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National Science Foundation (NSF)

What's New 

(also see Archives for more information)

See NSF Policy Office Link for Most Recent Policy News: https://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/index.jsp.

12/12/2019: Approved format for Current and Pending Support form will be SciENcv

The National Science Foundation sent a message informing the research community that with the implementation of the 2020 PAPPG they will be requiring the Current and Pending Support documents to follow an NSF-approved format.  SciENcv has been designated as an approved format, which will produce the compliant PDF version of this form for users to save and attach to their proposal submissions in Fastlane.  This change is likely to be effective in the Spring of 2020.

10/21/2019: NSF proposals/project reports cannot be prepared or submitted from Friday Evening, 11/8 - Tuesday Morning, 11/12

The National Science Foundation (NSF) will be updating FastLane and Research.gov to migrate its business applications to a modern and flexible platform.  With this update both Fastlane and Research.gov will be unavailable from November 8 at 8:00 PM EST through November 12 at 6:00 AM EST.  Migration will result in an upgrade to the systems display of its alpha-numeric character set for proposals and project reports.  This will eliminate the use of the question mark symbol ("?") for previously un-displayable special characters.

You can use the NSF Bulletin (Called Active Funding Opportunities) link to check the latest key deadline and target dates for upcoming NSF proposals. Deadlines that fall on a weekend/holiday move to the next business day.

9/5/2019: Upcoming Changes to the NSF Biographical Sketch Format

NSF is standardizing the format for biographical sketches, which are required for all senior personnel included in a proposal. According to NSF, “Using a standard format helps reduce administrative burden and improve efficiencies by providing proposers with a compliant and reusable way to maintain this information for subsequent proposal submissions to NSF, while also ensuring that the information is submitted in a searchable composition.”

Beginning in January 2020, NSF will only accept biographical sketches that are generated through use of an NSF-approved format.  NSF has designated SciENcv as an approved format for NSF grant submissions and they are encouraging it’s use to prepare biographical sketches.  A complete description of NSF-approved format(s) will be posted on the NSF website when the 2020 Grant Proposal Guide (PAPPG) is issued.

SciENcv was developed by the National Institutes of Health and is provided free of charge on the web as the “Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae” (SciENcv) researcher profile system.   It allows for ease of input, records maintenance and downloading your SciENcv biosketch PDF file to attach to your NSF proposal submissions. NSF FastLane, NIH eRA Commons and ORCID account holders who have linked their accounts to NCBI can populate their SciENcv profiles with the information stored in their eRA, FastLane, or ORCID accounts.  The information transferred to SciENcv can be changed, hidden, augmented or deleted.   SciENcv users control the content displayed in their SciENcv profiles.

We recommend the following resources to assist with learning how to prepare your biographical sketch using the SciENcv format:

 

Please contact your OSP Proposal Team if you need further assistance.

Proposal Guidance

Guidance on the requirements of your NSF proposal will be in the solicitation and further details on proposal guidelines can be found in the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG, https://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf19001) on the NSF website.

Automated Compliance Checking of NSF Proposals (webpage includes a helpful FAQ document).

Proposal Tips

Following is a list of some NSF proposal requirements (note, this is not a comprehensive list):

  • Page numbers must be added prior to uploading files
  • Proposal font, spacing and margin requirements – use of small font sizes may be grounds for NSF to return the proposal without review
  • Project Summary – no more than 1 page in length
  • Collaborators and Other Affiliations – use the COA template provided by NSF
  • Project Description must include sections labeled “Intellectual Merit”,  “Broader Impacts” and “Results from Prior NSF Support”
  • Biographical Sketch is limited to two pages
  • Budget Justification – limited to five (5) pages; include MSU’s definition of the term “year”, sample language can be found here; specify total indirect cost amount
  • Current and Pending Support forms are required for all Senior Personnel included in the proposal.  For additional information on completing Current and Pending Support forms, see the Current and Pending/Other Support Requirements by Sponsor webpage.

Please see OSP’s NSF Proposal Checklist for detailed proposal requirements.

Submission System

NSF proposals are prepared and submitted using the Fastlane submission system.  

Obtaining an NSF ID (access to NSF Fastlane and Research.gov)

  1. To obtain a new NSF Fastlane and Research.gov account or add a new role, users now register themselves by following the steps outlined in the detailed registration process. You can also watch the Register for an NSF Account video.
    • Department Administrators should only request the Other Authorized User (OAU) role
    • Faculty should request an Investigator role
  2. To affiliate an existing Fastlane account with MSU, users can add roles at a new organization to their existing NSF account. See Working at Multiple Organizations or Moving to Another Organization in the registration process.

NOTE: Organizational or Financial roles will not be authorized for most users.

Preparing the Proposal in Fastlane

Once logged into Fastlane or Research.gov the preparer will choose “Proposals, Awards & Status”, then “Proposal Functions” and then “Proposal Preparation”.  

Proposers may upload files in Word, Excel, or PDF into the various sections of the proposal or use the FastLane templates. Some sections require the use of web templates within Fastlane. For example, the budget template calculates and formats your information to the standard NSF budget page (Form 1030), and the Current and Pending template formats your data to the standard NSF Current and Pending page.

For detailed information about how to build your proposal in Fastlane, please follow this link to the Fastlane Help document.

Budget Guidelines

The budget justification must be no more than five pages (each subaward would also have their own five page limitation). Please review the NSF program solicitation for any additional budgeting requirements.  See the PAPPG for NSF specific budget guidelines.

Personnel

Salary

Salaries requested must be consistent with the organization’s regular practices

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.

Senior Personnel

NSF generally limits salary compensation requested in the proposal budget for senior personnel to no more than two months of their regular salary in any one year. Any compensation for such personnel in excess of two months annually from all NSF projects must be disclosed in the proposal budget, justified in the budget justification, and must be specifically approved by NSF in the award notice budget.  NSF regards research as one of the normal functions of faculty members at institutions of higher education. NSF believes that faculty’s regular departmental salary support includes research and other sponsored-supported activities.

  • In the budget
    • A corresponding salary amount must be entered on the budget if person months will be requested for senior personnel.
    • Senior personnel (except for the lead PI) should be removed from Section A of the budget if salary and person months are not being requested.
  • In the budget justification
    • Spell out the term “year” in the budget justification using the annual project periods
    • Example justification language: “A. Senior Personnel - PI: CJ Bunt, University Distinguished Professor, Michigan State University salary support is requested for 1 summer month of effort and 1 academic months in each year of the grant.”
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.
Graduate and Undergraduate Students, Technical, etc.
Provide only the total number of persons and total amount of salaries requested per year in each category.
Administrative/Secretarial/Clerical

Provide the total number of persons and total amount of salaries requested per year.

In the budget justification address why administrative or clerical services are integral to the project or activity.  These services are usually considered part of the recovered F&A (see link for more information) when incurred for common or joint objectives that cannot be readily identified to a particular sponsored project. 

Equipment

Special purpose or scientific use computers or associated hardware and software may be requested as items of equipment when necessary to accomplish the project objectives and not otherwise reasonably available.  Such items must be clearly disclosed in the proposal budget and justified in the budget justification.  General purpose equipment are usually not an allowable expense.

Participant Support Costs

Participant Support Costs are for the primary purpose of attendance at a conference or training event for learning and receiving training as a participant.  Participant support costs must be specified, itemized and justified in the budget justification.  Includes stipends or subsistence allowances, travel allowances, and registration fees paid to or on behalf of participants or trainees (but not employees).  Any additional categories (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.

The number of participants to be supported must be entered in the parentheses on the proposal budget.

Budget the participants based on the type and duration of the activity, for a reasonable amount, 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.

Costs other than PSC - If the primary purpose of an individual attending the conference or training event is to speak or assist with management of the conference, then such costs should be budgeted in appropriate categories other than participant support. Funds may not be used to cover room rental fees, catering costs, supplies, etc. Incentive payments to human research subjects are not considered PSC.

Travel

Travel and its relation to the proposed activities must be specified, itemized and justified by destination and cost. 

Allowance for air travel normally will not exceed the cost of round-trip, economy airfares.

Travel costs including meal and hotel expenses of grantee employees who are not on travel status are unallowable.

For foreign travel, provide the names of countries and dates of visit in the budget justification. Domestic travel includes U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, Mexico, and U.S. Possessions.

Funds may be requested for field work, attendance at meetings and conferences, and other travel associated with the proposed work, including subsistence. However, attendance at meetings or conferences must be necessary to accomplish proposal objectives, or disseminate research results. 

Other Direct Costs

Conference Proposal
See the PAPPG for specific guidance.
Consultant Services

(Also referred to as Professional Service Costs)

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.

The proposer must be able to justify that the proposed rate of pay is reasonable.
Materials & Supplies
Budget justification must detail the types of expendable materials and supplies required.
Other
Costs must be itemized and detailed in the budget justification.
Publication/Dissemination
Includes costs of documenting, preparing, publishing or otherwise making available to others, the findings and products of the work conducted under the grant. 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.
Subaward
If known at the time of proposal submission, the intent to enter into such arrangements must be disclosed in the proposal. Each subawardee must provide a separate budget, budget justification of no more than five pages, description of the work to be performed and a signed MSU Commitment form.

F&A (Indirect Costs)

The calculation and amount should be specified in the budget justification. Except where specifically identified in an NSF program solicitation, the applicable US 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.

Cost Share

Cost sharing is rarely required by NSF and must be specified in the solicitation otherwise the proposal can be rejected. Do not include voluntary cost share in the budget, budget justification, or project description. If the PI wants to include voluntary uncommitted cost share, it must be in the Facilities, Equipment, and Other Resources section of the proposal without quantifying effort or dollars. 

NSF Programs with Mandatory Cost Sharing include:

  • Enabling Access to Cloud Computing Resources for CISE Research and Education (Cloud Access)
  • Innovation Corps Program (I-Corps)
  • Major Research Instrumentation Program
  • Robert Noyce Scholarship Program
  • Engineering Research Centers

Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research

Compliance

Conflicts of Interest (COI)

Project based and annual Conflict of Interest disclosures must be completed by all key personnel before a proposal can be submitted to NSF.  Also, annual COI disclosures must be kept up to date throughout the award project period.

Human Subjects / IRB

If the project includes human subject’s research, IRB approval will be required prior to account set-up.

Animal Subjects / (IACUC)

If the project includes animal subjects, IACUC approval will be required prior to account set-up.

NSF Policies on Harassment

NSF requires 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. For additional information, visit the Resources related to NSF Harassment Notification Requirements webpage.

Award Guidance

NSF typically issues grants with standard research terms and conditions.

Subawards

Typically the CGA Awards Group issues and amends subawards on an NSF award. At the proposal stage, please provide a budget, budget justification, scope of work and commitment form for all subawards.

Prior Approvals

NSF requires prior approval for the following:

  • Change in scope or objective of the project
  • Disengagement from the project for more than three months, or a 25 percent reduction in effort
  • Transfer of funds budgeted for participant support costs to other categories of expense
  • Subawards not budgeted
  • Incur project costs more than 90 calendar days pre-award
  • Second no-cost extension – after first 12 months
  • Salaries of administrative and clerical staff
  • Faculty salary in excess of Institutional Base Salary

Requests for prior approval are submitted via Fastlane or Research.gov.  Please see the Prior Approval Matrix for a full list of prior approvals: https://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/fedrtc/appendix_a.pdf

Reporting

The guidelines listed here are generally applicable to this sponsor. Please refer to the award notice and solicitation for any deviation to standard guidelines or specific requirements for a program.

Progress Reports

Annual Project Report
Annual Project Reports should address progress in all activities of the project, including any activities intended to address the Broader Impacts criterion that are not intrinsic to the research. These reports are not cumulative, and should be written specifically for the most recently completed budget period. Unless otherwise specified in the award, annual project reports should be submitted electronically no later than 90 days prior to the end of the current budget period to allow adequate time for the cognizant Program Officer to review and approve the report.  Failure to submit timely reports will delay processing of additional funding and administrative actions, including, but not limited to, no cost extensions.  For further information and help, see Research.gov Help.
Final Project Report
The Final Project Report should address progress in all activities of the project, including any activities intended to address the Broader Impacts criterion that are not intrinsic to the research. This report is not cumulative; it is the last annual report of the project and should be written specifically for the most recently completed budget period. By submitting the report, the PI is indicating that the scope of work for the project has been completed and that he/she does not anticipate any further action on the grant, including no cost extension requests, supplemental funding, or transfer of grant. Unless otherwise specified in the award, the final project report should be submitted electronically no later than 120 days following the end date of the grant.For further information and help, see Research.gov Help.
Project Outcomes Report
No later than 120 days following expiration of the grant, a project outcomes report for the general public must be submitted electronically. This report serves as a brief summary, prepared specifically for the public, of the nature and outcomes of the project.  For further information and help, see Research.gov Help.

Financial Reports

Not applicable

 

Other Reports

Cost Share Reports
The amount of mandatory cost sharing must be documented (on an annual and final basis), certified by the AOR, and reported to the cognizant NSF Program Officer via Research.gov. Such notifications must be submitted no later than 90 days prior to the end of the current budget period to meet the annual notification requirement, and no later than 120 days following the end date of the of the grant to meet the final notification requirement.
Program Income
The Proposal & Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) requires that all awardee organizations submit a Program Income Reporting Sheet. Starting October 1st all awardee organizations must report the amount of program income earned and expended as of September 30th each year. Awardee organizations will be required to submit the Program Income Reporting Sheet by November 14 in order to report the amount of program income earned and expended as of the end of the previous Federal fiscal year.

Effort Reporting / Cost Share

Effort Reporting

Senior Project Personnel Salaries & Wages Policy - As a general policy, NSF limits salary compensation for senior project personnel to no more than two months of their regular salary in any one year. This limit includes salary compensation received from all NSF-funded grants. This effort must be documented in accordance with the applicable cost principles. 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.

After an award is funded, increases in person months are allowable without prior approval as long as there is no change in scope.

MSU effort reporting overview and FAQ’s can be found on the Sponsored Program Administration website at the following link:
https://www.cga.msu.edu/PL/Effort/EffortReportingTools.aspx

Effort reporting instructions can also be located on the Sponsored Program Administration website: 
https://www.cga.msu.edu/PL/Portal/231/EffortReportingInstructionsEffortAdministrators

For additional questions and information, please contact the CGA Effort Reporting inbox at effortreporting@cga.msu.edu

Cost Share

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), which contained eight recommendations for NSF regarding cost sharing. In implementation of the Board’s recommendations, NSF’s revised guidance 52 (see Chapter II.C.2.g(xii)) is as follows:

  • inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited. It should be noted that foregoing full indirect cost rate (F&A) recovery is considered voluntary committed cost sharing; and
  • when mandatory cost sharing is included on Budget Line M and accepted by NSF, the commitment of funds becomes legally binding and is subject to audit. 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 grantee.

Additional information on cost share can be found on the Sponsored Program Administration website at the following link: https://www.cga.msu.edu/PL/Portal/249/CostSharePolicy

In cases where salaried cost share has been committed, MSU uses the effort reporting system for tracking and documentation. Non-salary cost share is documented through PI certified operating statements.

Record Retention

Financial records, supporting documents, statistical records and all other records pertinent to the NSF grant must be retained by the grantee for a period of three years from award financial closeout described in Chapter VIII.E.3, except as noted in 2 CFR § 200.333.

Sponsor Resources

Forms and Templates

Archives

11/15/2018: NSF Released Version 19-1 of Their Grant Proposal Guide (PAPPG)

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released a revised version 19-1 of their Grant Proposal Guide (PAPPG). This guide provides instructions for preparing and submitting proposals. A general summary can be found on our website on the Summary of NSF PAPPG 19-1 Changes Effective January, 2019 page.

9/9/2018: NSF Announced Plans to Require Institutions to Report Sexual Harassment

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. For additional information, visit the Resources related to NSF Harassment Notification Requirements webpage.

April 30, 2018: Changes to NSF Research Terms and Conditions

NSF Notice of Significant Changes regarding the NSF Agency Specific Requirements effective and dated March 1, 2018  - grants made to institutions of higher education and non-profit organizations will incorporate by reference the Research Terms & Conditions dated March 14, 2017 and the March 1, 2018 updates for new or amended awards (excluding cooperative agreements and individual-awarded fellowships). Highlights of the March 1, 2018 changes include:

  • Article 2 related to Prior Approval Requirements has been updated to reflect that Research.gov has been modified to include an “Other” category, which must be used to submit prior approval requirements that do not already have a specific request type in NSF’s electronic systems.
  • Article 35 has been added as a new section labeled Breach of Personally Identifiable Information, requiring Grantees to have procedures in place to respond to a breach of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) and notify NSF that a breach of PII within the scope of an NSF award has occurred.  This applies to Grantees that use or operate a Federal information system or create, collect, use, process, store, maintain, disseminate, disclose, or dispose of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) within the scope of an NSF award, must have procedures in place to respond to a breach of PII. These procedures should promote cooperation and the free exchange of information with NSF, as needed to properly escalate, refer and respond to a breach within the scope of an NSF award. More information is coming concerning MSU’s implementation of this requirement.

April 30, 2018: MSU Research.gov Pilot Program

National Science Foundation (NSF) is deploying Research.gov to replace the legacy system FastLane and beginning on April 30, 2018, the system will allow the preparation and submission of non-collaborative research proposals in Research.gov.   Please continue to use the Fastlane system for your proposal submissions.  OSP will be working with select departments to test and evaluate the submission of proposals through Research.gov. After the testing and evaluation period, we will share the results and MSU’s implementation plan with the MSU Research Community.  

The Proposals, Awards and Status link in NSF Fastlane ServicesIn the meantime, when you log into Fastlane you will be directed to Research.gov.  The NSF Fastlane Services are available from the home page of Research.gov.  Click the Proposals, Awards & Status link (see screenshot at right) to access the normal proposal and award functions available in Fastlane.

Updated User Login Information

As part of the process of switching from Fastlane to Research.gov, NSF has introduced a new centralized and streamlined account registration process in Research.gov that will provide each new user with a single profile and unique identifier (i.e., NSF ID) for signing in to FastLane and Research.gov for proposal and award activities. The user will self-manage their account and will request a role based on their responsibilities. The new system requires that users have only one NSF ID in the system.  For those users with only one NSF ID, the process will be a simple, one-time operation when you login.  However, an existing NSF user may have multiple IDs (e.g. if the user transferred from one institution to another and requested a new ID upon transfer).  Those users with multiple IDs will receive instructions from NSF on how to move forward.

Sample email: “Your account email address(es) are associated with more than one NSF ID. NSF users should only have one NSF ID account per the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG).  You may continue work on proposals and awards, however, NSF has logged this discrepancy and will contact you to help reconcile your multiple accounts. Please be aware that these accounts must be reconciled, however there will be a grace period before your system access will cease. If you have questions, please contact the NSF IT Help Desk at 1-800-381-1532 or rgov@nsf.gov.”

Background

FastLane was launched in 1994 and is built on technology now considered out-of-date and with inflexible architecture. This hindered NSF’s ability to quickly and cost-effectively meet NSF’s ongoing and emerging needs. Research.gov is using current technology that is integrated and flexible, enabling NSF greater automation and business process improvement. The initial release of this new capability will run in parallel with existing FastLane proposal preparation and submission capabilities.  Beginning on April 30, 2018, proposers will be able to prepare and submit full, research non-collaborative proposals in the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Research.gov system.

November 20, 2017

In October, NSF issued a Dear Colleague letter indicating that the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) will no longer require the submission of pre-proposals or have a fixed annual deadline for proposal submissions. This change is specific to BIO and NSF has no plans to have all NSF funding opportunities move to a no-deadline policy. Once the new solicitations are issued, the NSF Available Funding website page https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_list.jsp?ord=date_asc&org=NSF&sel_org=NSF&status=1&showItems=All will be updated to reflect which proposals will be accepted at any time (https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2018/nsf18011/nsf18011.jsp  “All four [BIO] divisions will release new solicitations to replace these in the middle of calendar year 2018, inviting proposals to be funded with FY 2019 funds. There will be no deadlines for submissions to any of the new solicitations.”)  For more information regarding the history of the BIO’s decision to make this change, see Jeffery Mervis’s article published on the ScienceMag.org website http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2017/10/nsf-drops-preproposals-deadlines-biologists-seeking-funding.

November 15, 2017

  • Notice reminder - NSF proposals using the Collaborators and Other Affiliations template for more than 10 senior project personnel will encounter proposal print preview issues. If there are more than 10 individuals designated as senior project personnel on the proposal, or if there are print preview issues when using the COA template, each completed template must be saved as a .txt file [select the Text (Tab Delimited) option] rather than as an .xlsx or .xls file. This format will still enable preservation of searchable text and avoid delays in processing and review of the proposal.  For Fastlane system-related questions, please contact FastLane User Support at 1-800-673-6188 or fastlane@nsf.gov. Policy-related questions regarding the content of the COA template should be directed to policy@nsf.gov.
  • The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released a revised version 18-1 of their Grant Proposal Guide (PAPPG). This guide provides instructions for preparing and submitting proposals.  A general summary can be found on our website at https://cga.msu.edu/PL/Portal/749/SummaryofNSFPAPPG181ChangesEffectiveJanuary2018.

May 24, 2017

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is moving its headquarters to Alexandria, Virginia (link to notice).  The email addresses and phone numbers for NSF employees and NSF offices will not change. NSF plans to minimize the move’s impact on the research community as much as possible. There are a few important impacts listed below:

  • Due to the move of NSF's Data Center, NSF.gov, FastLane and Research.gov will be unavailable from Friday, June 30 at 8:00 PM until Tuesday, July 4 at 6:00 PM EDT. This move has been scheduled around a holiday weekend to minimize downtime and reduce the impact on the research community and NSF staff. During this outage period, proposals cannot be submitted in FastLane, and project reports and cash requests cannot be submitted in Research.gov. However, previously saved information and uploaded documents in FastLane and Research.gov, including in-process proposals and reports, will be accessible after the Data Center moves.
  • The physical move to NSF's new headquarters will be phased over a six-week period, beginning Thursday, August 24 through Sunday, October 1. During this time, you may experience delayed response times when trying to communicate with NSF employees who will be in the midst of this move.
  • NSF Cost Share FAQS - http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/csfaqs_jan13.pdf

NSF will have a new mailing address effective Monday, October 2, 2017, as follows:

National Science Foundation
2415 Eisenhower Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22314

If you have any questions related to NSF’s move please contact Craig O’Neill, oneillc@osp.msu.edu.

April 17, 2017

Effective April 24th 2017 NSF proposals will require the use of the spreadsheet for disclosing Collaborators and Other Affiliations (COA) (see https://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/coa.jsp for more information). The spreadsheet is directly uploaded into FastLane as a “Collaborators and Other Affiliations Single Copy Document”. The spreadsheet must be saved in .xlsx or .xls format.

November 8, 2016

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released a revised version 17-1 of their Grant Proposal Guide (PAPPG). This guide provides instructions for preparing and submitting proposals.  A general summary can be found on our website at https://www.cga.msu.edu/PL/Portal/437/SummaryofNSFPAPPG171ChangesEffectiveJanuary2017.

August 24, 2016

A draft version of the PAPPG can be located at the following link: https://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/papp/pappg17_1/draftpappg_may2016.pdf  It is anticipated to be effective in January 2017.  More details will be provided in the near future regarding the changes.

Oct 21, 2015

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released a revised version 16-1 of their Grant Proposal Guide (PAPPG). This guide provides instructions for preparing and submitting proposals.  A general summary can be found on our website at 
https://www.cga.msu.edu/PL/Portal/337/SummaryofNSFPAPPG161ChangesEffectiveJanuary2016

April 20, 2015

Beginning April, 24, 2015, proposals submitted in response to Program Solicitations in FastLane will undergo a series of  automated proposal compliance validation checks to ensure they comply with requirements outlined in the Proposal & Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (Chapter II.C.2. of the Grants Proposal Guide (GPG)). These checks will automatically validate a proposal for compliance against proposal sections per type of funding mechanism. For example, an error message will appear if a project description or budget are not provided in proposals submitted in response to a Program Solicitation.

Checks will be triggered when proposers select the “Check Proposal,” “Forward to SPO,” or “Submit Proposal” functions. Depending on the rule being checked, a warning or error message will display when a proposal is found to be non-compliant. If an error message appears, the proposal cannot be submitted until it is compliant.

Please note that these automated compliance checks will not be conducted on proposals submitted to NSF via Grants.gov.

To view a detailed list of all compliance checks, click here

April 7, 2015

NSF has provided a frequently asked questions (FAQs) document on their implementation of 2 CFR §200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance).  Two clarifications related to pre-award are budgeting travel and the implementation of the 10% de minimus indirect cost (F&A) rate if not previously negotiated.

  • Travel and its relationship to the proposed activities must be specified, itemized and justified by destination and cost.  Budgets should provide as much information that is available, however, NSF recognizes that all details may not be available at the time of proposal submission and, thus, the justification might not provide such information.
  • NSF will accept budgets that include indirect costs (F&A) at the institution's applicable U.S. federally negotiated indirect cost rate or the 10% de minimus MTDC rate if not negotiated.
    • Budgets with 0% is not acceptable as this would represent a form of voluntary committed cost sharing which is prohibited under NSF's Cost Sharing Policy.
  • NSF Cost Share FAQS - http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/csfaqs_jan13.pdf
    • NSF-OSP Cost Share Summary -

https://www.cga.msu.edu/PL/Portal/220/NSFCostSharingPolicy

January 19, 2015

On January 26, 2015, the National Science Foundation (NSF) implemented changes in FastLane to run additional automated compliance checks on proposals.

Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 15-1) - Automated Compliance Checks: FastLane will begin to run an additional 24 automated compliance checks on proposals to ensure they comply with requirements outlined in the PAPPG, Chapter II.C.2 of the Grants Proposal Guide (GPG). These checks will validate a proposal for compliance with page count, proposal sections per type of funding mechanism and budget related rules for proposals submitted in response to the GPG, Program Announcements and Program Descriptions. At this time, these checks will not be enforced for proposals submitted in response to Program Solicitations.

  • Page Count: Page count rules will be enforced on the following proposal sections:
    • Project Description: 15-page limit [exceptions: 8-page limit for Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER), and 5-page limit for Rapid Response Research (RAPID)]
    • Budget Justification: 3-page limit for the proposing institution and a separate, 3-page limit for each sub-recipient organization
    • Mentoring Plan: 1-page limit
    • Data Management Plan: 2-page limit
  • Budget: Budget-related checks will focus primarily on proposal duration and requested amount. For example, the system will enforce a maximum requested amount of $200,000 for a RAPID proposal and $300,000 for an EAGER proposal.
  • Proposal Section: Proposal sections will be enforced by their funding mechanism for Program Announcement, Program Description and other GPG-type funding opportunities. For example, an error message will appear if a Project Description was not provided for an EAGER proposal.
  • Budget Justification Upload: Budget justification can no longer be entered as text. Awardees will be required to upload a budget justification for each organization added to the budget via an upload screen. Already, 95% of proposers take advantage of the upload option.

The checks detailed above will be triggered when the “Check Proposal,” “Forward to SPO,” or “Submit Proposal” functions are selected by a proposer or proposing organization. Depending on the rule being checked, a warning or error message will display when a proposal is found to be non-compliant. If an error message appears, the organization will not be able to submit the proposal until it is compliant. To view a detailed list of all compliance checks, click here.

November 20, 2014

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released version 15-1 of their Grant Proposal Guide (GPG). This guide provides instructions for preparing and submitting proposals.  A general summary can be found on our website at 
https://www.cga.msu.edu/PL/Portal/308/SummaryofNSFPAPPG151ChangesEffective122614

October 6, 2014

The Fall 2014 NSF Grants Conference Update Presentations -  can be found at the following link:  https://www.cga.msu.edu/PL/Portal/306/NSFUpdatePresentationsFall2014NSFGrantsConference

February 1, 2014

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released version 14-1 of their Grant Proposal Guide (GPG). This guide provides instructions for preparing and submitting proposals.  A general summary can be found on our website at https://www.cga.msu.edu/PL/SiteFiles/GetFile.aspx?id=286

January 23, 2014

Reminder - For all NSF proposals budgeting postdoctoral researchers, a supplemental document describing the PI’s overall mentoring plan must be included. The one-page plan must address those individuals supported directly by MSU as well as any collaborating organizations (e.g. a subawardee or collaborative project proposal). This plan will be evaluated by NSF as part of the “Broader Impacts” review criterion.  NSF has stated that any proposals lacking this document will not be reviewed.  More information concerning MSU's Individual Development Plans (IDP) for Postdocs and Graduate Assistants can be found that the following link: https://www.osp.msu.edu/PL/Portal/293/MSUsIndividualDevelopmentPlansIDPforPostdocsandGraduateAssistants

July 16, 2012

Reminder - NSF Data Management Plan required for all proposals and OSP information can be found at the following link: https://www.cga.msu.edu/PL/Portal/219/NSFDataManagementGovernmentwideemphasisoncommunityaccesstodata

May 23, 2011

Reminder- NSF's cost sharing policy has been revised to implement the National Science Board's recommendations regarding cost sharing. The following changes have been implemented with the newest version of the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (NSF 11-1), and went into effect for proposals submitted on or after January 18, 2011.  More information can be found at the following link: https://www.cga.msu.edu/PL/Portal/220/NSFCostSharingPolicy

 

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 "to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…" With an annual budget of about $6.9 billion (FY 2010), we are the funding source for approximately 20 percent of all federally supported basic research conducted by America's colleges and universities.

Category:     Subcategories: OSP, Policy, Proposal

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