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Tips for Submitting the New NSF RPPR on Research.gov

As reported in our last two newsletters, several Federal agencies have transitioned to the Research Performance Project Report (RPPR) format and NSF has transferred all report submissions from Fastlane to Research.gov.  Based on the RPPRs submitted by NIU, we have the following tips for preparing progress reports.  

1. Review your previous progress reports.  The RPPR format is not meant to be cumulative and you will expend less effort in preparation and submission by not duplicating Participants, Publications, etc. that have already been reported and are not relevant to the current reporting period (i.e. your student worked in the previous reported year, but not in the last 12 months).

2. Have publication citations in the correct format.  Authors should be last name first followed by first and middle initials (no periods). Multiple authors should be separated by a semicolon.  This format will also facilitate using the Search feature.  Although it is not mandatory, have the DOI ID or ISBN available, if possible.  Be prepared to indicate if your publication included Federal Acknowledgement and if it was Peer Reviewed. 

3. Know effort expended on the project.  When reporting Participants, including yourself, be prepared to enter in the nearest person months effort expended on the project.  When reporting hourly employees, you should now use 160 hours as the basis for one month.  Also, have the information regarding any foreign travel for the project; you will have to include which countries and length of time spent in travel for each trip per participant

4. Pay attention to character limits for each question.  For most questions you are limited to 8,000 characters.  If a character limit is not shown, you will have to check if any text has been truncated.  Graphics should be prepared in a PDF document for uploading.    Under both the Accomplishments and Products sections you are allowed up to 4 files no larger than 5MB.  Under the Special Requirements section you are allowed 1 file no larger than 10MB. 

5. Use the help sheets and documents found on the OSP website (Managing Awards section, then see Progress Reports). The “Screen Shots” document includes detailed descriptions regarding each question on Research.gov.  The NSF Project Report Template provides a working space so that you can have most answers ready to copy and paste in the online form. 

Further information on the RPPR including individual agency plans for implementing the new report can be found on the RPPR home page hosted by NSF at: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/rppr/.

Investigators with questions regarding their progress reports may also contact OSP Award Coordinator, Rachael Andel at rachael_andel@niu.edu or (815)753-6493.

Note: Rachael Andel will be on leave November through January, but you may still receive assistance from OSP during this time.  Contact your respective OSP Research Development Specialist during this time for any questions you may have regarding your progress report.