National Science Foundation (NSF) officers stress two main points that PIs must adhere to when submitting grant proposals:

  1. Contact the NSF Program Officer in your division prior to writing aproposal
  2. Include both Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts Criteria detailed in Fastlane's Grant Program Guidelines

NSF has issued a revised version of its Grant Proposal Guide (GPG). The revision is effective for all proposals submitted on or after January 14, 2013.

The revision contains changes to policies and procedures associated with proposal submission. The key changes in the NSF's Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide are:

  • Project Summary:
    • The project summary portion of a grant proposal has always required and overview. You used to submit the summary as a single one-page document. Now, although the summary is still limited to a page, you must provide the information in three separate text boxes-one for a project overview and one each for statements on the intellectual merit and the broader impcts of your project.
  • Review criteria:
    • NSF will continue to use two review criteria to evaluate proposals: intellectual merit and broader impacts. However, the broader-impacts criterion has been a been a source of confusion for many researchers, so the National Science Board has provided additional guidance by spelling out just what constitutes broader impact.
  • Biosketch:
    • ​​​​The biosketch portion of a submission to the NSF has allowed the applicant to list five publications closely related to the proposed project and five other significant publications. The new rules ask for products instead of publications, to reflect the changing nautre of scientifc work. Products can include, but are not limited to, patents, data sets, software, and copyrights.
  • Facilities, equipment, and other resources:
    • If a principal investigator will receive no salary from a grant, the investigator's name should not appear in the proposal's budget. Rather, the investigator's contribution to the project hsould be discussed in the facilities form. Don't attach a dollar figure to anything discussed in the facilities section. If for some reason you have no facilities, equipment, or resources to describe, write a brief statement to that effect on the form.​
​​The GPG presents an excellent summary of all the revisions in its opening pages. The document is posed on the NSF web site at the following address:

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