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Summary of NSF PAPPG 16-1 Changes Effective January 2016

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released a revised version of the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), version 16-1. Below are some notable policy changes that we wanted to draw your attention to. Please note, these changes will be effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 25, 2016. For the complete PAPPG including NSF's summary of changes, please visit: Please contact your OSP Proposal Team with any proposal related questions, or the CGA Awards Group with any post-award questions.


Proposal Submission Window

Proposals must be received by 5 p.m. submitter's local time on the established deadline date. NSF will automatically enforce the deadline through the Fastlane system. Deviations in solicitations and Dear Colleague Letters will no longer be permitted.

Proposal Budget - Administrative and Clerical Salaries & Wages Policy

Language has been added to clarify that the following conditions regarding administrative and clerical salaries should be explained in the budget justification at the proposal stage: Why administrative or clerical services are integral to a project or activity; and that individuals involved can be specifically identified with the project or activity.

Proposal Budget - Participant Support

Language has been added regarding the types of costs that may be proposed for participant support. This information was previously included in the Award & Administration Guide.

Proposal Budget – Conference Proposals

Additional guidance is provided regarding the types of costs that may be included on a conference proposal budget. Such costs may only be proposed if they are specifically and clearly identified in the scope of work and budget justification.

Proposal Margin and Spacing Requirements

Individual solicitations will no longer specify different type size, margin, or spacing requirements than those required in the PAPPG.

Proposal - Collaborators & Other Affiliations Information

Collaborators & Other Affiliations Information will now be submitted as a single copy document for each individual identified by the organization as senior personnel, rather than being included in the Biographical Sketch format. The new format no longer requires proposers to identify the total number of collaborators and other affiliations when providing this information.

Proposal Project Description - Results of Prior NSF Support Defined

The following additional coverage is added: any PI or co-PI on the proposal being submitted, whom has received NSF funding with a start date in the past five years, must include information on the award(s) for each PI and co-PI, regardless of whether the support was directly related to the proposal. The PAPPG now includes examples of the types of NSF awards included as prior support.

Proposal Project Description - Proposals Involving Vertebrate Animals

Greater clarity has been provided on the type of information necessary (to be included in the project description) for proposals that include the use of vertebrate animals.

Proposal Current and Pending Support – Institutional Resources Included

Clarification that all current project support should be listed on the Current and Pending Support form, including internal funds allocated toward specific projects (e.g. MSU internal grants).

Proposal Current and Pending Support and Biographical Sketches – Uploaded Separately

To permit automated compliance checking, Biographical Sketches and Current and Pending Support information may no longer be submitted as a single PDF. Biographical sketches for Other Personnel and for Equipment proposals, however, should be uploaded as a single PDF file in the Other Supplementary Documents section of the proposal.

Proposal – Format for Letters of Collaboration

NSF has provided the following format for letters of collaboration: "If the proposal submitted by Dr. [insert PI name] entitled [insert proposal title] is selected for funding by NSF, it is my intent to collaborate and/or commit resources as detailed in the Project Description or the Facilities, Equipment or Other Resources section of the proposal."

Proposal – Project Summary

The only time the Project Summary may be uploaded as a Supplementary Document is if the use of special characters is necessary.

Proposal – References Cited

Clarification that URL's are not required in the citations. If the proposer has a website address readily available it should be included in the citation, but it is not required for review.

Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC)

NSF implementation of Dual Use Research of Concern has been incorporated in the PAPPG and serves as the Foundation's implementation of the US Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern. NSF is committed to preserving the benefits of life sciences research while minimizing the risk of misuse of the knowledge, information, products, or technologies provided by such research.

Public Access to Copyrighted Material

NSF is implementing a Public Access Policy effective with new awards resulting from proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 25, 2016.  To comply with this policy, Investigators must ensure that articles in peer-reviewed scholarly journals and papers in juried conference proceedings conform to the following:

  • They are deposited in a public access compliant repository.  NSF has partnered with DOE to develop NSF-PAR as their publication repository.  This is expected to be available for voluntary compliance by the end of the 2015 calendar year.
  • They are available for download, reading, and analysis within 12 months of publication.
  • They possess a minimum set of machine-readable metadata elements.
  • They are reported in annual and final reports with a persistent identifier.  Publication information submitted through NSF-PAR will automatically be included in annual and final project reports, but only for awards that must comply with the new Public Access policy.
  • Either the final accepted version of the manuscript or the version of record may be submitted.

NSF has put together a very comprehensive list of FAQ’s related to their new Public Access Policy, found at:

Post-Award Approvals

Post-award Notification and Request instructions have been revised to specify that such communications must be signed and submitted by the AOR. The CGA Awards Group serves as the University's AOR for post-award approvals.

NSF-Approved No Cost Extensions

Requests for NSF-approved no cost extensions submitted after the grant end date must include a justification for why they were not submitted earlier.

Technical Reporting Requirements

Annual Project Reports – the reports should be submitted no later than 90 days prior to the end of the current budget period.

Final Project Reports and Project Outcomes Reports – the reports should be submitted no later than 120 days following the expiration of the grant.




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