NSF News, Info and Policy Changes

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), (NSF 19-1) has been issued.

Significant changes include:

      1. NSF Proposal Preparation and Submission, has been updated to provide information about the modernization of the proposal preparation functionality in Research.gov.
      2. Dear Colleague Letters (DCLs), has been revised to address an expanded use of the DCL. They also may now be used to announce NSF’s interest in receiving proposals in specified topical areas via the following types of proposals described in Chapter II.E.: Rapid Response Research (RAPID); Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER); Research Advanced by Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering (RAISE); and Conference.
      3. Full Proposals, incorporates reminders regarding the importance of strict adherence to the rules of proper scholarship and attribution throughout the entire proposal and award lifecycle. Serious failure to adhere to such standards can result in findings of research misconduct.
      4. Unaffiliated Individuals, has been revised to state that unless specifically authorized in an NSF solicitation, unaffiliated individuals are ineligible to receive direct funding support from NSF.
      5. Subawards, has been updated to clarify that the description of the work to be performed by the subaward must be included in the project description.
      6. Types of Proposals, specifies that “RAPID”, “EAGER” and “RAISE” must be included in the proposal project title. The language has been updated to indicate that these proposal types are not eligible for reconsideration.
      7. Conferences, has been supplemented with new language that requires conference proposers to have a policy or code-of-conduct that addresses sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, or sexual assault.
      8. Conference proposals in excess of $50,000 must include the Collaborators & Other Affiliations Information in the proposal submission.
      9. Guidance in the Participant Support Costs section of conference proposals has been updated to clarify that speakers and trainers are not considered participants and should not be included in this section of the budget. If the primary purpose of the individual’s attendance at the conference is learning and receiving training as a participant, however, 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.
      10. Equipment Proposals, has been updated to specify that equipment proposals must include the Collaborators & Other Affiliations Information in the proposal submission.
      11. Resubmission, has been revised to establish that NSF programs that accept proposals at any time may have guidelines in which a declined proposal is ineligible for resubmission for a specified period of time.
      12. Grantee Notifications to NSF, has been updated to include two new grantee notifications to NSF to implement the Foundation’s term and condition entitled, “Notification Requirements Regarding Sexual Harassment, Other Forms of Harassment, and Sexual Assault.”
      13. Changes in PI/PD, co-PI/co-PD or Person-Months Devoted to the Project at the Initiation of NSF, is an entirely new section that describes the process that will be used by NSF upon receipt of notification.
      14. Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR), has been supplemented with language encouraging the training of faculty in the responsible and ethical conduct of research.
      15. Intellectual Property, incorporates into the PAPPG, existing patent policy that was previously implemented by regulation at 45 CFR 650.
      16. NSF will not tolerate sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, or sexual assault within the agency, at awardee organizations, or anywhere NSF-funded science and education are conducted.

NSF Biosketches and Other Support Templates and Examples



(i) Senior Personnel

A biographical sketch (limited to two pages) is required for each individual identified as senior personnel. (See Exhibit II-7 for the definitions of Senior Personnel.) Proposers may elect to use third-party solutions, such as NIH’s SciENcv to develop and maintain their biographical sketch. However, proposers are advised that they are still responsible for ensuring that biographical sketches created using third-party solutions are compliant with NSF proposal preparation requirements.

The following information must be provided in the order and format specified below. 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).

(a) Professional Preparation

A list of the individual’s undergraduate and graduate education and postdoctoral training (including location) as indicated below:

Undergraduate Institution(s)LocationMajorDegree & Year
Graduate Institution(s)LocationMajorDegree & Year
Postdoctoral Institution(s)LocationAreaInclusive Dates (years)

(b) Appointments

A list, in reverse chronological order, of all the individual’s academic/professional appointments beginning with the current appointment.

(c) Products

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. Acceptable products must be citable and accessible including but not limited to publications, data sets, software, patents, and copyrights. Unacceptable products are unpublished documents not yet submitted for publication, invited lectures, and additional lists of products. Only the list of ten will be used in the review of the proposal.

Each product must include full citation information including (where applicable and practicable) names of all authors, date of publication or release, title, title of enclosing work such as journal or book, volume, issue, pages, website and URL or other Persistent Identifier.

If only publications are included, the heading “Publications” may be used for this section of the Biographical Sketch.

(d) Synergistic Activities

A list of up to five distinct examples that demonstrate the broader impact of the individual’s professional and scholarly activities that focuses on the integration and transfer of knowledge as well as its creation. Examples should be specific and could include, among others: innovations in teaching and training (e.g., development of curricular materials and pedagogical methods); 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; and service to the scientific and engineering community outside of the individual’s immediate organization. Examples with multiple components are not permitted.

A separate biographical sketch pdf file, or other NSF-approved template, must be uploaded in FastLane for each individual designated as senior personnel.

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

(a) Postdoctoral associates

(b) Other professionals

(c) Students (research assistants)

(iii) Equipment Proposals

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

(a) Short biographical sketch; and

(b) 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.


NSF Biosketch Instructions and Formatting

NSF Biosketch Example

Current and Pending Support

NSF Current and Pending Template

Collaborators and Other Affiliations

NSF Collaborators and Other Affiliations Template and Instructions