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NSF 05-131 July 2005

Summary of Significant Changes

Overall Document

  • Editorial changes have been made throughout the document either to clarify or enhance the intended meaning of a sentence or section.

Dear Colleague Letter

  • The phone number and mailing address for NSF publications have been updated.


  • The phone number for contacting NSF via the Telephonic Device for the Deaf (TDD) has been updated to include a toll free number.
  • Information on has been added as an addition search mechanism for Federal government-wide grant opportunities.


  • The Acronym listing has been updated to reflect current names for documents or organizations. Acronyms that no longer appear in the GPM have been removed from the listing.

Chapter I Basic Information

  • The Division of Grants and Agreements (DGA) has reorganized and its description has been revised to reflect its current mission and function. DGA is responsible for the business, financial and administrative review of recommended grants, cooperative agreements and other assistance awards, and assuring that they are consistent with applicable policies, regulations, directives and fund certifications. (GPM 113 “Division of Grants and Agreements”)

  • A new division, Division of Institution and Award Support (DIAS), has been added to the Office of Budget, Finance and Award Management. DIAS is responsible for risk assessment and post-award monitoring activities, grants and agreements policy including clearance of NSF proposal-generating documents, outreach to the external community, cost analysis and award support, audit resolution and electronic awards and procurement systems administration. (GPM 114 “Division of Institution and Award Support”)

  • References to the Division of Acquisition and Cost Support have been removed, as the division has reorganized and been renamed the Division of Contracts and Complex Agreements (DCCA). DCCA is responsible for solicitation, negotiation, award and administration of NSF contracts and of complex cooperative agreements for NSF’s research facilities, major research tools and various science, technology, engineering and education center programs (GPM 115 “Division of Contracts and Complex Agreements”)

Chapter II NSF Awards

  • The definition of Principal Investigator/Project Director (PI/PD) has been expanded to include coverage of co-PI/PD. (GPM 210, “Definitions”)

  • PIs may access their award notices via FastLane. (GPM 230, “Award Instrument”)

  • Cooperative Agreement (CA) coverage has been revised to include CA Technical/Programmatic and CA Financial/Administrative Terms and Conditions. (GPM 240, “NSF Award Conditions”)

  • The first NSF approved no-cost extension will be subject to the approval of the cognizant NSF Program Officer. The second NSF approved no-cost extension will continue to be subject to the approval of the NSF Grants Officer. A footnote has been added indicating that SGER awards are not eligible for the grantee-approved extension. (GPM 253.2 “No-Cost Extension”)

  • Special Creativity Extensions should be submitted electronically via the supplemental funding request module in FastLane. (GPM 253.3 “Two-Year Extensions for Special Creativity”)

  • Continuing Grant Increments funding is made available by the cognizant NSF Program Officer when the annual report is accepted. The sponsored projects office and the PI are notified electronically of NSF’s approval. (GPM 263 “Continued Support (Continuing Grants)”)

Chapter III Grant Administration

  • Upon acceptance of award by the transfer organization, any special terms and conditions, as appropriate, cited in the original award will convey to the new grantee organization. Note that if the PI's original award was submitted in response to a program solicitation that required cost sharing as part of the award, any unmet portion of this cost sharing requirement also must be addressed by the new organization in the budget portion of the transfer request. The cost sharing will be reflected as a condition in the award at the new grantee organization. (GPM 312.8 “Disposition of a Grant when a PI/PD transfers from One Organization to Another Organization”)

  • The Foundation’s cost sharing policies are currently under discussion by NSF Senior Management. This section will be revised accordingly based on the outcome of those discussions. Guidance regarding the October 2004 National Science Board decision can be found at: (GPM 333.2 “Solicited Research Projects”)

  • Statutory (1%) cost sharing is not required in solicitations. If any cost sharing is required, it will be explicitly stated in the program solicitation. (GPM 333.2 “Solicited Research Projects”)

  • Footnote has been added indicating that annual certifications for awards with cost sharing requirements of $500,000 or more must be submitted electronically via FastLane. (GPM 333.3 “Cost Sharing Amount”)

  • Language has been added to emphasize the required submission of the final project report. Failure to provide reports will delay NSF review and processing of pending proposals for all identified PIs and co-PIs on a given award. (GPM 344 “Compliance with Technical Reporting Requirements”)

  • Exhibit III-1 “Grantee Notifications to and Requests for Approval from the National Science Foundation” has been updated to reflect the Program Officer’s approval of the first NSF-approved no-cost extension.

Chapter IV Financial Requirements and Payments

  • Definition for NSF Obligations has been updated. (GPM 420 “Definitions”)

  • Language on requesting payments for Special Payment grantees and foreign grantees has been updated to include grantees using Automated Standard Application for Payments (ASAP). (GPM 431 “Requesting Payments”)

  • Instructions on submitting the SF270 have been updated. Unless the NSF award letter states otherwise, the form should be sent to the cognizant grants officer via the fax number or mailing address provided. (GPM 434 “Special Payment Grantees”)

  • The previous section on ACH Vendor Express has been deleted. A new section on Grantee Electronic Forms Transfer System Update has been added. (GPM 436 “Grantee EFT Update”)

  • SF 3881 has been deleted. SF 270 (Request for Advance or Reimbursement form) has been added as Exhibit IV-1.

Chapter V Grantee Standards

  • An e-mail address has been added for the NSF Property Administrator. (GPM 546.3 “Procedures”)

Chapter VI Allowability of Costs

  • Coverage of extra compensation above base salary has been removed from the GPM, as the issue is covered in section J.10 of OMB Circular A-21. (GPM 611.1 “Salaries and Wages”)

  • A fixed rate is fixed both for funding and reimbursement. When NSF funds an award using a fixed indirect cost rate, the grantee may recover indirect costs from grant funds at no more than the fixed rate established for the award. NSF will not amend a grant solely to provide additional funds for changes in indirect cost rates. (GPM 633.1 “Basic Policy”)

Chapter VII Other Grant Requirements

  • All projects involving human subjects must either have IRB approval before issuance of an NSF award, or must affirm that the research is exempt from IRB review. Affirmation of exemption must come from IRB or appropriate authority of the organization (but not the PI). (GPM 711.3 “Certification of Compliance”)

  • Coverage of grantee obligations has been reworded for consistency with NSF policies and procedures. (GPM 744, “Grantee Obligations”)

  • Grantees should be aware of any travel advisories issued by the U.S. State Department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and/or the World Health Organization, and that all travel is done at the grantee’s own risk. (GPM 763 “Projects in a Foreign Country”)

Chapter VIII Other Proposal and Award Considerations

  • The National Security section has been expanded to include defense against transnational terrorism, and the necessary steps to follow if a recipient originates information during the course of the award that it believes requires classification. (GPM 850 “National Security”)

Chapter IX Reconsideration/Suspension and Termination/Disputes/Research Misconduct

  • The reasons for return of proposals without review by NSF have been supplemented with language to ensure conformance with current NSF policies, practices, and procedures. (GPM 901 “General”)