FY 2001 Grant Proposal Guide

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Search the GPG:
I. Introduction
II. Proposal Preparation Instructions
III. NSF Proposal Processing and Review
IV. Withdrawals, Returns and Declinations
A. Withdrawals
B. Returns
C. Declinations
D. Reconsideration
E. Resubmission
V. The Award and Continued Support
VI. Grant Administration Highlights
  Appendix A
  Appendix B
  Appendix C

IV. Withdrawals, Returns and Declinations


A proposal may be withdrawn at any time before a final decision is made. PIs may submit a request for the withdrawal of a proposal via e-mail to the cognizant NSF Program Officer, with a copy to their organization's Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR). Sponsored Projects Offices and AORs also may e-mail withdrawal requests to the cognizant NSF Program Officer. 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 AOR without waiting for the official withdrawal request.

Copies of reviews received by NSF before a proposal is withdrawn will be provided to the PI. NSF provides notice of a withdrawal, return, declination, reconsideration or resubmission to both the PI and the AOR.


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, page limitations, format, electronic submission via FastLane (unless a deviation has been obtained in advance of the paper submission [see Chapter II, Section A. for further information on deviations]) 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 reason(s) for declination (via paper or e-mail form) 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 NSF Program Officer or Division Director.


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.


Effective: 1/1/02  

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