New updates to the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide effective 11/22/2021

11/30/2021

Effective November 22, 2021, the National Science Foundation (NSF) enhanced the Research.gov Proposal Submission System, NSF Public Access Repository, and NSF.gov Award Search. Here's what to know.

Research.gov Proposal Submission System Enhancements

  • Preliminary proposals and full proposals related to a preliminary proposal are now supported in Research.gov. The program solicitation will clearly state whether Research.gov is available for submission.
  • Program solicitations that permit a Project Description to exceed 15 pages are now supported in Research.gov. Proposers must follow the Project Description page limit requirements in the program solicitation. Proposers also should be aware that page limit requirements in a solicitation may vary by track or program. For a program solicitation that does not include Project Description page limit instructions, follow the guidance in the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1).
  • Center and Research Infrastructure proposal types are also now available for submission in Research.gov.
  • New automated compliance checks and associated error and warning messages for the newly enabled proposal and submission types were also implemented. Error messages will prohibit proposal submission to NSF, whereas warning messages still permit proposal submission. Visit the Automated Compliance Checking of NSF Proposals page to view the current compliance checks for Research.gov proposals.
  • All supported proposal and submission types and the associated compliance checks are also in the Research.gov Proposal Preparation Demo Site. See the demo site frequently asked questions (FAQs) on the Research.gov About Proposal Preparation and Submission page for information on demo site access and features.
  • New FAQs were added to the gov About Proposal Preparation and Submission page for the above-referenced enhancements, and the Proposal Submission Capabilities page has been updated to reflect the latest development updates.
  • NSF is transitioning all proposal preparation and submission from FastLane to Research.gov by a target date of December 31, 2022. NSF funding opportunities are being enabled in Research.gov as new functionality is added, and FastLane will continue to be incrementally removed from funding opportunities as a submission option through December 31, 2022. We invite you to join our System Updates listserv to stay updated on the transition by sending a blank email to system_updates-subscribe-request@listserv.nsf.gov.

NSF Public Access Repository (NSF-PAR) Enhancements

  • NSF-PAR functionality has expanded with the ability for Principal Investigators (PIs) and co-PIs to include NSF-funded datasets in the PAR and associate them with NSF Award IDs as part of a PAR 2.0 pilot.
  • The implementation of PAR 1.0 focused on articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and papers in juried conference proceedings. PAR 2.0 is the next stage of a phased implementation adding the capability for public access to datasets by enabling researchers to auto-populate metadata for reposited datasets by means of Digital Object Identifiers (DOIs). NSF-PAR only stores the metadata and DOI and not the dataset itself in the repository.
  • Dataset reporting in NSF project reports remains optional and adding datasets to the NSF-PAR is currently voluntary. Automatic population of NSF-PAR datasets into NSF project reports will be enabled in the Research.gov Project Reporting System in 2022. There are no changes at this time to NSF’s Public Access policy or project reporting requirements.
  • Training resources including how-to guides with step-by-step instructions on how to associate datasets to NSF Award IDs in NSF-PAR and manage products are available on the Research.gov About Public Access page. Information about the NSF Public Access Initiative including FAQs is available on the NSF Public Access Initiative page.
  • The PAR 2.0 pilot is anticipated to continue through calendar year 2022. Although not required, we hope that you will start including research datasets in PAR and associating them to NSF Award IDs as soon as possible. NSF is very interested in your feedback during the pilot to help us make improvements before any changes are made to the Public Access policy and project reporting requirements in the future. Feedback may be submitted by email to publicaccess@nsf.gov.

NSF.gov Award Search Enhancements

  • NSF has added a predefined "American Rescue Plan Awards" search to the features of Award Search to quickly and easily identify NSF awards that include funding from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021.
  • To access and use the new predefined American Rescue Plan search:
    • Open the Award Search link;
    • Select the "Popular Searches" tab on the top navigation bar; and
    • Click the predefined "American Rescue Plan Awards" search option.
  • American Rescue Fund search results can be viewed in text or table formats and are sortable by eight key fields. In addition, the search results can be exported and downloaded, and can be further refined by state, NSF organization, and other fields. Please refer to the Overview of Search Features for additional details.

Questions? If you have IT system-related questions regarding any of these enhancements, please contact the NSF Help Desk at 1-800-381-1532 (7:00 AM - 9:00 PM ET; Monday - Friday except federal holidays) or to rgov@nsf.gov. Policy-related questions should be directed to policy@nsf.gov.

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10/18/2021

NSF’s Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide was updated effective 10/4/21. Many of these updates were previously shared with this list on 7/6/21. One recent update is of particular significance: NSF has modified its guidance to state that “Postdoctoral scholars, students or visiting scholars supported by an external entity” have to be disclosed on Current & Pending Support forms and Project Reports if “there is an associated time commitment.” Penn State has updated its NSF questionnaire to prompt investigators to include this information. Additional guidance can be found here.

A more detailed update from NSF follows:

From: NSF Business Applications <NSF_Business_Applications@NSF.GOV>
Sent: Monday, October 4, 2021 4:25 PM
Subject: Now Available: New Proposal and Submission Types and System Enhancements to Support the Revised PAPPG (NSF 22-1)

Dear Colleagues:

Effective October 4, 2021, the National Science Foundation (NSF) made a number of system updates for proposals submitted in Research.gov, FastLane, and Grants.gov in accordance with the implementation of the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1). Please see the list of PAPPG (NSF 22-1) significant changes and clarifications for all of the updates. New proposal and submission types were also enabled in the Research.gov Proposal Submission System.

 New Proposal Types in the PAPPG

The PAPPG (NSF 22-1) incorporates two new "Other Types of Proposals":

 Planning Proposals

  • Planning proposals must be prepared and submitted in Research.gov.
  • Refer to PAPPG Chapter II.E.1. for Planning proposal requirements.

 Career-Life Balance (CLB) Supplemental Funding Requests

  • CLB supplemental funding requests must be prepared and submitted in FastLane.
  • Refer to PAPPG Chapter II.E.8. for CLB supplemental funding request requirements.

 Updates to NSF-approved Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support Formats

  • The NSF-approved biographical sketch and current and pending support formats were updated to incorporate revisions in the PAPPG (NSF 22-1) and must be used for proposals submitted or due on or after October 4, 2021.
  • The current formats are posted on the NSF biographical sketch and current and pending support websites.  Updated system-related Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are also available: FAQs on using SciENcv and FAQs on using NSF fillable PDF. SciENcv documents created using the previous version (i.e., NSF 20-1) prior to October 4th are automatically converted in SciENcv to the current version after October 4th.
  • Biographical sketch format updates include increasing the page limit from two to three pages.
  • Current and pending support format updates include the addition of new sections for information on objectives and overlap with other projects to help NSF and reviewers assess overlap/duplication.
  • Biographical sketches and current and pending support information also must be uploaded with Change of Principal Investigator (PI) and Add/Change co-PI requests in FastLane.
  • When notifying NSF that active other support has changed since the award was made, or since the most recent annual report, current and pending support information must be uploaded in annual and final project reports in the Research.gov Project Reporting System.
  • Research.gov, FastLane, and Grants.gov will generate a compliance error message if a proposer or grantee attempts to upload a prior version of the biographical sketch or current and pending support formats on or after October 4th.

Removal of Blank Pages from the Current and Pending Support Fillable PDF

  • Research.gov, FastLane, and Grants.gov will remove any pages which do not contain data entered by users (i.e., blank pages) from the NSF-approved current and pending support fillable PDF.
  • The trimming service is triggered in Research.gov and FastLane during document upload and during proposal submission in Grants.gov.
  • The trimming service only applies to the NSF-approved current and pending support fillable PDF and not to any other uploaded PDFs. Current and pending support PDFs generated in SciENcv do not include blank pages.
  • The current and pending support fillable PDF document is paginated, and the PDF page numbers will not be updated during the trimming process. This means that it is possible for the trimmed PDF to have skipped page numbers corresponding to the blank pages removed from the fillable PDF.

Research.gov Proposal Submission System Enhancements

  • The Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) and Planning proposal types and the Letter of Intent submission type are now available for submission in Research.gov.
  • New automated compliance checks and associated error and warning messages for the enabled proposal and submission types were also implemented. Error messages will prohibit proposal submission to NSF, whereas warning messages still permit proposal submission.
  • All supported proposal and submission types as well as associated compliance checks are also enabled in the Research.gov Proposal Preparation Demo Site.
  • New FAQs were added to the Research.gov About Proposal Preparation and Submission page, and the Proposal Submission Capabilities page has been updated to reflect the latest development updates.
  • Research.gov proposal features continue to expand to support the transition of all proposal preparation and submission functionality from FastLane to Research.gov by a target date of December 31, 2022. Many NSF funding opportunities are supported in Research.gov and clearly specify whether submission via Research.gov is available or required.

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