NSF Issues Revised Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has issued a revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 20-1) effective for proposals submitted or due, and awards made, on or after June 1, 2020.
Significant changes include required use of an NSF-approved format for the biographical sketch and current and pending support documents. NSF will only accept PDFs that are generated through use of an NSF-approved format. To assist the research community, NSF has developed webpages with additional information for the preparation of the biographical sketch and current and pending support.
NSF is partnering with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to use SciENcv: Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae as an NSF-approved format for use in preparation of the biographical sketch and current and pending support sections of an NSF proposal. NSF also will release a fillable PDF (coming soon) as another NSF-approved format for the biographical sketch and current and pending support documents.
To view presentation slides from the Feb. 6, 2020 webinar NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 20-1) Significant Changes & Clarifications Training for the External Community, see the NSF Grants Conferences webpage. FAQs will be posted soon.
- NSF will require use of an NSF-approved format in submission of the biographical sketch and current and pending support documents, once the PAPPG (NSF 20-1) becomes effective. Adoption of a single, common researcher profile system for federal grants reduces administrative burden for researchers.
- SciENcv will produce an NSF-compliant PDF version of the biographical sketch and current and pending documents. Proposers must save these documents and submit them as part of their proposals.
- NSF also will provide a fillable PDF (coming soon) for use in preparation of both documents. Proposers will be able to download the fillable PDF from the NSF website, complete the form, and upload it as part of their proposal.
- Use of an NSF-approved format will not be required until implementation of the PAPPG (NSF 20-1) on June 1, 2020.
- If an NSF-approved format is used and then converted to Word to make edits and a new pdf generated from Word, then this version will not be accepted as an approved version.
Some additional changes to the PAPPG include the following:
- The biographical sketch has been supplemented with additional language to the Appointments section, to increase clarity regarding the information that must be provided. Appointments should include any titled academic, professional, or institutional position, whether or not remuneration is received. The Synergistic Activities section has been updated to clarify that synergistic activities should be specific and must not include multiple examples to further describe the activity.
- NSF will require clarifications to current and pending support coverage as well as other changes throughout the current and pending support document.
- The Project Description has been revised to remove the requirement to contain, as a separate section within the narrative, a section labeled “Intellectual Merit.” In addition, another example has been added to the list of societally relevant outcomes in the Broader Impacts paragraph.
- NSF will require proposing organizations to submit government-wide representations and certifications in the System for Award Management (SAM).
- NSF will require e-mail documentation of Program Officer approval for the submission of RAPID and EAGER proposals.
You are encouraged to review the by-chapter summary of changes provided in the Introduction section of the PAPPG (NSF 20-1). If you have any questions regarding these changes, please contact the DIAS/Policy Office at email@example.com.
While this version of the PAPPG becomes effective on June 1, 2020, in the interim, the guidelines contained in the current PAPPG (NSF 19-1) continue to apply.