NSF Requesting Comments on Draft Revisions to its Proposals and Award Guide

May 25, 2017 | By Jerry Ashworth | Post a Comment

1378633_man_with_a_megaphone_1If you’re a recipient or applicant of awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF), listen up! NSF has drafted revisions to its Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) and is now seeking public comment on these proposed revisions. The draft NSF PAPPG is now available on the NSF website at http://www.nsf.gov/​bfa/​dias/​policy/​.

Comments should be sent to the agency by July 27. To assist stakeholders in finding significant changes to the current PAAPG, NSF has highlighted the revised text in yellow throughout the document. A brief comment explanation of the change also is provided.

One of the most significant changes in draft PAPPG is a revision of Chapter XI, Other Post Award Requirements and Considerations. The proposed revision provides information on NSF grantees’ obligation to comply with civil rights laws and regulations that prohibit recipients of federal financial assistance from the NSF from discriminating against individuals who participate in any of their programs, services and activities.

Among the other proposed revisions, NSF has provided additional definitions and guidance on two types of cooperative agreements — standalone cooperative agreements, and master cooperative agreements/cooperative support agreements.

NSF also proposed to revise the eligibility requirements for foreign organizations. The draft states that NSF rarely provides funding support to foreign organizations, and that it will consider proposals for cooperative projects involving U.S. and foreign organizations, provided support is requested only for the U.S. portion of the collaborative effort. In cases however, where the proposer considers the foreign organization’s involvement to be essential to the project (e.g., through subawards or consultant arrangements), the proposer must explain why local support is not feasible and why the foreign organization can carry out the activity more effectively. In addition, the proposed activity must demonstrate how one or more of the following conditions have been met:

  • the foreign organization contributes a unique organization, facilities, geographic location and/or access to unique data resources not generally available to U.S. investigators (or which would require significant effort or time to duplicate) or other resources that are essential to the success of the proposed project; and/or
  • the organization to be supported offers significant science and engineering education, training or research opportunities to the U.S.

The draft PAPPG also includes a large section of material addressing its collaborators and other affiliations (COA) pilot, which includes the use of a COA template. NSF also has updated is description of a research infrastructure proposal.

The proposed PAPPG further incorporates the recently revised Research Terms and Conditions, adds information to reflect new grant award specific conditions on organizational responsibilities, and consolidates and moves previous material for better ease of use.

Research institutions and other NSF recipients and applications should let the agency know if they have any issues or concerns with the revised PAPPG. NSF seeks to finalize the revised PAPPG this fall, which would then become effective for awards effective for proposals submitted or due on or after Jan. 30, 2018, and awards made on or after Jan. 30, 2018.

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