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I. Introduction
II. Proposal Preparation Instructions
III. NSF Proposal Processing and Review
IV. Withdrawals, Returns and Declinations
V. The Award and Continued Support
VI. Grant Administration Highlights
  Appendix A
  Appendix B

Summary of Significant Changes

  • Overall Document -- Minor editorial changes have been made throughout the document to either clarify or enhance the intended meaning of a sentence or section. This version of theGrant Proposal Guide (GPG) fully implements Important Notice 123. In accordance with this change, Appendix A of the previous GPG, the Proposal Forms Kit and any references to them have been removed. References to the use of the NSF website to obtain information regarding NSF programs and funding opportunities have been added. In addition, given the installation of a new phone system at the Foundation, all of the effected phone numbers throughout the document have been updated with the correct information.

  • Foreword -- The first two paragraphs, that related to paper-based approaches, have been removed.

  • Chapter I -- Section A, Overview, has been condensed and detailed references to unsolicited and solicited proposals have been eliminated. In addition, the paragraph on proper scholarship and attribution in NSF proposals has been moved to Section B to improve the flow of the document.

  • Chapter I -- Section C, NSF FastLane System, has been removed now that references to FastLane are incorporated throughout the document.

  • Chapter I -- Section D, When to Submit Proposals, has a new term relating to submission of proposals. In addition to target dates and deadline dates, NSF also utilizes submission windows. Submission windows are designated periods of time during which proposals will be accepted for review by NSF.

  • Chapter I -- Section E, How to Submit Proposals, has been revised to be consistent with Important Notice 123. New instructions have been added for proposals that contain high resolution or other graphics where exact color representations are required for proper interpretation by the reviewers. When a proposal that contains graphics is submitted, FastLane will notify the proposer of how many color copies will need to be sent to NSF within five working days following electronic submission of the proposal. Submission of the paper copies is in addition to, not in lieu of, submission of the proposal via FastLane.

  • Chapter II -- Section B.2, Proposal Margin and Spacing Requirements, has had language added to clarify NSF’s intent for margins and spacing in the proposal. The guidelines in the GPG establish the minimum requirements, but PI’s are advised that readability is of paramount importance and should be seriously considered when choosing which font size to use.

  • Chapter II -- Section C, Sections of the Proposal, references the pilots that NSF is conducting regarding the use of electronic signatures. Further, all specialized proposal preparation guidelines (such as for collaborative, equipment or conference proposals) have been incorporated into this section of the GPG.

  • Chapter II --Section C.3, Project Description, has been supplemented with language to specify that Project Descriptions must be submitted as PDF files. The section also has been updated with language to highlight the importance of ensuring that, in addition to the criterion relating to intellectual merit, the criterion relating to broader impacts is considered and addressed in the preparation and review of proposals submitted to NSF. In addition, the Group Proposals section has been updated to provide a more descriptive definition of a group proposal as well as to provide important information regarding page limitations for group proposals. Previously, this information was contained in a footnote.

  • Chapter II -- Section C.6, Budget, consolidates all of the instructions for the creation of a proposal budget now that the paper-based NSF Form 1030 has been eliminated.

  • Chapter II -- Section C.6.a.(iii), Confidential Budgetary Information, has been supplemented with instructions on how to submit the confidential salary information to NSF. Such information must be submitted to NSF in an itemized statement with the signed Cover Sheet. Only one copy of this statement is required.

  • Chapter II -- Section C.7, Current and Pending Support, has been updated to include foreign government agencies and public foundations in the list of sources of support that must be listed.

  • Chapter II -- Section C.11.a, Small Grants for Exploratory Research (SGER), continues the supplementation and extension process for SGER awards that was previously scheduled to expire October 1, 2000.

  • Chapter III -- Section A, Review Criteria, has been supplemented with language that highlights Important Notice 125. This Notice reminds proposers of the importance of ensuring that the criterion relating to broader impacts is considered and addressed in the preparation and review of proposals submitted to NSF, in addition to the criterion relating to Intellectual Merit. NSF staff will continue to ensure that this criterion is taken into consideration when making funding decisions. Given the importance of both criteria, the designations “Criterion 1” and “Criterion 2” have been removed to help eliminate the perception that one criterion may be more important than the other.

  • Chapter III -- Section C, Revisions to Proposals made during the Review Process, has been updated to inform proposers that all budgetary revisions made during the review process must be submitted electronically via FastLane.

  • Chapter IV -- Section B, Returns, has been supplemented to state that if proposals are not submitted electronically, they can be returned and not considered for review by NSF, unless a deviation has been authorized in advance of the paper submission.

  • Chapter V (of GPG 00-2) -- Special Programs, no longer exists. Some of the information on programs such as Doctoral Dissertation Research and International Travel Grants has been moved to Chapter II.C.11, Special Guidelines, to consolidate that material into one section for ease of use and readability. Information on the other special programs listed in the previous Chapter V is available on the NSF website.

  • Chapter V -- Section B.2, Renewal Proposals, has been clarified to state that both traditional renewals and accomplishment-based renewals must be submitted electronically via FastLane.

  • Chapter V -- Section B.4, Supplemental Funding, has been revised to state that requests for supplemental funding may be initiated via the FastLane Notification and Request module. In the future, a supplemental funding request option will be available in FastLane and an addendum to the GPG describing the process may be issued at that time.

  • Chapter V -- Section C, No-Cost Extensions, has been updated to reflect that all no-cost extensions, both grantee-authorized and NSF-approved, must now be submitted via FastLane.

  • Chapter VI -- Section B, Prior Approval Requirements, has been updated to specify that, with the exception of: Change of PI; Transfer of a Significant Portion of the Project Effort (Subaward); PI Transfer; and Requests for Supplemental Funding; all requests for prior approval to NSF must be submitted electronically via FastLane.

  • Chapter VI -- Section G.2, Quarterly and Final Expenditure Reports, has been updated to reflect that all Federal Cash Transaction Reports (SF 272) must be submitted electronically via the Business Office functions in FastLane.

  • Appendix A -- Programs Providing Support for Scientific and Engineering Research and Education and Appendix B -- Checklist for Proposal Preparation (of GPG 00-2), have been removed. Up-to-date information on Foundation programs can be found on the NSF website. Given that proposals only will be accepted via FastLane, the need to have a checklist of paper forms to be submitted is now obsolete.

  • The Proposal Forms Kit also has been eliminated due to the fact that proposals now must be submitted electronically and therefore, paper forms are no longer necessary. The Cover Sheet for Proposal to the National Science Foundation (NSF Form 1207, Pages 1 and 2) as well as all other NSF proposal formats can be electronically generated via the NSF FastLane System.

  • Appendix A -- Drug-Free Workplace Certification, is being added as an appendix to the GPG. Previously, the certification was part of the instruction sheet that accompanied the Cover Sheet for Proposal to the National Science Foundation in the Proposal Forms Kit. The Cover Sheet can be electronically generated via FastLane. We have included the full text of the certification as Appendix A of this GPG.

  • Appendix B -- Definitions of Categories of Personnel, used to be Appendix C in the prior GPG. This appendix provides definitions of the personnel categories listed on the proposal budget.



Effective: 10/1/00 Modified: 9/18/00  

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