Standard Grants, in which NSF agrees to provide a specific level of support for a specified period of time with no statement of NSF intent to provide additional future support without submission of another proposal (see below).
Continuing Grants, in which NSF agrees to provide a specific level of support for a specified period of time, usually a year, with a statement of intent to provide additional support of the project for additional periods provided funds are available and the results achieved warrant further support.
Notification of an award is by a letter signed by a Foundation Grants Officer, addressed to the organization to which the grant is made. An NSF award consists of: (1) the award letter, which includes any special provisions applicable to the award and any numbered amendments thereto; (2) the budget, which indicates the amounts, by categories of expense, on which the Foundation has based its support; (3) the proposal referenced in the award letter; (4) the general conditions applicable to the award, such as Grant General Conditions (NSF GC-1) or Federal Demonstration Project Terms and Conditions; and (5) any NSF brochure, program guide, announcement or other NSF issuance that may be incorporated by reference in the award letter. Copies of the award letter and general conditions are provided for the Principal Investigator and the organization's business office. Electronic mail notification is also used to transmit Foundation award documentation to institutions that have electronic mail capabilities and have requested such notification from the Budget Division, NSF Office of Budget, Finance, and Award Management.
The grant period begins on the effective date specified in the grant letter or, in its absence, the date of the grant letter, and runs until the expiration date indicated. Unless the grantee is a participant in the Federal Demonstration Project, the expiration date may include a 6-month "flexibility period," for which no additional funds are provided, but during which expenditures may be charged against the grant. Expenditures incurred within the 90 day period preceding the effective date of the grant may be authorized by the grantee organization. Such expenditures however, are made at the grantee's risk. Expenditures after the scheduled expiration date of the grant may be made only to honor documented commitments made on or before the expiration date. Principal Investigators should consult their business offices for details.
Incremental funding for continuing grants within the total duration of the project is based on Foundation staff review of Progress Reports and proposed budget (if required) and does not require submission of a new proposal. For each increment, one copy of the NSF Form 1328, Annual NSF Grant Progress Report, addressed to the cognizant program office, with a copy to the Authorized Institutional Representative, must be received by the Foundation at least 3 months before the end of the period currently being funded. The certification on the NSF Form 1328 must be signed. (See Appendix D for NSF Form 1328.) Requests should include:
Proposals for additional funding for a support period subsequent to that provided by a standard or continuing grant compete with all other pending proposals and should be submitted either at least 6 months before additional funding is required or consistent with an established deadline or target date. In preparing a renewal proposal, proposers should assume that reviewers will not have access to the previous proposals.
All proposals for renewed support of research projects from academic institutions only must include, as part of Results from Prior NSF Support, information about any contribution of the completed project to the education and development of human resources in science and engineering at the postdoctoral, graduate and undergraduate levels. Commercial organizations and non-profit organizations are exempt from this requirement.
Unless precluded by individual program requirements, Principal Investigators can choose either of two formats for a renewal proposal:
A Program Officer may recommend the extension of funding for certain research grants beyond the initial period for which the grant was awarded. The objective of such extensions is to offer the most creative investigators increased opportunity to attack adventurous, "high-risk" opportunities in the same general research area, but not necessarily directly related to those pursued under the existing grant. The category of awards eligible for such extensions is normally limited to three-year continuing grants.
Special Creativity Extensions are initiated by the NSF Program Officer based on progress during the first 2 years of a 3-year grant; Principal Investigators will be informed of such action a year in advance of the expiration of the grant.
4. Supplemental Funding If funds provided by a grant are insufficient to complete the original scope of work, the grantee may submit a request for supplemental funding to the cognizant NSF Program Officer at least 2 months before funds are needed. Such requests should include a brief justification and a budget signed by the Principal Investigator and the authorized institutional representative. Supplemental funding will not be approved for such purposes as defraying costs associated with increases in salaries or additional indirect-cost reimbursement.
In addition, limited supplemental funds are available for special NSF programs, such as Research Experiences for Undergraduates, Research Opportunity Awards and Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities. (See Sections V. G. and H. and the appropriate program brochures.)
C. No-Cost Extensions
A one-time extension of the grant expiration date for up to 12 months may
be provided by the grantee organization prior to the expiration date of the grant.
The grantee must provide written notice of the extension, giving the new
expiration date, to the cognizant NSF grants officer at the time of the
If additional time beyond the extension provided by the institution is required and exceptional circumstances warrant, a formal request must be submitted to NSF. Two copies of the request, signed by the Principal Investigator and an authorized Institutional Representative, must be received by the cognizant program office at least 45 days before the expiration date of the grant. The request must explain the need for the extension and include an estimate of the unobligated funds remaining and a plan for their use. The plan must adhere to the original or amended objectives of the project. That unobligated funds remain at the expiration of the award is not in itself sufficient justification for an extension.
An approved no-cost extension will be issued by an NSF Grants Officer in the form of an amendment to the grant specifying a new expiration date. For extensions provided by institutions, no amendment will be issued.