Dear Colleague Letter: Issuance of a new NSF Proposal & Award Policies and Procedures Guide

31 January 2013

Dear Colleague Letter
Issuance of a new Proposal & Award Policies and Procedures Guide
National Science Foundation

The original October 2012 Dear Colleague Letter, as well as links to
additional resources, is available at:

Dear Colleague:

A new version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide
(PAPPG), (NSF 13-1), has been issued. The PAPPG is comprised of
documents relating to the Foundation's proposal and award process and
consists of the:

a. Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) for guidance on the preparation and
submission of proposals to NSF; and

b. Award & Administration Guide (AAG) to guide, manage, and monitor the
award and administration of grants and cooperative agreements made by
the Foundation.

This new version of the PAPPG will be effective for proposals submitted
or due on or after January 14, 2013. Significant changes to the PAPPG

- Revisions to the NSF Merit Review Criteria which implement the
National Science Board's (NSB) recommendations. Changes will affect
the project summary and project description sections of proposals.
Annual and final reports also will be affected.
- Instructions for preparation of the Biographical Sketch have been
revised to rename the "Publications" section to "Products" and amend
terminology and instructions accordingly. This change makes clear
that products may include, but are not limited to, publications,
data sets, software, patents, and copyrights.
- Coverage on compensation of Indirect Costs (also known as
Facilities and Administrative Costs (F&A) for Colleges and
Universities) has been clarified to specify that, except as noted in
the GPG sections on participant support and international travel
grants, or as specified in an NSF program solicitation, the
applicable indirect cost rate(s) negotiated by the organization with
the cognizant negotiating agency must be used in computing indirect
costs for a proposal.
- Modification of the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources
section of proposals to assist proposers in complying with the NSF
cost sharing policy.
- Additional proposal certifications must be submitted by the
Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) covering
organizational support of the proposed research, tax
obligations/liability and felony convictions.
- Numerous clarifications also have been made throughout the

A by-chapter summary of the changes is provided at the beginning of both
the Grant Proposal Guide and the Award & Administration Guide to assist
with identifying the changes.

Because the revisions to the merit review criteria will have broad
repercussions for proposers, reviewers and NSF staff, the Foundation is
conducting extensive outreach to the internal and external NSF
communities. This purposeful communication is intended to ensure a broad
understanding of the revisions to the merit review criteria and provide
easy access to supporting materials including:

- A revised NSF Merit Review website with updated information about
the revisions;
- A resource website for the proposer community containing
presentations, fact sheets and other important links; and
- A webcast will be available in early November 2012 covering all of
the PAPPG revisions (send an e-mail to to be notified
when this webcast is available).

While this version of the PAPPG becomes effective on January 14, 2013,
in the interim, the guidelines contained in the current PAPPG (NSF 11-1)
continue to apply. We will ensure that the current version of the PAPPG
remains on the NSF website, with a notation to proposers that specifies
when the new PAPPG (including a link to the new Guide) will become

In addition, we plan to revise existing funding opportunities to alert
proposers that significant changes have been made to NSF proposal
preparation guidelines. Please direct any questions to the Policy Office
in the Division of Institution & Award Support at, or
(703) 292-8243.


Martha A. Rubenstein
Chief Financial Officer and Head
Office of Budget, Finance & Award Management

The original October 2012 Dear Colleague Letter, as well as links to
additional resources, is available at:

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