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A Guide for Proposal Writing
Table of Contents
Program Information
Review Process
Criteria for Evaluation
Advice to Proposal Writers
Step 1 - Before You Write
Step 2 - Writing the Proposal
Step 3 - Before Sending Your Proposal to NSF
Step 4 - Awards and Declinations

Program Information

Following is a list of grant publications with a short description. For those that are published annually, no NSF publication numbers are shown since they will change. Most of these documents are available on the NSF's online document system (https://www.nsf.gov/pubsys/ods). You can also receive publications electronically via e-mail by sending a request for a publication to getpub@nsf.gov. Paper copies may be requested online at https://www.nsf.gov/home/orderpub.htm or can be ordered via mail by contacting the NSF Publication Clearinghouse, P.O. Box 218, Jessup, MD 20794-0218 or by phone at (301) 947-2722.

  • The Guide to Programs provides background information about all of the Foundation’s activities in education and research. The Guide to Programs is available on the Web at https://www.nsf.gov/pubsys/ods/getpub.cfm?gp.

  • The Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) provides guidance for the preparation and submission of proposals to NSF. Some NSF programs have Program Solicitations that modify the general provisions of the GPG, and, in such cases, the guidelines provided in the solicitation must be followed. The GPG is available on the Web at https://www.nsf.gov/pubsys/ods/getpub.cfm?gpg.

  • Each Program Solicitation or Announcement describes the program and indicates the exact format for the preparation of the proposal and the criteria for evaluation.

  • NSF has published the 2002 User-Friendly Handbook for Project Evaluation (NSF 02-057), FOOTPRINTS: Strategies for Non-Traditional Program Evaluation (NSF 95-41), and User-Friendly Handbook for Mixed Method Evaluations (NSF 97-153) that proposers may wish to obtain. There are also two online evaluation resources that proposers my wish to explore: the Online Education Resource Library (http://oerl.sri.com) and the Field-tested Learning Assessment Guide (FLAG) (http://www.flaguide.org).

Information specific to undergraduate programs can be found on DUE's Web site at http://www.ehr.nsf.gov/ehr/due/. You my also contact DUE by e-mail (undergrad@nsf.gov) or by phone (703-292-8670). Information about DUE funded projects can be found at http://www.ehr.nsf.gov/ehr/due/awards/.