Grant Proposal Guide 03-2
Grant Proposal Guide
Table of Contents
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
Appendix C
Appendix D



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Office of Budget, Finance & Award Management
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22230

Dear Colleagues:

We have published a revision to the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) (NSF 03-2) that is effective for proposals submitted on or after October 1, 2002. This revision implements:

  • Important Notice 127, dated July 8, 2002, entitled, Implementation of new Grant Proposal Guide Requirements Related to the Broader Impacts Criterion. This Important Notice reinforces the importance of addressing both criteria in the preparation and review of proposals submitted to NSF and specifies that, effective October 1, 2002, NSF will return without review proposals that do not separately address both merit review criteria within the Project Summary;
  • New guidance on inclusion of Universal Resource Locators (URLs) in the Project Description;
  • Revised instructions for completion of the Collaborators and Co-Editors section of the Biographical Sketch;
  • Expanded coverage on Conflicts of Interest to assist PIs in the proposal preparation process;
  • Updated listing of scenarios in which a proposal may be returned without review by NSF;
  • New FastLane enhancements for proposal withdrawals and proposal file updates; and
  • New coverage on Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities.

Other sections have been revised, as appropriate, to update the GPG to ensure consistency with current NSF policies, practices or procedures. A summary of significant changes is provided to assist the user in navigating through these changes.

The GPG is available electronically on the NSF Website. Organizations or individuals unable to access the GPG electronically may order paper copies (maximum of 5 per request) by either of the following means:

  • phoning the NSF Publications Clearinghouse at (301) 947-2722; or
  • sending a request to or the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, P.O. Box 218, Jessup, MD 20794-0218.

Please address any questions or comments regarding the GPG to the Policy Office, Division of Grants & Agreements at (703) 292-8243 or by e-mail to

Thomas N. Cooley
Chief Financial Officer &
Director, Office of Budget, Finance & Award Management