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COVID-19: Information from SPA/OSP/CGA

Summary of NSF PAPPG 19-1 Changes Effective January, 2019

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released a revised version of the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), version 19-1. Below are some notable policy changes that we wanted to draw your attention to. These changes will be effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 28, 2019. For the complete PAPPG including NSF's summary of changes, please visit: https://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf19001.  Please contact your OSP Proposal Team with any proposal related questions, or the CGA Awards Group with any post-award questions.

Proposal – Conference and Equipment Proposals

Collaborators and Other Affiliations information is now required for conference proposals over $50,000 and all equipment proposals.  NSF uses this information for the selection of reviewers.

Proposal – Resubmission Guidelines

Three NSF directorates (GEO, BIO and ENG) have moved to a “no deadlines” policy which includes a delayed resubmission requirement.

  • Why the change? A GEO pilot research project studying the submission process found that the number of GEO proposal submissions have declined significantly and the spikes in proposal volume was essentially being driven by the required submission deadline dates. The new policy allows a PI to submit a new proposal when they’re ready.  The updated policy also allows the solicitation to specify a re-submission delay period.  This delay will allow the PI sufficient time to consider the reviewers comments before resubmitting. Additionally, a NSF declined proposal with the same title and PI and co-PIs might not be accepted by NSF for a specified period of time which could range from 6 months to a year.
  • This is not a foundation-wide policy and applies to programs that have no deadlines.

Proposal – Proposal Coversheet includes Foreign Organization identifier

A new box has been added on the Cover Page for the PI to identify funding to Foreign Organizations. This will facilitate the processing of these proposals by NSF program staff. The box for "Funding of a Foreign Organization, including through use of a subaward or consultant arrangement" must be checked if the proposal includes funding for a foreign organization.  If the PI considers the foreign organization’s involvement to be essential to the project (e.g., through subawards or consultant arrangements), they must explain why local support is not feasible and why the foreign organization can carry out the activity more effectively. In addition, the proposed activity must demonstrate how one or more of the following conditions have been met:

  • The foreign organization contributes a unique organization, facilities, geographic location and/or access to unique data resources not generally available to U.S. investigators (or which would require significant effort or time to duplicate) or other resources that are essential to the success of the proposed project; and/or
  • The foreign organization to be supported offers significant science and engineering education, training or research opportunities to the U.S.

Such information must be included in the project description section of the proposal.

Proposal – Participant Support Costs (PSC) has updated guidelines

NSF guide addresses situations where an individual may be both a speaker and a conference participant.

  • Primary Purpose:
    • 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 PSC.
    • 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 PSC.

NSF guide clarifies that PSC does not include costs such as:

  • Room rental fees
  • Catering costs
  • Supplies not used by or in support of a specific individual participant

Proposal – Contractual services

Contractual services for the purpose of obtaining procured goods and services should be in the Other (line G6) budget category

  • Do not use the Consultant Services (line G3) budget category
  • Do not use the Subcontracts (line G5) budget category

Award - Implementation of NSF’s policy on sexual harassment and other forms of harassment, or sexual assault

On September 19, 2018, NSF announced plans to combat sexual harassment where NSF funded projects are conducted by requiring institutions to report findings of sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, or sexual assault by principal and co-principal investigators (PI/Co-PI) to the foundation.  NSF now requires institutions to notify the agency if any NSF-funded PI/Co-PI are being investigated for sexual or other forms of harassment and found in violation of relevant institutional policies. Institutions also will be required to notify the agency if the individual was placed on administrative leave or other administrative action was taken during or as a result of an investigation. MSU’s institutional implementation of NSF’s Important Notice 144 is being led by Sponsored Programs Administration (SPA), the Office for Civil Rights and Title IX Education and Compliance, the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) and Faculty and Academic Staff Affairs. The NSF notification process will follow MSU’s existing institutional policy to investigate allegations of sexual misconduct and other forms of harassment.  More information regarding MSU’s processes can be found on this website.

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