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Summary of NSF PAPPG 17-1 Changes Effective January 2017

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released a revised version of the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), version 17-1. 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 30, 2017. 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 - Indirect Costs/F&A

The use of an indirect cost rate lower than the organization’s approved negotiated indirect cost rate is considered voluntary cost share, which is prohibited by NSF.

Proposal - Auto-Compliance Checks

NSF has strengthened the compliance checks in Fastlane. NSF is committed to assist the PI through automatic compliance checks to reduce the likelihood that the worst thing could happen – the proposal is rejected due to an error that the system could have caught or warned the PI about prior to submission.

Proposal - Results from Prior NSF Support

When a project has been recently awarded and there is no existing results, list the major goals and broader impacts of the project.

Proposal - Travel Proposals

"International Travel Proposal" has been revised to "Travel Proposal" in order to include both Domestic and International proposals.

Proposal - Collaborators & Other Affiliations Information

  • Required for all senior project personnel to help identify potential conflicts or bias in the selection of the reviewers
  • Three groups: Collaborators & Co-Editors; Graduate Advisors & Postdoc Sponsors; PH.D. Advisor
    • Order by last name alphabetically
    • Postgraduate scholar sponsors should not be listed, because it is not a disqualifying relationship for a reviewer

Proposal – Letters of Support

Letters of support should not be submitted as they are not a standard component of an NSF proposal.

  • Proposals that contain letters of support not authorized by the program solicitation may be returned without review
  • Examples of a letter of support:
    • Typically from a key stakeholder such as an organization, collaborator or Congressional Representative used to convey a sense of enthusiasm for the project and/or to highlight the qualifications of the PI or co-PI

Proposal – Letters of Collaboration

Collaborative arrangements of significance to the proposal through letters of collaboration are permitted.

  • Limited to stating the intent to collaborate and should not contain endorsements or evaluation of the proposed project
  • Recommended format for letters of collaboration is as follows: "If the proposal submitted by Dr. [insert the full name of the Principal Investigator] entitled [insert the 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 and Other Resources section of the proposal."

Proposal Funding – Two new type of proposals are now listed in the guide

RAISE stands for “Research Advanced by Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering” and GOALI stands for “Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry”.  Listing them in the PAPPG provides more visibility and awareness of their existence.

  • RAISE replaces the previous INSPIRES program. RAISE is not intended to be used for projects that can be accommodated within other types of proposals or that continue well established practices. Prospective PIs must receive approval to submit a proposal from at least two NSF Program Officers, in intellectually distinct programs, whose expertise is most germane to the proposal topics.
  • GOALI is not a separate program and is a long-standing NSF program. It is funded either in conjunction with a regular submission or as a supplemental funding request. A proposer interested in submitting a proposal with the GOALI-designation or a supplemental funding to an existing NSF-funded award must contact the cognizant NSF program director prior to submission.

Proposal – Program Deviations from PAPPG

Proposal preparation for RAPID, EAGER, RAISE, GOALI, Ideas Lab, FASED, Conference, Equipment, Travel, Center, Research Infrastructure and Fellowship projects may deviate from the content requirements of a full research proposal.

Award - Proposals Involving Human Subjects

NSF has clarified that IRB documentation (e.g. approval or exemption) will be required before an award is provided to MSU.

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