, if declined. See PAPPG Chapter IV.D.2.b.

  • No-cost extensions and requests for supplemental funding will be processed in accordance with standard NSF policies and procedures.

  • NSF does not anticipate renewal of planning awards. However, renewed funding of a planning award may be requested only through submission of a Traditional or Accomplishment-Based Renewal proposal that will be subject to full external merit review. See Chapter V for further information.

2. Rapid Response Research (RAPID) Proposal

RAPID is a type of proposal used when there is a severe urgency with regard to availability of or access to, data, facilities or specialized equipment, including quick-response research on natural or anthropogenic events and similar unanticipated occurrences.

RAPID proposals are NOT for:

  • projects that are appropriate for submission as "regular" NSF proposals;

  • events that are unanticipated due to lack of awareness of timelines; or

  • collection of only non-perishable data.

PIs are advised that they must submit a Concept Outline prior to submission of a RAPID proposal. This will aid in determining the appropriateness of the work for consideration under this type of proposal. Concept Outlines can be submitted either by email to a cognizant Program Officer or via ProSPCT. An NSF funding opportunity that includes RAPID proposals will provide specific guidance on submission of Concept Outlines using either email or via ProSPCT.  See Chapter I.D.1 for additional information on Concept Outlines. For Concept Outlines that must be submitted via ProSPCT, users must have a valid Login.gov account to access the tool. The prospective PI will receive an email from the cognizant NSF program officer that specifies whether a full proposal may be submitted. The email confirming approval to submit a RAPID proposal must be uploaded by the prospective PI in the “Program Officer Concurrence Email” section of Research.gov.

The following provides guidance regarding the preparation, review, or administration of RAPID proposals/awards:

  • The Project Description is expected to be brief and must be no more than five pages. It must include clear statements as to why the proposed research is urgent and why RAPID is the most appropriate type of proposal for supporting the proposed work. Note this proposal preparation instruction deviates from the standard proposal preparation instructions contained in this Guide; RAPID proposals must otherwise be compliant with the proposal preparation requirements specified in Part I of the PAPPG.

  • The “RAPID” proposal type must be selected in the proposal preparation module in Research.gov.

  • The project title will be preceded by the prefix “RAPID:”

    Only internal merit review is required for RAPID proposals. In some instances, Program Officers may elect to obtain external reviews to inform their decision. If external review is to be obtained, then the PI will be informed in the interest of maintaining the transparency of the review and recommendation process.

  • Email documentation from at least one NSF Program Officer confirming approval to submit a RAPID proposal must be uploaded by the PI as a document entitled “RAPID – Program Officer Concurrence Email” in the Supplementary Documentation section of Research.gov.

  • Requests may be for up to $200K (including indirect costs) and up to one year in duration. The award size, however, will be consistent with the project scope and of a size comparable to grants in similar areas.

  • RAPID proposals are not eligible for reconsideration, if declined. See Chapter IV.D.2.b.

  • No-cost extensions and requests for supplemental funding will be processed in accordance with standard NSF policies and procedures.

  • Renewed funding of RAPID awards may be requested only through submission of a Traditional or Accomplishment-Based Renewal proposal that will be subject to full external merit review. See Chapter V for further information.

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3. EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER)

EAGER is a type of proposal used to support exploratory work in its early stages on untested, but potentially transformative, research ideas or approaches. This work may be considered especially "high risk-high payoff" in the sense that it, for example, involves radically different approaches, applies new expertise, or engages novel disciplinary or interdisciplinary perspectives. These exploratory proposals also may be submitted directly to an NSF program, but the EAGER proposal type should not be used for projects that are appropriate for submission as “regular” (i.e., non-EAGER) NSF proposals.

EAGER proposals are NOT:

  • for projects that are appropriate for submission as "regular" NSF proposals;

  • for planning grants;

  • to support the collection of preliminary data; or

  • to provide services to NSF.

PIs are advised that they must submit a Concept Outline prior to submission of a EAGER proposal. This will aid in determining the appropriateness of the work for consideration under this type of proposal. Concept Outlines can be submitted either by email to a cognizant Program Officer or via ProSPCT. An NSF funding opportunity that includes EAGER proposals will provide specific guidance on submission of Concept Outlines using either email or via ProSPCT. See Chapter I.D.1 for additional information on Concept Outlines. For Concept Outlines that must be submitted via ProSPCT, users must have a valid Login.gov account to access the tool. The prospective PI will receive an email from the cognizant NSF program officer that specifies whether a full proposal may be submitted. The email confirming approval to submit a RAPID proposal must be uploaded by the prospective PI in the “Program Officer Concurrence Email” section of Research.gov.

The following provides guidance regarding the preparation, review, or administration of EAGER proposals/awards:

  • The Project Description is expected to be brief and must be no more than eight pages. It must include clear statements as to why this project is appropriate for EAGER funding, including why it does not fit into existing programs and why it is a good fit for EAGER. Note this proposal preparation instruction deviates from the standard proposal preparation instructions contained in this Guide; EAGER proposals must otherwise be compliant with the proposal preparation requirements specified in Part I of the PAPPG.

  • The “EAGER” proposal type must be selected in the proposal preparation module in Research.gov.

  • The project title will be preceded by the prefix “EAGER:”

  • Only internal merit review is required for EAGER proposals. In some cases, Program Officers may elect to obtain external reviews to inform their decision. If external review is to be obtained, then the PI will be informed in the interest of maintaining the transparency of the review and recommendation process.

  • Requests may be for up to $300K (including indirect costs) and up to two years in duration. The award size, however, will be consistent with the project scope and of a size comparable to grants in similar areas.

  • EAGER proposals are not eligible for reconsideration, if declined. See Chapter IV.D.2.b.

  • No-cost extensions and requests for supplemental funding will be processed in accordance with standard NSF policies and procedures.

  • Renewed funding of an EAGER award may be requested only through submission of a Traditional or Accomplishment-Based Renewal proposal that will be subject to full external merit review. See Chapter V for further information.

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4. Research Advanced by Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering (RAISE)

RAISE is a type of proposal that may be used to support bold, interdisciplinary projects whose:

  • Scientific advances lie in great part outside the scope of a single program or discipline, such that substantial funding support from more than one program or discipline is necessary.

  • Lines of research promise transformational advances.

  • Prospective discoveries reside at the interfaces of disciplinary boundaries that may not be recognized through traditional review or co-review.

To receive funding as a RAISE-appropriate project, all three criteria must be met. RAISE is not intended to be used for projects that can be accommodated within other types of proposals or that continue well established practices.

Prospective PIs are advised that they must submit a Concept Outline prior to submission of a RAISE proposal. This will aid in determining the appropriateness of the work for consideration under this type of proposal. Concept Outlines can be submitted either by email to a cognizant Program Officer or via ProSPCT. An NSF funding opportunity that includes RAISE proposals will provide specific guidance on submission of Concept Outlines using either email or via ProSPCT. See Chapter I.D.1 for additional information on Concept Outlines. For Concept Outlines that must be submitted via ProSPCT, users must have a valid Login.gov account to access the tool. The prospective PIs will receive emails from the cognizant NSF program officers that specifies whether a full proposal may be submitted. Please note, this may be a single email message that identifies at least two NSF program officers who jointly considered the RAISE Concept Outline. The email(s) confirming approval to submit a RAISE proposal must be uploaded by the prospective PIs in the “Program Officer Concurrence Email” section of Research.gov. email documentation from at least two NSF Program Officers confirming approval to submit a proposal must be uploaded under “RAISE – Program Officer Concurrence Emails” in the Supplementary Documentation section of Research.gov.

Contingent on Program Officers’ approval to submit a proposal:

  • RAISE proposals must be compliant with Part I of the PAPPG unless a deviation from the standard proposal preparation requirements is indicated below.

  • NSF will not accept a RAISE separately submitted collaborative proposal from multiple organizations. A collaborative proposal must be submitted as a single proposal from one organization, with any collaborators identified as subawardee organizations.

  • The RAISE proposal type must be selected in the proposal preparation module in Research.gov.

  • The project title will be preceded by the prefix “RAISE:”

  • Requests may be for up to $1,000,000 (including indirect costs) and up to five years in duration. The award size and duration will be consistent with the project scope.

  • The proposal must explicitly address how the project is better suited for RAISE than for a regular NSF review process.

  • Only internal merit review is required for RAISE proposals. Program Officers may elect to obtain external reviews to inform their decision. If external review is to be obtained, then the PI will be informed in the interest of maintaining the transparency of the review and recommendation process.

  • The interdisciplinary and transformative potential of the project will be evaluated within the intellectual merit of the proposal.

  • RAISE proposals are not eligible for reconsideration, if declined. See Chapter IV.D.2.b.

  • No-cost extensions and requests for supplemental funding will be processed in accordance with standard NSF policies and procedures.

  • RAISE awards are not eligible for renewal.

5. Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI)

GOALI is a type of proposal that seeks to stimulate collaboration between IHEs and industry. Under this proposal type, academic scientists, and engineers request funding either in conjunction with a regular proposal submitted to a standing NSF program, unsolicited proposal, or as a supplemental funding request to an existing NSF-funded award. GOALI is not a separate program; GOALI proposals must be submitted to an active NSF funding opportunity and must be submitted in accordance with the deadlines specified therein. A proposer interested in submitting a GOALI proposal or a GOALI supplemental funding request to an existing NSF-funded award must contact the cognizant NSF Program Officer listed in the relevant funding opportunity prior to submission. Special interest is focused on affording opportunities for:

  • Interdisciplinary IHE-industry teams to conduct collaborative research projects, in which the industry research participant provides critical research expertise, without which the likelihood for success of the project would be diminished;

  • Faculty, postdoctoral scholars, and students to conduct research and gain experience in an industrial setting; and

  • Industrial scientists and engineers to bring industry's perspective and integrative skills to academe.

GOALI proposals should focus on research that addresses shared interests by academic researchers and industrial partners. The research should further scientific and engineering foundations to enable future breakthrough technologies with the potential to address critical industry needs. Industry involvement assures that the research is industrially relevant. PIs are expected to integrate their research objectives with educational and industrial needs.

Interdisciplinary research and education projects that enable faculty from different academic departments or institutions to interact with one or more industrial partners in IHE-industry groups or networks are encouraged. Proposals may include the participation of a "third partner" such as a National Laboratory or a non-profit organization. NSF funding can be used for IHE research/education activities and may support activities of faculty and their students and research associates in the industrial setting. NSF funds are not permitted to be used to support the industrial research partner except as noted below for small businesses.

In addition to any program-specific review criteria defined in the solicitation, reviewers may be asked to evaluate the degree and extent to which industry will be involved with the proposed research and the extent to which students and/or post-doctoral scholars will benefit from the interaction. The proposed research should be transformative, beneficial to industry, and further collaboration between the institution of higher education and industrial partners.

The industrial participant cannot use or receive any NSF funds on a GOALI award with the exception of small businesses that meet these requirements and are not currently funded NSF SBIR/STTR recipients:

  • Must be a small business (fewer than 500 employees) located in the U.S;

  • At least 50% of the company’s equity must be owned by U.S. citizens or permanent residents; and

  • All funded work must take place in the U.S. (including work done by consultants and contractors).

In addition to the above requirements, the size of the subaward to the small business partner must not exceed one-third of the total award budget. The proposal must disclose any financial interest that the PI, co-PI, Senior Personnel and/or IHE have in the small business partner and identify appropriate mitigation of any financial conflict of interest.

Review of GOALI proposals should assess the following aspects in addition to evaluating the Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts of the proposal.

  • What new knowledge generated by the proposed work could lead to innovations that can help address societal challenges?

  • What critical role do the partner(s) bring to the collaboration without which the proposed project cannot be successfully executed?

  • What is the anticipated longer term societal impact coming forth from the GOALI research project if successful?

  • What opportunities for industrial experience and training could the proposed GOALI project create for students/postdoctoral scholars/faculty?

Specific instructions for each type of request are provided below.

a. Requests as part of a competitive proposal submission

GOALI proposals must follow the deadlines applicable to an existing funding opportunity as well as the following GOALI-specific requirements: For GOALI collaborative proposals, the proposal must be submitted by a single organization with any collaborators listed as subawards. Collaborative proposals submitted through multiple organizations will not be accepted. See PAPPG Chapter II.E.3 for additional information.

  • (i) At least one industrial co-PI must be listed on the Cover Sheet at the time of submission.

    (ii) The IHE-industry interaction should be described in the Project Description;

    (iii) A GOALI-Industrial PI Confirmation Letter from the industrial partner that confirms the participation of a co-PI from industry must be submitted with the proposal (if applicable, the letter also must state the degree of industrial participation as well as detail any support that the industry is providing to the institution of higher education). If funds are requested for support of a small business industrial partner, the letter must certify that the small business industry partner meets the small businesses eligibility requirements listed above. All GOALI-related confirmation letters must be uploaded under "GOALI-Industrial PI Confirmation Letter" in Research.gov. This supplementary documentation will not be counted towards the 15-page Project Description limitation; and

    (iv) IHE and industrial partners should agree in advance as to how intellectual property (IP) rights will be handled. A signed IHE-industry agreement on IP (including publication and patent rights) must be submitted prior to issuance of an award. All such IP agreements must be consistent with federal law and terms and conditions of the award. NSF is responsible neither for the agreement reached nor the IP information exchanged between the institution of higher education and the industrial partner.

b. Supplemental funding requests to existing NSF awards

Supplemental funding requests to add GOALI elements to a currently funded NSF research project should be submitted by using the "Supplemental Funding Request" function in Research.gov. Such requests should include a brief description of the proposed activity, a budget, and a budget justification, in addition to items (ii)-(iv) above. At least one industrial participant must be included in the GOALI activity and must be specified in the GOALI-Industrial PI Confirmation Letter.

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6. Ideas Lab Proposal

"Ideas Lab" is a type of proposal to support the development and implementation of creative and innovative project ideas that have the potential to transform research paradigms and/or solve intractable problems. An Ideas Lab may be run independently, or in parallel, with the issuance of an NSF funding opportunity on the same topic. These project ideas typically will be high-risk/high-impact, as they represent new and unproven ideas, approaches and/or technologies.

The Ideas Lab type of proposal is implemented using the four-stage process described below:

a. Stage 1: Selection of Panelists

There are two separate panels convened for an Ideas Lab: a selection panel and an Ideas Lab panel. The role of the selection panel is to provide advice on the selection of participants. The role of the Ideas Lab panel is to provide an assessment of the project ideas developed during the Ideas Lab. The individuals selected to participate in each of these panels are subject matter experts for the specific topic of the Ideas Lab. All panelists are barred from receiving any research funding through, or in any other way collaborating on, the particular Ideas Lab in which they are involved.

b. Stage 2: Selection of Participants

A "call for participants" solicitation that describes the specific focus of the Ideas Lab will be issued. The solicitation will specify the content and submission instructions for such applications.

The Project Description is limited to two pages and should include information regarding the applicant’s specific expertise and interest in the topic area, as well as certain personal attributes that enhance the success of the Ideas Lab workshop (e.g., experience and interest in working in teams, communication skills, level of creativity, willingness to take risks). Applicants also must include a Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support information (both of which must be prepared in accordance with standard NSF formatting guidelines). All other elements of a "full proposal" are waived (i.e., Project Summary, References Cited, Budget and Budget Justification, Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources). The application must be submitted as a preliminary proposal in Research.gov. No appendices or supplementary documents may be submitted.

Applicants are notified electronically of NSF’s decision regarding whether they are invited or not invited to participate in the Ideas Lab. Applicants will be informed about the context of the review and the criteria that were used to assess the applications in the form of a panel summary but will not receive individual reviews or other review-related feedback.

c. Stage 3: Ideas Lab

The agenda and duration[44] of the Ideas Lab are communicated to meeting participants by the cognizant NSF Program Officer. Typically, anonymous real-time peer review involving the participants and the Ideas Lab panel is incorporated into the workshop format, providing iterative constructive feedback during the development of project ideas. The Ideas Lab concept incorporates a "guided creativity" process, thus the use of a facilitator(s) is included, both to guide the creation of interdisciplinary teams and the creative development of ideas, and to ensure that the workshop progresses in a productive manner. At the end of the Ideas Lab, the Ideas Lab panel will provide a consensus report summarizing their evaluation of each project idea. The recommendations of the Ideas Lab panel are advisory to NSF. Within seven to fourteen calendar days following the Ideas Lab, the NSF Program Officers will determine which project ideas are meritorious and should be invited as full proposals. At the NSF Program Officers’ discretion (subject to Division Director concurrence), they may invite none, some, or all of the project ideas as full proposals, with the final funding decision to occur after the full proposals have been received and reviewed. Invited full proposals (which are prepared in accordance with standard research proposal formatting guidelines) must be submitted within two months of receiving NSF notification after the Ideas Lab.

d. Stage 4: Review and recommendation of full proposals

Invited proposals will be reviewed internally by the cognizant NSF Program Officers, the Ideas Lab panelists, and other external reviewers, as appropriate. Resulting awards will be administered in accordance with standard NSF policies and procedures, including no-cost extensions and supplemental funding requests. Renewed funding of an Ideas Lab award may be requested only through submission of a full proposal that will be subject to external merit review. Such proposals would be designated as an “Ideas Lab renewal.”

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7. Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED)

As part of its effort to promote full utilization of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians, and engineers, and to develop scientific and technical talent, the Foundation has the following goals:

  • to reduce or remove barriers to participation in research and training by persons with physical disabilities by providing special equipment and assistance under awards made by NSF; and

  • to encourage persons with disabilities to pursue careers in science and engineering by stimulating the development and demonstration of special equipment that facilitates their work performance.

Persons with disabilities eligible for facilitation awards include PIs, other senior personnel, and graduate and undergraduate students. The cognizant NSF Program Officer will make decisions regarding what constitutes appropriate support on a case-by-case basis. The specific nature, purpose, and need for equipment or assistance should be described in sufficient detail in the proposal to permit evaluation by knowledgeable reviewers.

There is no separate program for funding of special equipment or assistance. Requests are made in conjunction with regular competitive proposals, or as a supplemental funding request to an existing NSF award. Specific instructions for each type of request are provided below.

a. Requests as part of a competitive proposal submission

Funds may be requested to purchase special equipment, modify equipment, or provide services required specifically for the work to be undertaken. Requests for funds for equipment or assistance that compensate in a general way for the disabling condition are not permitted. For example, funds may be requested to provide: prosthetic devices to manipulate a particular apparatus; equipment to convert sound to visual signals, or vice versa, for a particular experiment; access to a special site or to a mode of transportation (except as defined below); a reader or interpreter with special technical competence related to the project; or other special-purpose equipment or assistance needed to conduct a particular project. Items, however, such as standard wheelchairs, prosthetics, hearing aids, TDD/text-phones, or general readers for the blind would not be supported because the need for them is not specific to the proposed project. Similarly, ramps, elevators, or other structural modifications of research facilities are not eligible for direct support under this program.

No maximum funding amount has been established for such requests. It is expected, however, that the cost (including equipment adaptation and installation) will not be a major component of the total proposed budget for the project. Requests for funds for special equipment or assistance to facilitate the participation of individuals with disabilities should be included in the proposed budget for the project and documented in the budget justification. The specific nature, purpose and need for such equipment or assistance should be described in sufficient detail in the Project Description to permit evaluation of the request by knowledgeable reviewers.

b. Supplemental funding requests to existing NSF awards

Supplemental funds for special equipment or assistance to facilitate participation in NSF-supported projects by persons with disabilities may be requested under existing NSF awards. Normally, title is vested in the recipient organization for equipment purchased in conjunction with NSF-supported activities. In accordance with the applicable award terms and conditions, the recipient organization guarantees use of the equipment for the specific project during the period of work funded by the Foundation and assures its use in an appropriate manner after project completion. In instances involving special equipment for persons with disabilities, the need for such may be unique to the individual. In such cases, the recipient organization may elect to transfer title to the individual to assure appropriate use after project completion.

Supplemental funding requests should be submitted by using the “Supplemental Funding Request” function in Research.gov and should include a brief description of the request, a budget, and a budget justification. Requests must be submitted at least two months before funds are needed. Funding decisions will be made on the basis of the justification and availability of program funds with any resultant funding provided through a formal amendment of the existing NSF award.

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8. Career Life Balance (CLB) Supplemental Funding Requests

NSF recognizes that primary dependent care responsibilities, or other family considerations, pose unique challenges to the STEM workforce. Career-Life Balance supplemental funding to existing awards may be requested as described below:

  1. Research award recipients may request supplemental funding:

    • To support additional personnel (e.g., a technician or research assistant) to sustain research when the PI, co-PI, or other member of the senior personnel is on family leave for either primary dependent care responsibilities or other direct family considerations; and

    • To support additional personnel (e.g., a technician or research assistant) to sustain research while a postdoctoral researcher or graduate student being supported by NSF on the award is on family leave for either primary dependent care responsibilities or other direct family considerations.

  2. Postdoctoral fellowship recipients may request supplemental funding:

    Provided that a postdoctoral fellowship award, funded through one of NSF’s postdoctoral fellowship programs, is made to an organization and not directly to the fellow, the recipient may request supplemental funding for the following purpose:

    • To support additional personnel (e.g., a technician or research assistant) to sustain research while the postdoctoral fellow being supported by NSF on the award is on family leave for either primary dependent care responsibilities or other direct family considerations.

    NSF postdoctoral fellows who receive funding directly from NSF rather than through an organization are ineligible to receive CLB supplements.

  3. Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) recipients may request supplemental funding:

    • To support additional personnel (e.g., a technician or research assistant) to sustain the research of the NSF Graduate Research Fellow on approved medical deferral due to primary dependent care (family leave) situations.[45]

  4. Special Instructions for the Preparation and Submission of CLB Supplemental Funding Requests

    For all eligible categories noted above, the supplemental funding request may include funding for up to six months of salary support or stipend for a maximum of $30,000 in direct costs of salary compensation or stipend, but the duration of the salary or stipend support may not exceed the duration of the family leave. Fringe benefits and associated indirect costs (F&A), but not tuition, may be included in addition to the salary costs, and therefore, the total supplemental funding request may exceed $30,000.

    All requests for CLB supplemental funding support must be submitted by using the “Supplemental Funding Request” function in Research.gov and must be adequately justified. It may take NSF up to two months or more to process such a request. CLB supplemental funding requests will usually be reviewed internally unless the program officer determines that the advice of external reviewers is essential.

    The CLB supplemental funding request must:

    • (i) Clearly specify that it is a CLB supplemental funding request;

      (ii) Provide a description of how the technician, research assistant, or equivalent would be used to sustain the research effort while the PI, co-PI or other member of the senior personnel is on family leave, the postdoctoral researcher or graduate student is on family leave, or the NSF Graduate Research Fellow is on medical deferral due to a family leave situation;

      (iii) Provide a budget and budget justification in support of the requested costs;

      (iv)Identify the proposed period of performance for the technician, research assistant, or equivalent;

      (v) Include the following statement:

      • "The Authorized Organizational Representative hereby certifies that the request for a technician (or equivalent) is because the (PI/co-PI/senior personnel/NSF Graduate Research Fellow/postdoctoral researcher/graduate student) is, or will be, on family leave status (or equivalent) from the organization in accordance with the organization’s policies. The Authorized Organizational Representative also affirms that the organization is able to fill the position for which funding is being requested, in an appropriate timeframe."

      (vi) GRFP recipients must include a letter from the Fellow’s faculty advisor supporting the CLB/GRFP supplemental funding request;

    • No privacy-related information should be included in the request, i.e., the rationale for leave should not be disclosed to NSF;

    • Questions about the submission of a CLB supplemental funding request should be addressed to the cognizant NSF program officer.

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9. Conference Proposal[46]

NSF supports conferences in special areas of science and engineering that bring experts together to discuss recent research or education findings or to expose other researchers or students to new research and education techniques. NSF encourages the convening in the U.S. of major international conferences.

A conference proposal will be supported only if equivalent results cannot be obtained by attendance at regular meetings of professional societies. Although requests for support of a conference proposal ordinarily originates with educational institutions or scientific and engineering societies, they also may come from other groups. Shared support by several Federal agencies, States or private organizations is encouraged. A conference proposal should generally be submitted at least a year in advance of the scheduled date. Conferences, including the facilities in which they are held, funded in whole or in part with NSF funds, must be accessible to participants with disabilities.

It is NSF policy (see Chapter XI.A.1.g.) to foster harassment-free environments wherever science is conducted, including at NSF-sponsored conferences. Proposers are required to have a policy or code-of-conduct that addresses sexual harassment, other forms of harassment[47], and sexual assault, and that includes clear and accessible means of reporting violations of the policy or code-of-conduct. The policy or code-of-conduct must address the method for making a complaint as well as how any complaints received during the conference will be resolved. This policy or code-of-conduct must be disseminated to conference participants prior to attendance at the conference as well as made available at the conference itself. Proposers should not submit the policy or code-of-conduct to NSF for review.

A conference proposal must contain the elements identified below:

  • Collaborators & Other Affiliations Information (see Chapter II.C.2.h(i)) (for conference proposals in excess of $50,000)

  • Cover Sheet

  • Project Summary (see Chapter II.D.2.b)

  • Project Description (see Chapter II.D.2.d) that also includes:

    • A statement of the need for such a gathering and a list of topics;

    • A listing of recent meetings on the same subject, including dates and locations;

    • The names of the chairperson and members of organizing committees and their organizational affiliations;

    • Information on the location and probable date(s) of the meeting and the method of announcement or invitation;

    • A statement of how the meeting will be organized and conducted, how the results of the meeting will be disseminated and how the meeting will contribute to the enhancement and improvement of scientific, engineering and/or educational activities;

    • A plan for recruitment of, and support for, speakers and other attendees, that includes participation of groups underrepresented in science and engineering (e.g., underrepresented minorities, women, and persons with disabilities);

    • A description of plans to identify resources for childcare and other types of family care at the conference site to allow individuals with family care responsibilities to attend. Attendance for some participants will be dependent on the availability of such resources. This information should help enable attendees to make arrangements for family care, as needed; and

    • Results from Prior NSF Support (up to five pages). If any PI or co-PI identified on the proposal has received prior NSF support including:

      Information on the award is required for each PI and co-PI, regardless of whether the support was directly related to the proposal or not. See Chapter II.D.2.d(iii) for additional instructions on preparation of this section.

      • an award with an end date in the past five years; or

      • any current funding, including any no cost extensions,

  • Proposal Budget and Budget Justification: A budget, and budget justification for the conference prepared in accordance with Chapter II.D.2.f. The following provides a listing of the types of costs that may be included on a conference budget. When anticipated, such costs should be specifically and clearly identified in the proposed scope or work and budget. Note that registration fees under NSF-supported conferences are considered program income. For additional information on program income generated from conferences, see Chapter VIII.D.4.

    • Conference Facilities. Rental of facilities and necessary equipment.

    • Supplies. Expendable materials and supplies necessary for the meeting.

    • Conference Services. Costs of translation services, audio visual, webcast, and computer services for recording, transmitting, and transcribing the proceedings.

    • Publication Costs. Costs of publishing the proceedings.

    • Salaries. Salaries of professional personnel, editorial, clerical, and other staff members in proportion to the time or effort devoted to the preparation and conduct of the conference and summarizing its results.

    • Consultant Services and Speaker Fees. Reasonable fees and travel allowances and per diem (or meals provided in lieu of per diem). Consultants’ travel costs, including subsistence, may be included. If requested, the proposer must be able to justify that the proposed rate of pay is reasonable. Additional information on the allowability of consultant or professional service costs is available in 2 CFR §200.459. In addition to other provisions required by the proposing organization, all contracts made under the NSF award must contain the applicable provisions identified in 2 CFR §200, Appendix II.

    • Meals and Coffee Breaks. Meals that are an integral and necessary part of a conference (e.g., working meals where business is transacted). Funds may be included for furnishing a reasonable amount of hot beverages or soft drinks to conference participants and attendees during periodic coffee breaks. Proposed costs for meals must be reasonable and otherwise allowable to the extent such costs do not exceed charges normally allowed by the recipient organization in its regular operations as the result of the recipient organizations’ written policies. In the absence of an acceptable, written recipient organizational policy regarding meal costs, 2 CFR §200.475(d) will apply. Costs that will be secured through a service agreement/contract should be budgeted under Line G.6, Other Direct Costs, to ensure the proper allocation of indirect costs.

    • Participant Support Costs. (See Chapter II.D.2.f(v)).

    • Dependent Care Costs. As needed, the costs of identifying, but not providing, locally available dependent care resources may be included.

    The following provides a listing of the types of costs that are not allowable for inclusion on a conference budget:

    • (i) Meals and Coffee Breaks for Intramural Meetings. NSF funds may not be included or spent for meals or coffee breaks for intramural meetings of an organization or any of its components, including, but not limited to, laboratories, departments, and centers, as a direct cost.

      (ii) Entertainment. Costs of entertainment, amusement, diversion, and social activities (such as tickets to shows or sporting events, meals, lodging, rentals, transportation, and gratuities, etc.) are unallowable and may not be requested. Travel, meal, and hotel expenses of recipient employees who are not on travel status also are not permitted. See also Chapter II.D.2.f(xiii)(a) and 2 CFR §200.438.

      (iii) Alcoholic Beverages. No NSF funds may be requested or spent for alcoholic beverages.

      (iv) Speaker Fees. Speakers and trainers are not considered participants and should not be included in this section of the budget. However, if the primary purpose of the individual’s attendance at the conference is learning and receiving training as a participant, then the costs may be included under participant support. If the primary purpose is to speak or assist with management of the conference, then such costs should be budgeted in appropriate categories other than participant support.

  • Current and Pending Support: The support requested or available from other Federal agencies and other sources. (See Chapter II.D.2.h(ii)).

  • Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources: If there will be support from other sources for the conference, such information should be included in the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section of the proposal. The description should be narrative in nature and must not include any quantifiable financial information. Chapter II.D.2.g should be consulted to prepare this portion of the proposal. If included, these resources will not be auditable and must not be included in the proposal budget or budget justification. A description of such support should be included in the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section of the proposal.

  • Data Management Plan: Plans for management and sharing of any data products resulting from the activity. (See Chapter II.D.2i(ii)).

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10. Equipment Proposal

A proposal for specialized equipment may be submitted by an organization for: individual investigators; groups of investigators within the same department; several departments; organization(s) participating in a collaborative or joint arrangement; any components of an organization; or a region. One individual must be designated as PI. Investigators may be working in closely related areas, or their research may be multidisciplinary.

An equipment proposal must contain all of the following proposal sections:

  • Collaborators & Other Affiliations Information (see Chapter II.D.2.h(iii).);

  • Cover Sheet;

  • Project Summary (see Chapter II.D.2.b);

  • Project Description (not to exceed 15 pages) that includes:

    1. an overall acquisition plan which discusses arrangements for acquisition, maintenance, and operation. Equipment to be purchased, modified or constructed must be described in sufficient detail to allow comparison of its capabilities with the needs of the proposed activities;

    2. a description, from each potential major user, of the project(s) for which the equipment will be used. This description must be succinct, not necessarily as detailed as in a full research proposal and must emphasize the intrinsic merit of the activity and the importance of the equipment to it. A brief summary will suffice for auxiliary users; and

    3. a description of comparable equipment already at the proposing organization(s), if applicable, and an explanation of why it cannot be used. This includes comparable government-owned equipment that is on-site.

    4. Results from Prior NSF Support (up to five pages). If any PI or co-PI identified on the proposal has received prior NSF support including:

      • an award with an end date in the past five years; or

      • any current funding, including any no cost extensions,

      Information on the award is required for each PI and co-PI, regardless of whether the support was directly related to the proposal or not. See Chapter II.D.2.d(iii) for additional instructions on preparation of this section.

  • Biographical Sketch(es) of the person(s) who will have overall responsibility for maintenance and operation of the equipment and a brief statement of qualifications. (Chapter II.D.2.h(i) should be consulted to prepare this portion of the proposal; also see Chapter II.D.2.h(i)(c).

  • Proposal Budget and Budget Justification: A budget and budget justification for the operation, maintenance, and administration of the proposed equipment (Chapter II.D.2.f should be consulted to prepare this portion of the proposal).

  • Current and Pending Support: Chapter II.D.2.h(ii) should be consulted to prepare this portion of the proposal.

  • Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources that includes a description of the physical facility, including floor plans or other appropriate information, where the equipment will be located; a narrative description of the source of funds available for operation and maintenance of the proposed equipment; a brief description of other support services available, and a statement of why the equipment is severable or non-severable from the physical facility (Chapter II.C.2.i should be consulted to prepare this portion of the proposal).

  • Data Management Plan: (see Chapter II.D.2.i(ii)).

  • Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan (if applicable): Chapter II.D.2.i(i) should be consulted to prepare this portion of the proposal.

This type of proposal normally competes with proposals for research or education projects.[48]

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11. Travel Proposal

A proposal for travel support, either domestic and/or international, for participation in scientific and engineering meetings is handled by the NSF organizational unit with program responsibility for the area of interest.

A group travel proposal is encouraged as the primary means of support for travel. A university, professional society or other non-profit organization may apply for funds to enable it to coordinate and support participation in one or more scientific meeting(s). A proposal submitted for this purpose must contain the elements identified below, with particular attention to plans for composition and recruitment of the travel group. Information on planned speakers should be provided, where available, from the conference organizer.

  • Cover Sheet

  • Project Summary (see Chapter II.D.2.b)

  • Project Description (not to exceed 15 pages) that includes:

    1. A statement of the need for attending such a gathering and a list of topics;

    2. A listing of recent meetings on the same subject, including dates and locations;

    3. Information on the location and probable date(s) of the meeting;

    4. A statement of how the meeting will be organized and conducted, how the results of the meeting will be disseminated and how the meeting will contribute to the enhancement and improvement of scientific, engineering and/or educational activities; and

    5. Results from Prior NSF Support (up to five pages). If any PI or co-PI identified on the proposal has received prior NSF support including:

      • an award with an end date in the past five years; or

      • any current funding, including any no cost extensions,

      Information on the award is required for each PI and co-PI, regardless of whether the support was directly related to the proposal or not. See Chapter II.D.2.d(iii) for additional instructions on preparation of this section.

  • Proposal Budget and Budget Justification: A budget and budget justification for the travel prepared in accordance with Chapter II.D.2.f. A group travel proposal may request support only for the travel costs of the proposed activity. A recipient of a group travel award is required to retain supporting documentation that funds were spent in accordance with the original intent of the proposal. Such documentation may be required in final reports and is subject to audit. Guidance on specific costs relevant to a group travel proposal is highlighted below.

    1. Travel, meal, and hotel expenses of recipient employees who are not on travel status are unallowable. Costs of employees on travel status are limited to those specifically authorized by 2 CFR §200.475.

    2. Temporary dependent care costs (a dependent is defined in 26 USC 152) above and beyond regular dependent care that will directly result from travel to conferences are allowable costs provided that the costs are:

      (i) a direct result of the individual’s travel for the NSF conference award;

      (ii) consistent with the recipient's documented travel policy for all employee travel; and

      (iii)only temporary during the travel period.

      See 2 CFR §200.475 for additional information on travel costs.

    3. For proposals to support travel to international destinations, in accordance with the Fly America Act (49 USC 40118), any air transportation to, from, between, or within a country other than the U.S. of persons or property, the expense of which will be assisted by NSF funding, must be performed by or under a code-sharing arrangement with a U.S.-flag air carrier if service provided by such a carrier is available (see Comptroller General Decision B-240956, dated September 25, 1991). Tickets (or documentation for electronic tickets) must identify the U.S. flag air carrier’s designator code and flight number. See Chapter XI.F for additional information.

  • Current and Pending Support: The support requested or available from other Federal agencies and other sources. Chapter II.D.2.h(ii) must be consulted to prepare this portion of the proposal.

  • Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources: If there will be support from other sources for the travel, a description of such support must be included in the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section of the proposal. The description should be narrative in nature and must not include any quantifiable financial information. Chapter II.D.2.g must be consulted to prepare this portion of the proposal. If included, these resources will not be auditable and must not be included in the proposal budget or budget justification.

  • Data Management Plan: Plans for management and sharing of any data products resulting from the activity. Chapter II.D.2.i(ii) must be consulted to prepare this portion of the proposal.

  • By signing the Cover Sheet, the AOR is certifying that prior to the proposer’s participation in the meeting, the proposer will assure that the meeting organizer has a written policy or code-of-conduct that addresses sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, and sexual assault, and that includes clear and accessible means of reporting violations of the policy or code-of-conduct. The policy or code-of-conduct must address the method for making a complaint as well as how any complaints received during the meeting will be resolved. The proposer is not required to submit the meeting organizer’s policy or code-of-conduct for review by NSF.

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12. Center Proposal

NSF provides support for a variety of individual Centers and Centers programs that contribute to the Foundation's vision as outlined in the NSF Strategic Plan. Centers exploit opportunities in science, engineering, and technology in which the complexity of the research problem(s) or the resources needed to solve the(se) problem(s) require the advantages of scope, scale, change, duration, equipment, facilities, and students that can only be provided by an academic research center. They focus on investigations at the frontiers of knowledge not normally attainable through individual investigations, at the interfaces of disciplines and/or by incorporating fresh approaches to the core of disciplines. Centers focus on integrative learning and discovery and demonstrate leadership in broadening participation through focused investments in a diverse set of partner organizations and individuals. In doing so, they draw upon, and contribute to, the development of the Nation's full intellectual talent. Most Center awards are limited to a maximum duration of ten years and are often subject to mid-course external merit review. Proposers interested in learning more about current or future NSF Centers are encouraged to contact the appropriate disciplinary NSF Program Officer. Centers are not considered research infrastructure but will often use research infrastructure to meet their objectives.

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13. Research Infrastructure Proposal

As an integral part of its responsibility for strengthening the science and engineering capacity of the country, NSF provides support for the design, construction, operation, and upgrade of research infrastructure. NSF defines research infrastructure as any combination of facilities, equipment, instrumentation, computational hardware and software, and the necessary supporting human capital. Research infrastructure includes major research instrumentation, mid-scale projects and major facilities. NSF depends on the research communities to provide the justification as well as the capabilities to manage the development and implementation of research infrastructure projects. Justification normally occurs through National Academies studies, workshop reports, professional society activities, and other community-based mechanisms, including engineering studies and research projects related to the development of new technologies. Many of these mechanisms are funded by interested NSF Programs on the basis of merit-reviewed proposals.

The NSF process and funding mechanisms for development and implementation of research infrastructure projects depends, in part, on the scale of the project. Construction of the largest projects, major facilities, is typically supported through the Major Research Equipment and Facilities Construction (MREFC) account. Proposers are strongly encouraged to contact the appropriate NSF Program to discuss the availability of funding and the appropriate funding mechanisms in advance of proposal submission. The Research Infrastructure Guide, a public document managed by the Large Facilities Office, contains policies and procedures related to NSF oversight and Recipient management of larger research infrastructure projects funded by NSF. The purpose of the Research Infrastructure Guide is to: (1) provide guidance to NSF staff on conducting appropriate oversight and to recipients in carrying out effective project planning and management; and (2) clearly state the required policies and procedures as well as pertinent good practices for each life-cycle stage.

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Exhibits

Exhibit II-1: Proposal Preparation Checklist

Exhibit II-2:Potentially Disqualifying Conflicts of Interest

Exhibit II-3: Definitions of Categories of Personnel

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Footnotes to Chapter II

[6] Macintosh users also may use Helvetica and Palatino fonts.

[7] Detailed instructions for completion of this process are available in Research.gov.

[8] This government-wide certification is not included in SAM and must be submitted as part of an NSF proposal.

[9] Proposal Not Accepted is defined as Research.gov will not permit submission of the proposal by the AOR.

[10] See Chapter II.F. for the proposal preparation requirements for other types of proposals submitted to NSF.

[11] See PAPPG Chapter II.D.2.i for additional information on submission of special information and supplementary documentation.

[12] If the proposal includes use of live vertebrate animals, supplemental information is required. See Chapter II.E.4. for additional information.

[13] If the proposal includes use of human subjects, supplemental information is required. See Chapter II.E.5. for additional information.

[14] NSF recipients remain subject to the provisions of OMB M-01-06, “Clarification of OMB A-21 Treatment of Voluntary Uncommitted Cost Sharing and Tuition Remission Costs” regarding requirements for committing and tracking “some level” of faculty (or senior researcher) effort as part of the organized research base.

[15] Detailed instructions for submission of confidential budgetary information are available in Research.gov.

[16] According to the IRS, US territories and possessions are as follows: Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Guam, American Samoa, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Midway Island, Wake Island, Palmyra Island, Howland Island, Johnston Island, Baker Island, Kingman Reef, Jarvis Island, and other US islands, cays, and reefs that are not part of the 50 States.

[17] See Chapter XI.F, Grant General Conditions (GC-1) Article 10, and Article 14 in the NSF Agency Specific Requirements to the Research Terms and Conditions, as applicable, for additional information on travel restrictions.

[18] A data deposit cost is a one-time charge paid at the time a data set is deposited into a data repository. Data curation costs are expenses associated with preparing data into a form that others can use.

[19] In the rare case of funding to a foreign organization or foreign individual, see Chapter I.E.2 for additional requirements.

[20] A subaward may be provided through any form of legal agreement, including an agreement that the proposing organization considers a contract. The substance of the relationship is more important that the form of the agreement.

[21] In the rare case of funding to a foreign organization or foreign individual, see Chapter I.E.2 for additional requirements.

[22] In the rare case of funding to a foreign organization or foreign individual, see Chapter I.E.2 for additional requirements.

[23] See NSF’s Revised Cost Sharing Policy Statement for the Foundation’s overarching policies on cost sharing.

[24] Inclusion in the Budget Justification also meets this definition.

[25] For further information on procedures for inclusion of programmatic cost sharing in an NSF solicitation, see: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/csdocs/principles.pdf.

[26] 2 CFR §200.306 describes criteria and procedures for the allowability of cash and in-kind contributions in satisfying cost sharing and matching requirements.

[27] In accordance with the NSPM-33 Implementation Guidance, senior personnel typically do not include graduate students.

[28] This table supersedes in its entirety, Table 2a and Paragraph 7 of the Disclosure Requirements and Standardization Section of the NSPM-33 Implementation Guidance.

[29] See https://orcid.org for information on obtaining an ORCID ID.

[30] According to 42 U.S.C §§ 6605, "current and pending support": (A) means all resources made available, or expected to be made available, to an individual in support of the individual's research and development efforts, regardless of (i) whether the source of the resource is foreign or domestic; (ii) whether the resource is made available through the entity applying for a research and development award or directly to the individual; or (iii) whether the resource has monetary value; and (B) includes in-kind contributions requiring a commitment of time and directly supporting the individual's research and development efforts, such as the provision of office or laboratory space, equipment, supplies, employees, or students.

[31] In accordance with the NSPM-33 Implementation Guidance, senior personnel typically do not include graduate students.

[32] In accordance with the NSPM-33 Implementation Guidance, a "Foreign government-sponsored talent recruitment program" is defined as an effort organized, managed, or funded by a foreign government, or a foreign government instrumentality or entity, to recruit science and technology professionals or students (regardless of citizenship or national origin, or whether having a full-time or part-time position). Some foreign government-sponsored talent recruitment programs operate with the intent to import or otherwise acquire from abroad, sometimes through illicit means, proprietary technology or software, unpublished data and methods, and intellectual property to further the military modernization goals and/or economic goals of a foreign government. Many, but not all, programs aim to incentivize the targeted individual to relocate physically to the foreign state for the above purpose. Some programs allow for or encourage continued employment at United States research facilities or receipt of Federal research funds while concurrently working at and/or receiving compensation from a foreign institution, and some direct participants not to disclose their participation to United States entities. Compensation could take many forms including cash, research funding, complimentary foreign travel, honorific titles, career advancement opportunities, promised future compensation, or other types of remuneration or consideration, including in-kind compensation.

[33] This table supersedes in its entirety, Table 2a and Paragraph 7 of the Disclosure Requirements and Standardization Section of the NSPM-33 Implementation Guidance.

[34] See https://orcid.org for information on obtaining an ORCID ID.

[35] See the table entitled, NSPM-33 Implementation Guidance Pre- and Post-award Disclosures Relating to the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending (Other) Support for instructions on in-kind support for use on the project being proposed.

[36] Editorial board does not include Editorial Advisory Board, Scientific Editorial Board, or any other subcategory of Editorial Board. It is limited to those individuals who perform editing duties or manage the editing process (i.e., editor in chief).

[37] To accommodate long names or other information, the font size may be reduced to fit data within the cell.

[38] For purposes of meeting the mentoring requirement, simultaneously submitted collaborative proposals, and collaborative proposals that include subawards, constitute a single unified project. Therefore, only one mentoring plan must be submitted for the entire project.

[39] In situations where a postdoctoral researcher is listed in Section A of the NSF Budget, and is functioning in a Senior Personnel capacity (i.e., responsible for the scientific or technical direction of the project), a mentoring plan is not required.

[40] Detailed instructions for submission of proprietary or privileged information are available in Research.gov.

[41] Detailed instructions for the preparation and submission of collaborative proposals are available in Research.gov.

[42] Guidelines to the use of Wild Birds in Research; Guidelines of the American Society of Mammologists for the Use of Wild Mammals in Research; Guidelines for the Use of Fishes in Research; and Guidelines for the Use of Live Amphibians and Reptiles in Field and Laboratory Research.

[43] An NSF-approved format for submission of these determinations is available on the NSF website.

[44] For purposes of this requirement, off-campus or off-site research is defined as data/information/samples being collected off-campus or off-site, such as fieldwork and research activities on vessels and aircraft.

[45] See also Chapter II.D.1.d(viii).

[46] Ideas Labs are generally one to five days in duration.

[47] The supplemental funding described in this section of the PAPPG is in addition to the limited paid leave option for Fellows on Tenure with an NSF-approved medical deferral.

[48] This coverage also applies to symposia and workshop proposals.

[49] For purposes of this requirement, "other forms of harassment" is defined as "Non-gender or non-sex-based harassment of individuals protected under federal civil rights laws, as set forth in organizational policies or codes of conduct, statutes, regulations, or executive orders."

[50] See Chapter IX.D. for additional information on the administration of equipment awards.

[51] Proposal Not Accepted is defined as Research.gov will not permit submission of the proposal.

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