A proposal may be withdrawn at any time before a final decision is made. A request for withdrawal must be signed by both the PI and the Authorized Organizational Representative. Confirmation of withdrawal requests will be sent by NSF. NSF must be notified if any funding for the proposed project is received from another source or sponsor. If it is brought to NSF's attention that funding for a proposal to NSF has been accepted from another sponsor, NSF will send a withdrawal confirmation letter to the PI and the Authorized Organizational Representative without waiting for the official withdrawal request.

NSF does not normally return the copies of withdrawn proposals to the proposer but does retain a file copy. Copies of reviews received by NSF before a proposal is withdrawn will be provided to the PI.

NSF provides copies of withdrawal, return, declination, reconsideration or resubmission information to both the PI and the Authorized Organizational Representative.


Proposals may not be considered for review by NSF for the following reasons: (1) inappropriate for NSF funding; (2) submitted with insufficient lead time before activity is to begin; (3) does not meet NSF requirements for proposal content, format, etc.; (4) does not meet announced proposal deadline date requirements; (5) the proposal was previously reviewed and declined and has not been substantially revised; or (6) the proposal is a duplicate of or substantially similar to a proposal already under consideration by NSF.


A PI whose proposal for NSF support has been declined generally will receive information and an explanation of the reasons for declination along with copies of the reviews considered in making the decision. If that explanation does not satisfy the PI, he/she may request additional information from the cognizant Program Officer.


If the explanation provided does not satisfy the PI, he/she may request that the cognizant NSF Assistant Director or Office Head reconsider the action to determine whether the proposal received a fair and reasonable review, both substantively and procedurally. A PI whose proposal has not been accepted because it is inappropriate for consideration by NSF may also request reconsideration of this determination. The request for reconsideration must be in writing and must be received within 90 days after the date of the declination letter or return. If the proposing organization is still not satisfied after reconsideration by the responsible Assistant Director/Office Head, it may, within 60 days after the determination by the Assistant Director/Office Head, request further reconsideration by the NSF Deputy Director. Consult GPM Section 900 for additional information on the NSF reconsideration process.


A declined proposal may be resubmitted, but only after it has undergone substantial revision. Resubmittals that have not clearly taken into account the major comments or concerns resulting from the prior NSF review may be returned without further review. The Foundation will treat the revised proposal as a new proposal, subject to the standard review procedures.

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