Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Project Outcomes Report for the General Public (POR) - updated January 2013
- Why did NSF institute this new reporting requirement?
- When did this reporting requirement go into effect?
- Why does submission of the Final Project Report not meet this requirement?
- Does the Project Outcomes Report replace the Final Report?
- How do I submit the Project Outcomes Report?
- What should be included in the Project Outcomes Report?
- Will NSF approve the Project Outcomes Report?
- Will I be able to edit the report after submitting it?
- Will the Principal Investigator be penalized for not submitting this report?
- How can I prepare and submit Project Reports on Research.gov?
NSF instituted this new reporting requirement as a result of specific legislation in the America COMPETES Act (Section 7010: Reporting of Research Results), which required that “all final project reports and citations of published research documents resulting from research funded in whole, or in part, by the Foundation, are made available to the public in a timely manner and in electronic form through the Foundation’s Website.”
This requirement is effective for new awards made or existing awards that receive funding increments or supplements on or after January 4, 2010. The policy for preparing and submitting these reports is provided in the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Award and Administration Guide, Chapter II.E.3.
Final reports submitted to NSF cover the last year of the award only and are not intended to provide the general public with a complete picture of the results of the funded research. In addition, the Final Project Report is a communication between the Principal Investigator and the NSF Program Officer. The Project Outcomes Report is meant for the general public.
No. NSF continues to require technical project reports for all assistance awards. This includes annual and final reports in addition to the Project Outcomes Report.
All Project Outcomes Reports must be submitted in Research.gov by the Principal Investigator responsible for the research being carried out under a specific award. Instructions for preparing and submitting the POR are available by logging onto Research.gov and clicking on Project Outcomes Report.
The Project Outcomes Report should serve as a brief summary (200-800 words), prepared specifically for the public, of the nature and outcomes of the project. The report should describe the project outcomes or findings that address the intellectual merit and broader impacts of the work as defined in the NSF merit review criteria.
The POR does not need to contain publications resulting from the award as NSF automatically includes publications that are provided as part of the annual and final project reports as part of Research.gov’s Research Spending and Results. The report should contain information about products that have resulted from the award such as collections, data sets, software and educational materials. Additional information on the report contents can be found in the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide Award and Administration Guide, Chapter II.E.3.
No. NSF will not be approving the Project Outcomes Report. It will be posted the next business day on Research.gov’s Research Spending and Results exactly as it is submitted by the Principal Investigator.
Yes. Principal Investigators have the ability to edit the report for 30 days after it has been submitted. After the 30-day period, the report may not be edited. However, an unlimited number of addenda may be submitted to supplement the original report.
Yes. Submission of the Project Outcomes Report follows the same business rules as annual and final reports. Failure to provide these reports on a timely basis may delay review and processing of pending proposals for all identified PIs and co-PIs on a given award.
- Login to Research.gov using your FastLane user ID and password. First time Research.gov users, see How Do I Login?
- You will see any required reports on your Project Report Dashboard.
- Click on the Project Outcomes Report link or the Annual, Final and Interim Project Report link to see a list of awards.
- From there, you can create, edit, and submit reports for each award.