NSF Checklist

Last updated: 05/30/2019 - 5:36pm
NSF PAPPG 19-1 Checklist (for proposals due on or after February 25, 2019)

Due to frequent submission issues/errors, refrain from using grants.gov for NSF submissions. 

This checklist is a basic tool which must be used in conjunction with

  • NSF PAPPG 19-1 (FastLane/Research.gov submissions)

  • Solicitation (to ensure compliance with specific program requirements)

PAPPG 19-1 and this page (NSF Checklist 19-1) are applicable for National Science Foundation (NSF) proposals due on or after February 25, 2019.

Highlights of Significant Changes and Clarifications between PAPPG 18-1 and the PAPPG 19-1

  • Specifies that you must follow the on-screen instructions on Research.gov if the PAPPG directions differ.

  • Dear Colleague Letters (DCLs) may now be used for announcing NSF’s interest in receiving proposals in specified topical areas for the types of proposals described in Chapter II.E.

  • Unaffiliated Individuals are ineligible to receive direct funding support from NSF, unless NSF solicitation states otherwise.

  • The description of the work to be performed by the subaward must be included in the project description.

  • “RAPID”, “EAGER”, and “RAISE” must be included in the proposal project title, and are not eligible for reconsideration.

  • Conference proposers must have a policy or code-of-conduct that addresses sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, or sexual assault. Must include an accessible and easy to understand means of reporting violations. (Note: ACD 401 is ASU’s policy). Conference Proposals in excess of $50K must include Collaborators & Other Affiliations Information.

  • Equipment Proposals must include a Collaborators & Others Affiliation.

  • NSF programs that accept proposals at any time may have guidelines in which a declined proposal is ineligible for resubmission within a certain period of time.

  • Synergistic Activities has been revised to specify that a list should include up to five distinct examples (not categories) that demonstrate the broader impacts of the individual’s professional and scholarly activities that focuses on the integration and transfer of knowledge as well as its creation.

  • Participant Support has been updated to clarify when an individual should be classified as a participant, and to clarify that participant support costs may not be budgeted to cover room rental fees, catering costs, supplies, etc. related to an NSF-sponsored conference.

  • Resubmission now states: NSF programs that accept proposals at any time may have guidelines in which a declined proposal is ineligible for resubmission for a specified period of time.

  • Collaborators and Other Affiliations can be uploaded as .xlsx files even if there are more than 10 COA documents. Do not upload them as .txt files.


Other things to review:


Chapter I.G.4

  • Determine if the individuals currently have NSF IDs.

  • Users may not have multiple NSF IDs

  • Users requiring an NSF ID must register in Research.gov and request the PI role. RAs can no longer add users


Known Research.gov Quirks

  • Use extreme caution, Research.gov does not allow for the change of FOA/Program and/or Directorate once the proposal is created 

  • Research.gov will generate errors if a header does not match the PAPPG header exactly

  • Research.gov requires a right word margin of 1.06".   All others may be 1.00"

  • Information will not generate correctly unless the most up to date Collaborators & Other Affliliations (COA) template is used



Chapter II.B.1

  • Each section must be individually paginated prior to upload (FastLane)

  • If research.gov is used, the system will paginate



Margins and Spacing

Chapter II.B.2

  • Fonts: Arial, Courier New, or Palatino Linotype font size of 10 points or larger; Times New Roman font size of 11 points or larger; or Computer Modern family of fonts at a font size of 11 points or larger

  • A font size of less than 10 points or other fonts not specified, such as Cambria Math, may be used for mathematical formulas or equations, figures, table or diagram captions and when using a Symbol font to insert Greek letters or special characters. PIs are cautioned, however, that the text must still be readable

  • Margins: Must be at least an inch in all directions, no proposer-supplied information in margins


Cover Sheet

Chapter II.C.2.a

  • Enter ASU’s Standard Institutional Info.

  • Choose the Funding Announcement #, NSF Unit of Consideration, and fill out remaining items

  • Choose the type of proposal being submitted … i.e. Research, EAGER, Conference, etc.

  • Requested start date should allow at least 6 months for NSF review, processing, and decision

  • If foreign travel is budgeted, check the "International Activities" box and list the activity country names   

  • If foreign country is unknown, use the "worldwide" option

  • If foreign organizations are involved, in addition to providing justification in project description, the box for “Funding of a Foreign Organization, including through use of a subaward or consultant arrangement” must be checked on the cover sheet

  • If funding is budgeted for an international branch campus of a U.S. IHE, the box for "Funding of an International Branch Campus of a U.S. IHE, including through use of a subaward or consultant arrangement" must be checked on the Cover Sheet.

  • Do not list more than 5 countries in Activity Country Names section


Project Summary

Chapter II.C.2.b

  • Limited to 1 page

  • Three separate, distinct sections with headers: 

    • Overview

    • Intellectual Merit

    • Broader Impacts

  • Only Project Summaries which must use special characters may be uploaded in the Supplementary Documents Section


Project Description

Chapter II.C.2.d


  • Limited to 15 pages, unless otherwise noted in the solicitation

  • Should provide a clear statement of work

  • URLS must not be used in the Project Description

  • The Project Description must include separate sections within the narrative entitled “Intellectual Merit” and “Broader Impacts”. Do NOT deviate from these header titles

  • May use up to 5 pages to discuss results of prior PI/Co-PI, NSF-funded work with an award end date in the past five years; or any current funding, including no cost extensions. (Unless otherwise stipulated in solicitation)

  • Results from Prior Support must include distinct headers for separate sections on "Intellectual Merit" AND "Broader Impacts"

  • No more than 1 award from each PI/Co PI can be listed. If a PI/ Co PI has not had NSF support in the last 5 years, that must be stated

  • If using the same prior award for PI and co-PI, separate sections must be provided for each

  • Prior NSF results should always be described from the individual's role on the prior project  

  • Include Prior NSF results for each PI/co-PI who has filled any sort of role on an NSF-funded project that began within the last 5 years (regardless of whether they were a PI or co-PI)

  • Publications resulting from each award must be included. A complete bibliographic citation for each publication must be provided either in this section or in the References Cited section of the proposal

  • Referencing back to the reference cited page is the suggested method as it saves the most space. Example: 7 publications were produced under this award 50-57.

  • If there we no publications under the award listed, state "No publications were produced under this award"

  • Include a description of the work to be performed by any sub-recipients

  • If funding to an International Branch Campus of a U.S. IHE or to a foreign organization (including subaward or consultant), justification for why project cannot be performed in the US must be provided in project description


References Cited

Chapter II.C.2. e

  • This section must include bibliographic citations only

  • No page limits, unless otherwise noted


Biographical Sketches

Chapter II.C.2.f

  • Limited to 2 Pages, Senior Personnel, NSF Format

  • Personal information should NOT be listed (home address, home phone #, SSN, etc.)

  • Do not include awards, invited talks, personal statements, etc.

  • Limited to 5 related products, 5 other products and 5 distinct synergistic activities

  • Must include the location of undergrad, grad, and postdoc institution(s)

  • Biographical sketches must be uploaded separately for each individual listed on the proposal as senior personnel

  • Biographical sketches for other personnel should be uploaded as a single pdf to the Other Supplementary Documents section of the proposal

  • Biographical sketches for auxiliary users on Equipment Proposals should be uploaded as a single pdf to the Other Supplementary Documents section of the proposal

  • Do NOT include Collaborators and Co-Editors in Biographical Sketch  



Chapter II.C.1. e

  • Must use NSF Collaborators & Other Affiliations (COA) Template

  • Collaborators & Other Affiliations information must be provided for each individual identified as senior project personnel

  • COA documents can be uploaded as .xlsx files, regardless of the amount

  • Both the lead and non-lead institution(s) must separately provide Collaborators & Other Affiliations documents

  • Do not list Postdoctoral Scholar sponsors

  • COA required for conference proposals in excess of $50,000



Chapter II.C.2.g


  • Human subject incentives (payments) must be listed on line G6 of the NSF Budget and should be included in the calculation of F&A

  • If no person/months and no salary are requested for any individual listed as senior personnel, that individual should not be listed on the budget

  • Budget must be consistent with the proposing organization’s (ASU’s) policies and cost accounting practices


Budget Justification

Chapter II.C.2.g

  • Justifies the inclusion of ALL items listed in the budget

  • ASU’s budget justification is limited to 5 pages

  • For proposals that contain subaward(s): each sub must include a separate budget justification of no more than 5 pages

  • If requesting compensation in excess of 2 months for senior personnel, justification must be included acknowledging this in the budget justification

  • In the Senior Personnel section of NSF budget justifications, include the following statement: To meet the NSF PAPPG requirement  “Defining of a Year”, ASU has defined a “year” as a calendar year for senior personnel and will apply this term “year” consistently across all NSF-funded grants.

  • Unless otherwise stipulated in the solicitation, travel is allowable if it necessary to the proposal objectives or to disseminate results

  • All travel (both domestic and foreign) must be itemized and justified

  • Computer equipment under $5k may be budgeted under materials and supplies. The computers must be essential and allocable

  • Neither voluntary committed cost sharing nor voluntary uncommitted cost sharing should be included in the budget justification

  • The F&A rate(s) applied, approved base(s), and total amount of F&A must each be specified in the budget justification

  • Speakers and trainers are not considered participants

  • Participant Support cost cannot be used to cover room rental fees/catering costs/supplies related to NSF-sponsored conference or incentive payments to research subjects


Current and Pending Support (C&P)

Chapter II.C.2.h

  • Include for all senior personnel

  • C&P includes all project support, including internal funds, allocated toward specific projects

  • Use C&P Tool and C&P Tool User Guide to assist with reporting (best in Google Chrome)

  • Include current proposal in the C&P

  • Ensure that the dollar amount entered on the C&P (for the proposal in development) matches the requested amount on the cover page

  • C&P must be uploaded separately for each individual identified as senior personnel


Dual Use Research of Concern (DURC)

Chapter II.D.6

  • This section of the proposal implements the US Government Policy for Institutional Oversight of Life Sciences Dual Use Research of Concern

  • PIs/Units are responsible for identifying NSF-funded life sciences proposals that could potentially be considered dual use research of concern


Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources

Chapter II.C.2.i

  • Narrative of ASU and Collaborator resources. Does not include any quantifiable financial information

  • Any substantial collaboration with individuals not included in the budget should be described in the Facilities, Equipment, and Other Resources section of the proposal

  • Facilities, Equipment and Resources is should be uploaded as one document

  • If no facilities will be applicable, a statement(s) to this effect must be uploaded


Data Management Plan

Chapter II.C.2. j

  • Limited to 2 pages. Address the 5 points specified by NSF

  • Detail how the proposal will conform to NSF’s policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results

  • Simultaneously submitted collaborative proposals, and proposals that include subawards, are a single unified project and should include only one supplemental, combined Data Management Plan


Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan (if applicable)

Chapter II.C.2.j

  • Limited to 1 page. Details of mentoring plan, when applicable


Single Copy Docs, Special Information, and Supplementary Documentation

Chapter II.C.2.j

  • If submission will be late due to nature or anthropogenic cause, a single copy document must be attached explain the nature of the event

  • Authorization to Deviate from NSF Proposal Preparation Requirements (if applicable)

  • Letters of collaboration should not contain endorsements or evaluation of the proposed project, unless specifically required by the solicitation (FOA)

  • Lists of suggested reviewers should include the email address and organization affiliation of persons who it is believed are well qualified to review the proposal

  • Proposers may designate persons they would prefer not to review the proposal, indicating why

  • Special Information and Supplementary Documentation, if requested by the solicitation (FOA)


Collaborative Proposals

Chapter II.D.3

  • Collaborative proposals may be submitted in 2 different methods:

    • Single proposal, single award request (subawards will be distributed)

    • Simultaneous proposals from organizations, separate award requests

  • Either way proposal is submitted, lead organization must contain all the requisite sections as a single package




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