Sneak Preview: NSF Outlines Essential Requirements in New Guide

April 10, 2013 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

(The following was excerpted from an article in the Federal Grants Management Handbook.) Applicants for National Science Foundation grants must comply with important new provisions in the agency’s revised Proposal and Award Policy and Procedures Guide (PAPP Guide), or the proposal will not be accepted, an NSF grants official recently told attendees at a recent Federal Demonstration Partnership meeting.

The revised PAPP Guide, released Oct. 4, 2012 (see “Upcoming NSF Guide To Detail Broader Impacts Certification,” October 2012), became effective for all new grants submitted or due on or after Jan. 14, said Jeremy Leffler, outreach specialist with NSF’s Office of Budget, Finance and Award Management policy office.

One key change involves the project summary. Previously, applicants on FastLane filled out one project summary text box. Now there are three text boxes — an overview of the proposal, a statement on intellectual merit and a statement on broader impacts — and applicants must not exceed 4,600 characters combined in filling out those fields. Applicants whose proposals contain special characters, however, may upload a project summary as a PDF document. “It’s up to the proposer to decide the emphasis on the number of words in each section,” Leffler said, adding that FastLane explains this process thoroughly in its Frequently Asked Questions section. “Text boxes must be filled out or a project summary must be uploaded, or FastLane will not accept the proposal.”

The proposal also must contain a certification from an authorized organization representative denoting that the organization supports the proposal and addressing the broader impacts and the intellectual merit activities.

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