NSF UPDATE: Significant Changes to Grant Proposal Guide, effective 2-24-2014

January 9, 2014

The National Science Foundation recently published an updated Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures (PAPP) Guide. The new guidance contains significant changes and clarifications to the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG). The changes will be effective for proposals submitted on or after Feb. 24, 2014. The full text of the PAPP Guide can be found here: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappguide/nsf14001/nsf14_1.pdf; a complete list of the changes and clarifications can be found here.

A partial list of the changes is below:

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 and documented in a letter of commitment from each collaborator.

Biographical Sketches – There are two changes with respect to biosketches. The first is that information included beyond what the GPG specifies (i.e., “funded grants,” “awards and recognitions,” etc.) may result in the proposal being returned without review. Secondly, if only publications are included in the “Products” section of the biosketch, it is acceptable to use the heading “Publications.”

Environmental Impacts Checklist – NSF will pilot the use of a new Institution/Organization Environmental Impacts Checklist in a small number of programs. At the time of an award, NSF may request the proposing institution submit information detailing the potential environmental impacts of the project. Several agencies already collect this at the proposal stage. This is being done in order to comply with several federal statutes, including, the National Environmental Policy Act and the Endangered Species Act.

Proposals for Conferences, Symposia and Workshops – Proposals for these activities will now be required to include a description of plans to identify resources for child care and other types of family care at the conference site to allow individuals with family care responsibilities to attend.

As previously mentioned, this is only a partial list of the changes to the Grant Proposal Guide. All researchers with upcoming submissions should review the full list of changes carefully. Proposals may be returned without review if they do not adhere to and follow the guidance provided in the Grant Proposal Guide.