Preparing Supplemental Funding Requests for IOS Awarded Grants

Select link below to go directly to a relevant section or scroll through the page to review all the types of supplements.


Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS)
November 23, 2022

General Supplement Guidance:
Funds to support planned REU, REPS, RET, RAHSS and ROA activities may be submitted in the original proposal and included in the full proposal budget at the time of submission.

Post-award supplemental funding is only available to PIs and Co-PIs with active awards and is intended for unanticipated opportunities only and should be justified on this basis. CLB and INTERN supplements may be submitted at any time. The target date for all other supplement requests to most IOS programs is March 1 annually (or next business day if that is a weekend or holiday) for optimal consideration for funding during the current fiscal year. Supplement requests are not automatically awarded - they are competitive and subject to NSF approval and availability of funds. Please contact the managing program director for your award prior to submitting your request.

CAREER LIFE BALANCE SUPPLEMENTS should be submitted as early as possible so that the award may be made prior to the start of the PI, CoPI, senior personnel, post-doc or graduate student's family leave.

Before submitting a supplement request, review the guidance for that specific type of supplement and keep the following in mind:

  • No supplements can be awarded if there are any overdue project reports associated with anyone on the award including Co-PIs and all members of a collaborative project.
  • Supplemental funds generally must be expended by the expiration date of the original award.
  • The IRB/IACUC documentation must be up-to-date and include the timeframe of the supplement.
  • If the award budget already included Participant Support funds to support students or teachers, the extenuating circumstances leading to the request for additional funding must be explained clearly in the request.
  • Unless otherwise stipulated in the original award, the indirect cost rates for any supplements should be the same as in the original award; see NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) X.D for more information on indirect cost rates.
  • The supplement duration cannot exceed the expiration date of the parent award.

How to Submit: Supplemental funding requests are prepared and submitted through A full demo of how to request supplemental funding can be found at NSF Supplemental Request Preparation ( or linked under "Awards & Reporting." If you wish to request more than one type of supplement, please submit each request separately. After you have prepared the request for supplemental funding, forward it to your organization's Sponsored Research Office for submission.

Guidance for Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Supplements:
For guidance about preparing an REU Supplement request for an existing NSF award, contact the managing program director for the NSF award that would be supplemented.

The information required is detailed in the REU Program Announcement, accessible from the REU home page, in section V, Proposal Preparation Instructions, under the heading "Request for REU Supplement." Please read this section carefully and include all the required information in your request.

As budgets allow, IOS typically provides funds for only one REU student per year. However, programs will consider supporting two or more REU students if the PI can demonstrate a unique opportunity for broadening participation from historically underrepresented groups in the biological sciences. Centers or large research efforts may request support for a number of students commensurate with the size and nature of the project. Please contact the managing program director for the award prior to submitting your request.

Guidance for Research Experiences for Post-Baccalaureate Students (REPS) Supplements:
NSF BIO continues to accept requests for supplemental funding or requests as part of proposals, for up to 12 months of participant support for an eligible post-baccalaureate student. Priority for funding will be given to support individuals who have not had prior research experiences and/or individuals who will aid in NSF's goal of ensuring diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in STEM fields.

The supplemental funding request should be submitted in in accordance with the guidelines found in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG).

Additional specific guidance for the REPs supplement:

  • In the section entitled "Summary of Proposed Work," state that this is a REPS request and provide brief information on the number of participants, the mentor names and potential projects, and professional development activities that will be part of the program. This section typically does not exceed one page.
  • In the section entitled "Justification for Supplement," describe in detail the participant's involvement in the research project, a description of the potential project, the mentoring plan for the participant including any professional development activities, and information on the recruited participant, including a brief biographical sketch. Describe how the proposed program would contribute to the participants' long-term career goal and how the supplemental funding will serve to broaden participation.

Funds to support REPS may also be included in full proposals. If REPS funds are requested as part of a full proposal, a description of those activities, limited to 3 pages, should be included in the supplementary documents.

Guidance for Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Supplements:
RET supplements are intended to encourage active participation by K-12 science teachers in on-going NSF projects. See Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Dear Colleague Letter for detailed submission instructions. This is the same opportunity found in the REU solicitation. Before submitting an RET request (as part of a new or renewal NSF proposal or as a supplemental funding request to an existing NSF award), we strongly encourage the Principal Investigator to contact the managing program director for his/her particular NSF award, or a program director for the program to which the proposal will be submitted. Budgets for RET activities are generally under $15,000 per teacher. Teacher expenses associated with RET should be entered in "Participant Support Costs" in the budget, and non-teacher expenses, such as materials and supplies, should be in other sections of the Budget. All expenses should be explained in the budget justification.

Guidance for Research Assistantships for High School Students (RAHSS) Supplements:
RAHSS supplements are intended to increase student interest in studying the biological sciences and broaden participation of high school students from underrepresented groups. Budgets for RAHSS activities are generally under $6,000 per student. See the Research Assistantships for High School Students (RAHSS) Dear Colleague Letter for details.

Guidance for Research Opportunity Awards (ROA):
Research Opportunity Awards (ROAs) are typically used to enable faculty members at PUIs to pursue research as visiting scientists with NSF-supported investigators at other institutions. An ROA is intended to increase or maintain the visitor's research capability and effectiveness, to improve research and research teaching capabilities at his or her home institution, and to enhance the impacts and outcomes of the NSF-funded research of the host principal investigator. Most frequently, ROA activities are summer experiences, but partial support of sabbaticals may sometimes be provided.

The information required is detailed in the RUI/ROA Program Announcement, primarily in Sec. II.B. with additional instructions thereafter regarding proposal preparation including submission of certification of RUI/ROA eligibility. Please read the program announcement carefully and include all the required information in your request.

Typical ROA awards are for $20,000-$80,000 for periods of two to 12 months, although the amount varies depending on the type of request and duration. The requested budget should be appropriate for the scope of the project being proposed. Many factors, including the nature of the project, number of investigators, and the project's duration affect the amount requested. We strongly encourage a conversation with the managing program director before submitting an ROA supplement request to determine if the proposed budget is within the appropriate funding range for the particular program and circumstances.

Funds should be requested at least 3 months before the funds will be needed. For optimal consideration for funding in the current fiscal year, requests should be submitted by March 1 of each year.

Guidance for Career Life Balance (CLB) Supplements:
The Division will continue to support Career Life Balance (CLB) supplements. Funded Principal Investigators (PIs) are invited to submit supplemental funding requests to support additional personnel (e.g., research technicians or equivalent) to sustain research when the PI, co-PI, other Senior Personnel, post-doc or graduate student is on family leave. More details and instructions for applying for these supplements can be found in the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) II.F.8.

Career Life Balance Supplements may be submitted at any time (there is no target date).

Guidance for Non-Academic Research Internships for Graduate Students (INTERN):
The goal of INTERN is to provide graduate students with experiential learning opportunities through research internships to acquire core professional competencies and skills to support careers in any sector of the U.S. economy. Further information and supplement preparation instructions are available in the INTERN Dear Colleague Letter.

This opportunity is open to PIs (and co-PIs) who are supporting graduate students through an active NSF award. A PI for an active GRFP fellowship (not the GRFP fellow) should contact GRFP regarding specific GRFP requirements before submitting a supplemental funding request on behalf of a GRFP fellow. The Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) does not have limitations or special conditions.

The PI/co-PI of an active NSF award may request supplemental funding for one or more graduate students who are currently supported by the award to gain knowledge, skills and experiences that will augment their preparation for a successful long-term career through an internship in a non-academic setting, including the following:
  • For-profit industry laboratories or industry research and development groups
  • Start-up businesses, such as (but not limited to) those funded through the NSF's Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) program
  • Government agencies (all levels) and National Laboratories
  • Museums, science centers, and other informal learning settings
  • Policy think-tanks
  • Non-profit organizations

PIs are encouraged to discuss with the managing program director activities that are synergistic with the NSF project scope. It is expected that the graduate student and the PI on the NSF grant will work together to identify innovative experiences that add the most educational value for the graduate student through activities that are not already available at the student's academic institution. Further, it is expected that the internship will be research-focused in a STEM field or in STEM education research and will be on-site at the host organization unless a specific exception to this is granted due to extenuating circumstances by the managing program director.

INTERN supplement requests may be submitted at any time (there is no target date).

Guidance for Mid-Career Investigator Supplements (MCI):
As described in the IOS core solicitation and the PGRP solicitation. MCI Supplements provide support for mid-career researchers/scientists to acquire new skills in any additional area of organismal biology, or to add the use of new tools and/or novel technologies to answer organismal questions. MCI activities may be included in proposals submitted to the above solicitations, or as supplements to existing awards. Requests for MCI supplements may include support for research visits, for participation in training opportunities in other laboratories, and for the use of research facilities not available at the applicant's institution. Support can be requested for an investigator's own activities or to host an eligible mid-career investigator and can include a request for salary support during periods of training.