NSF Updates to the PAPPG

NSF Updates to the PAPPG 13-1
DECEMBER 6, 2012
Significant changes coming for NSF Proposals
due on or after 1/14/2013
 Implementation of revised Merit Review Criteria
 Project Summary changes
 Project Description
 Revised BioSketch requirements
 Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources
 Cost Sharing Update
 New Proposal Certifications required for AOR
 New Proposal status
 ‘Proposals Not Accepted’
Revised Merit Review Criteria
3 Guiding Principles:
 All NSF projects should be of the highest quality and
have the potential to advance, if not transform, the
frontiers of knowledge.
 NSF projects, in the aggregate, should contribute
more broadly to achieving societal goals.
 Meaningful assessment and evaluation of NSF
funded projects should be based on appropriate
metrics, keeping in mind the likely correlation
between the effect of broader impacts and the
resources provided to implement projects.
Revised Merit Review Criteria, cont’d
When evaluating NSF proposals, reviewers should
consider what proposers:
 want to do,
 why they want to do it,
 how they plan to do it,
 how they will know if they succeed, and
 what benefits would accrue if the project is
Revised Merit Review Criteria, cont’d
2 Review Criteria
These issues apply both to the technical aspects of the
proposal and the way in which the project may make
broader contributions. To that end, reviewers are asked to
evaluate all proposals against two criteria:
1. Intellectual Merit: The intellectual Merit criterion
encompasses the potential to advance knowledge; and
2. Broader Impacts: The Broader Impacts criterion
encompasses the potential to benefit society and
contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal
Revised Merit Review Criteria, cont’d
5 Review Elements:
The following elements should be considered in the
review for both criteria:
1. What is the potential for the proposed activity to:
(1) advance knowledge and understanding within
its own field or across different fields (Intellectual
Merit); and (2) benefit society or advance desired
societal outcomes (Broader Impacts)?
2. To what extent do the proposed activities suggest
and explore creative, original, or potentially
transformative concepts?
Revised Merit Review Criteria, cont’d
5 Review Elements, cont’d:
3. Is the plan for carrying out the proposed activities
well-reasoned, well-organized, and based on a
sound rationale? Does the plan incorporate a
mechanism to assess success?
4. How well qualified is the individual, team, or
institution to conduct the proposed activities?
5. Are there adequate resources available to the PI
(either at the home institution or through
collaborations) to carry out the proposed activities?
Revised Merit Review Criteria, cont’d
NSF Funding Opportunity Updates
 Boilerplate text has been developed and is currently
being incorporated to Program Announcements and
 Program websites have been updated with important
revision notes.
Changes to the Proposal Sections
Project Summary
 Project Summary will now require text boxes in
Fastlane, not to exceed 4,600 characters and will
include 3 distinct sections:
1. Overview - description of the activity & what are
objectives and how what methods will be used.
2. Statement on Intellectual Merit – how will the
proposed activity advance knowledge.
3. Statement on Broader Impacts – how will the
proposed activity benefit society.
What if my Project Summary requires Special
 Proposals with Special Characters may upload
Project Summary as a PDF document, but must still
represent the 3 sections and not exceed the character
 Text boxes must be completed or a PDF must be
uploaded or Fastlane will not accept the proposal.
Effective Date Clarification
 Proposals submitted before January 14, 2013 (with a
due date = or after 1/14/13), must include a one-page
Project Summary in accordance with the revised
 On or after January 14, 2013, the Project
Summary text must be included in the 3 text boxes:
(1) overview; (2) statement on intellectual merit; (3)
statement on broader impacts.
 On or after January 14, 2013, Fastlane will not accept
proposals that do not complete all 3 sections.
Other Changes being implemented
Project Description
 Must contain a separate section with a discussion of
broader impacts.
 Results from Prior NSF Support must separately
address intellectual merit and broader impacts.
 Font for footnotes must comply with FASTLANE
font requirements (NSF Font Requirements: Arial,
Courier New, Palatino Linotype 10pt. or larger.
Times New Roman 11pt. or larger.)
Other Changes being implemented
Biographical Sketch
 ‘Publications’ are now referred to as ‘Products’
 Still limited to 5 products closely related to this
proposal, and 5 other significant products whether
related or not.
 Acceptable products must be citable and accessible
e.g. publications, data sets, software, patents, and
 Unacceptable products are unpublished documents
not yet submitted for publication, invited lectures,
and additional lists of products.
Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources
 Provides overarching description of internal and external
resources (physical and personnel) that organization and
collaborators will provide to the project. Do not
quantify cost or effort, but do speak to roles and
responsibilities on the project.
 New Format will assist proposers in complying with NSF
cost sharing policy.
 Costs should not be quantified but it should clear
whether the resources are currently available or will need
to be purchased.
 If no resources to describe, than it must be stated so and
uploaded to this section.
Cost Sharing Policy Review
 Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is
prohibited in solicited and unsolicited proposals,
unless approved by NSF for specific programs.
 Only 6 programs have been approved by NSF to
require cost-sharing, as follows:
MRI – Major Research Instrumentation
Robert Noyce Scholarship Program
ERC – Engineering Research Centers
EPSCoR – Experimental Programs to Stimulate Competitive
I-Corps – Innovation Corps
I/UCRC – Industry/University Coop. Research Centers
Cost Sharing: Budget Page Update
 In the past, the PI would show up on the budget
page, even with no effort.
New FASTLANE update will allow removal of PI
from the Budget Page when no effort to show.
Role should be described in the Facilities,
Equipment and Other Resources section (but not
Their name will remain on Coversheet
OSP notes that PI’s should ordinarily charge effort to
the project (exceptions would be REU Site, MRI, etc)
Additional AOR Certifications
• Proposal Certifications have been updated to include:
– a new Organizational Support Certification to address
Section 526 of the America COMPETES Reauthorization
Act (ACRA) of 2010.
– additional certifications on tax obligations/liability and
felony conviction. These certifications were added to
implement provisions included in the Commerce, Justice,
and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2012.
• Parallel language also will be added to the award terms
and conditions on tax obligations/liability and felony
What does the new Organizational Support
Certification mean?
 The New AOR Certification regarding Organizational
Support creates a ‘binding’ offer.
 Commitments of institutional support made
available as described in the proposal to address the
broader impacts and intellectual merit activities to
be undertaken.
 OSP has updated the Internal Routing and Review
form to assure that institutional commitments are
agreed to by Investigators, Dept. Chairs, and Deans
prior to AOR signature.
Proposals Not Accepted
 New category of ‘non-award’ decisions and
transaction: Proposal Not Accepted
 Defined as “Fastlane will not permit submission of
the proposal”
 This category requires that proposals contain
Data Management Plans
Postdoctoral Mentoring Plans (if applicable)
Project Summaries.
High-Resolution Graphics
 NSF will no longer support high resolution graphics
due to small usage by the research community
 The check box on the Cover Sheet will be removed
Conferences, Symposia & Workshops
 Information regarding proposals for Conferences,
Symposia, and Workshops was updated to include:
Improved clarification of what information should be included
in different sections of the proposal; and
Greater consistency regarding conference proposal
instructions for better alignment with research proposal
Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR)
 Government-wide effort to create consistency in the
administration of federal research awards by
streamlining and standardizing reporting formats.
 RPPR is intended to replace performance reporting
formats currently in use by federal agencies
 NSF led research agencies in developing the draft
data dictionary for RPPR
 Data dictionary is available here:
NSF Implementation of RPPR
 NSF will implement RPPR components in Research.gov,
with the following standard formats:
 Mandatory Category
Accomplishments: What was done? What was learned?
 Optional Categories
Products: what has the project produced?
Participants & Collaborators: Who was involved?
Impact: Impact of the project? How has it contributed?
Special Reporting Requirements (if applicable)
Budgetary Requirements
Appendix 1: Demographics for Significant Contributors
Anticipated Benefits of New Project Report Format
 Consolidated dashboard that includes all available
reports (Annual, Final, Interim, and Project
 Reduction of PI and C0-PI burden through more
pre-population of fields where possible by NSF
 More structured approach to data collection for NSF
use; better consistency.
 Adoption of federal-wide data dictionary for
increased consistency of multi-agency
Additional Benefits of New Project Report Format
 Rich Text editor that supports common scientific
Ability to upload PDFs for complex graphics/images
Provides access to Thomson Web of Science for
improved citation searching
Special reporting requirements are controlled by the
proposal solicitation
PI no longer needs to provide demographic info on
significant participants
Implementation Dates for Research.Gov Project
 Phase I Pilot – Began October 22
Six institutions in Phase I
Fastlane freeze 10/1 – 10/21
 Phase II Pilot – Began December 3 (SU is in Phase II)
Additional 25 institutions join for Phase II
Preceded by FASTLANE freeze for Project Reporting (11/13 – 12/2)
Due dates for Annual and Final reports extended in Research.gov.
 Projected Target for Full Implementation: March 2013
All NSF Awards and Institutions
NSF-wide Fastlane Freeze for Project Reporting
Tools Available on OSP Website
 Updated NSF Proposal Checklist, which has been
updated for PAPPG 13-1.
Updated BioSketch format template which now reflects
‘Product’ terminology
Data Management Tool on OSP website, or you can work
with Library Services, Yuan Li or Paul Bern.
NSF Format sample budget Justification
Post-doc Mentoring Plan template
 All above forms located here:
Closing Thoughts
…The more things change, the more they stay the same
 NSF, as always, is extremely ‘format’ sensitive. They
are receiving record numbers of proposals; and not
following NSF’s well established guidelines for
formatting could mean return without review.
 References cited must contain all authors, no et al
references and must provide full journal titles.
 Biosketch formats must be GPG compliant, not only
for SU, but for outside collaborators as well.
 No headers or footers (other than pagination)
Closing Thoughts, cont’d
Before you submit, we suggest that you:
 Contact your Program Manager EARLY
 Pitch your idea and see if they might be interested, or perhaps
if there may be other programs interested.
 Be sure to cite others work, plagiarism findings
appear to be on the rise (NSF OIG Report to
Congress, Sept. 2012)
 Remember that individual Program Announcements
trump GPG language, so read carefully.
 Reach out to OSP early and often. How can we help?
OSP Resources
 Amy Deppa (e-applications) [email protected]
 Amy Graves (CAS) [email protected]
 Meghan MacBlane (iSchool, BBI, IVMF)
[email protected]
 Caroline McMullin (Maxwell, SoE)
[email protected]
 Mary Ellen Gilbert (LCSmith)
 Stuart Taub (general questions & Research.gov help)
[email protected]

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