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Major: New National Science Foundation (NSF) Proposal Guide and Review Criteria Announced

NSF has released an updated Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) effective for proposals submitted or due on or after January 14, 2013. Proposal elements have been revised and the Broader Impacts criterion has been clarified to incorporate recommendations from the National Science Board (NSB) and America COMPETES Reauthorization Act (ACRA).

Significant changes include:

  • The one page Project Summary must include the following sections in three separate text boxes in FastLane: 1) an overview of the project, 2) a statement on the “Intellectual Merit” of the proposed activity, and 3) a statement on the “Broader Impacts” of the proposed activity. Proposals that do not separately address all three sections within a one page Project Summary will not be accepted by NSF and the proposal will be returned without review.
  • In the Project Description, the “Results from Prior NSF Support” section should include both prior and current NSF funding. Information should be included irrespective of whether or not the support was directly related to the new proposal being submitted, or whether or not salary support was provided. Further, Intellectual Merit and Broader Impact activities must be described in two separate sections in the Summary of Results from Prior NSF Support.
  • The Project Description must now contain, as a separate section within the narrative, a discussion of the broader impacts of the proposed activities.
  • The “Publications” section of the Biographical Sketch is now identified as “Products” to amend terminology and make clear that products may include, but are not limited to, publications, data sets, software, patents, and copyrights.
  • The Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section may now include an aggregated description of the internal (NIU) and external (non-NIU) resources that are available to support the project (both physical and personnel). NSF uses this section to review the institutional capacity to  support the program, including the broader impact goals.

OSP strongly encourages PIs planning to submit a proposal on or after January 14, 2013 to review the updated NSF Grant Proposal Guide; the summary of changes can be found at: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappguide/nsf13001/gpg_sigchanges.jsp. Contact your Research  Development Specialist to discuss how to incorporate these changes. The complete Grant Proposal Guide is available on the NSF website at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappguide/nsf13001/index.jsp.

Upcoming: OSP will offer a Chat Session in early 2013 to discuss these changes in more detail. The Chat Session will be announced on our website, through our Listserv, and on our OSP Facebook page. Research Development Specialists are also available to attend faculty or center meetings to discuss the changes. The complete proposal guide is available at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappguide/nsf13001/nsf13_1.pdf.