Texas Tech University
Scholarly Messenger
Upcoming Revision of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide

[Reprinted from an e-mail sent by NSF to the research community]

The National Science Foundation (NSF) intends to release a new Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) in October 2012, with an anticipated effective date of January 2013. The Foundation formally announced our intention to revise the PAPPG in the Federal Register on May 25, 2012.

The upcoming release is driven in large part, though not solely, by revisions incorporated as a result of the National Science Board’s (NSB) report, National Science Foundation’s Merit Review Criteria: Review and Revisions. NSF’s plans for implementation of the Board’s recommendations are described in Important Notice No. 132, released in March 2012. The NSB determined that the two current Merit Review Criteria (Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts) remain appropriate for evaluation of NSF proposals and should be retained. They did, however, seek to clarify and enhance the function of the criteria.

In the Important Notice, NSF indicated that the public would have an opportunity to provide input on the proposed changes to the PAPPG. In addition to the merit review revisions, other significant changes to the Guide include:
  • updates to the guidance on indirect costs;
  • a new format for submission of the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources information that will be available in the FastLane system when the PAPPG becomes effective in January 2013. The new format will assist proposers in complying with the NSF cost sharing policy;
  • information on the Award Cash Management $ervice (ACM$) that will replace the FastLane Cash Request service;
  • modifications to the Conflict of Interest coverage to specify that the NSF Office of the General Counsel (OGC) will work with institutions that report an unmanageable conflict of interest and will follow up with the institution regarding appropriate next steps; and
  • new guidance on Dual Use Research of Concern.

The Foundation invites the research community to access and review a draft version of the PAPPG at http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/papp/pappg2012_draft.pdf; the proposed significant changes are highlighted in yellow throughout the document. A detailed summary of all of the significant proposed revisions is available at the beginning of the document. Comments may be submitted as indicated in the Federal Register notice. In order to permit ample time for the community to respond, NSF is extending the comment period originally published in the Federal Register and will be accepting comments until cob July 12, 2012.

We appreciate the research community’s interest and look forward to your input.