Questions and NSF Responses on Program Solicitation NSF
Question: Is it acceptable to include website
links in the preliminary and final proposals?
NSF Response: URLs that provide information
related to the proposal or the proposing organization are not permitted.
Question: Is it acceptable to include pictures
in the preliminary and final proposals?
NSF Response: In accordance with the NSF
Grant Proposal Guide, visual materials, including charts, graphs,
maps, photographs and other pictorial presentations are included
in the page limitation.
Question: Can you give us guidance on the
difference between key personnel and named personnel?
NSF Response: Key personnel are considered
essential to the overall successful performance of the organization
in fulfilling its responsibilities under the agreement; prior to
diverting those individuals to other activities or programs, NSF
approval would be required. These include director, co-director,
and senior managers designated as Key by the proposing organization. Biographical
sketches must be provided for these individuals in the Biographical
Sketches section. Biographical sketches for other individuals
identified by name in the proposal but not specified by the proposing
organization as Key should be provided in an appendix; if they
were to be reassigned the awardee would be required to notify NSF
but the agency’s approval would not be required.
Question: It is difficult to predict what
specific subcontracts will be required over the 5 year performance
period, including with regard to funding that may come through
the cooperative agreement from other federal agencies and given
the need to compete these subcontracts. Is it acceptable
to do a sample of subcontracts over $250, 000 based on history?
NSF Response: Identify and provide separate
budgets for those subawards and subcontracts exceeding $250,000
that the proposing organization knows at the time of proposal submission
that it will require for successful performance of its obligations. All
subawards/ subcontracts exceeding $250,000 that are not known at
the time of proposal submission will be subject to the prior approval
requirements of Article 49, “Subaward Requirements” of
the Cooperative Agreement Supplemental Financial & Administrative
Terms and Conditions for Managers of Federally Funded Research
and Development Centers (FFRDCs), available at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/cafatc/cafaffrdc906.pdf.
Question: Is there a definition of “professional
employees”? (see page 13, second bulleted point)
NSF Response: The term applies to all employees
who, in accordance with the organization’s policy, are entitled
to receive compensation including salaries, wages, director’s
and executive committee member’s fees, incentive awards,
fringe benefits, pension plan costs, allowances for offsite pay,
incentive pay, location allowances, hardship pay, and cost of living
differentials. If the organization offers a tiered system
of benefits, provide that information for each level in the organization.
Question: We are unclear on the inclusion
or exclusion of references. The Solicitation says that the
FastLane form for References should not be submitted. Is
it acceptable to use footnotes for references?
NSF Response: References are not required,
but may be provided within the project description provided the
proposal conforms with requirements for proposal preparation and
Question: With regard to Biographical Sketches,
the solicitation says that “the GPG guidelines on order and
format do not apply for this section of the proposal.” Should
we follow the GPG guidelines on content?
NSF Response: The content provided in Biographical
Sketches should be appropriate to the management of an organization
and scientific research programs rather than limited to standard
academic biographical sketches.