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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

Step 4 - Awards and Declinations

If The Grant is Awarded

If the proposal is successful, make the best possible use of the funds awarded. Situations may arise that require changes in your plans to accomplish the goals of the project. Within broad limits described in the grant conditions (reference GC-1, FDP, and NSF’s Grant Policy Manual) and within the overall budget, such changes may be possible. Consult your institution’s sponsored research office or grant administration office for guidance.

In addition, let others know about your project. This may include providing advice or assistance to faculty developing similar projects. It clearly includes disseminating products and results. Make sure that other scientists and educators learn about your activities through correspondence, telephone conversations, presentations, and publications. Finally, reference the National Science Foundation as well as the sponsoring Division and/or program in all presentations and publications.

If Your Proposal is Not Funded

If the proposal is not funded, consider the reviews of the panel and the comments from NSF staff objectively and seriously. Consult NSF staff if necessary and, unless the feedback indicates otherwise, submit a revised or new proposal the following year. Many awards made in the programs have been for proposals that were revised thoughtfully and resubmitted after having been declined initially.

Your institution may have a strong enough commitment to the project to provide funding. You may also discover other funding avenues open to you. If you have contacts with business and industry in your community, a company in the private sector may be interested in helping fund your project. Often, institution grant officers have directories that include the names of other foundations and their funding priorities.

A Final Note

The National Science Foundation is looking for proposals of programs that will improve the quality of education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at all levels. It seeks to support the best science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education activities that meet the needs of target audiences. It is in our mutual best interest to have your proposal be of the highest quality.

We hope that you have found this Guide helpful and encourage you to contact a Program Director at NSF for additional information.