NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Update

NSF Updates

Effective May 20, 2024, the National Science Foundation has issued updated guidance regarding the preparation of proposals and administration of projects. The principal updates are summarized below and we encourage investigators to review this guidance to ensure that proposals conform to these new requirements.

More information can be found via this link (https://new.nsf.gov/policies/pappg/24-1/summary-changes) and this webinar (https://www.youtube.com/live/5kqPiOzeJoM?si=p8KwUQtess8qCoAw).


General Format Guidance

Proposal Font, Spacing, and Margin Requirements: Documents can now be uploaded in landscape format.

Biographical Sketch(es)

Page Limitation: The previous page limitation (3 pages) has been removed. Effective May 20, 2024, there is no page limitation for this section of the proposal.

Synergistic Activities: The Synergistic Activities section has been removed from the biographical sketch.  Instead, this information must now be submitted by individuals designated as senior/key persons as part of the senior/key personnel documents in Research.gov (more info is forthcoming).

Reminder: Biosketches (and Current and Pending Support) must be prepared and certified by the investigator in My NCBI’s Science CV module (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sciencv/).

Note: Your research administrator can create and update the biosketch but cannot certify it on the investigator’s behalf. Uncertified documents will not pass validation in Research.gov and will hold up the successful submission of your proposal or progress report.

Mentoring Plan

Graduate Students: Mentoring plans are now required if budgets include requests for support for graduate students, such as graduate research assistants. Previously, mentoring plans were only required if budgets included support for postdoctoral researchers

Page Limitation: The page limitation for this document remains one page.

Submission Deadlines

When to Submit Proposals: NSF has clarified that proposals are due at 5 p.m. submitter’s local time (5 p.m. central) on due dates, regardless of the physical location of the PI.

Award Administration

Postaward Additions of Postdoctoral or Graduate Student Researchers: If the original awarded proposal did not include a mentoring plan and we fund a graduate student on the project, we must send the cognizant NSF Program Officer the requisite mentoring plan. This was previously only required for postdoctoral researchers.

Individual Development Plans (IDPs) for Postdoctoral Scholars or Graduate Students: Postdoctoral scholars or graduate students who receive substantial NSF support must have an Individual Development Plan which is required to be updated annually. However, the IDP does not need to be submitted to the NSF and is merely stored in our records.