Archives—January 2016

Changes to National Science Foundation Proposal Requirements Effective January 25, 2016

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released a new Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that affects all NSF proposals going forward. This new document contains NSF’s Grant Proposal Guide (GPG), which governs all NSF proposal submissions.

The new guide can be found here, and a full summary of the significant changes to the Grant Proposal Guide can be found online.

In particular, investigators should note:

  • A new single-copy document is required for each senior project personnel that provides information regarding collaborators and other affiliations. This information used to be provided as part of the Biographical Sketch. The new format no longer requires proposers to identify the total number of collaborators and other affiliations when providing this information.
  • Proposers may now use third-party solutions to develop their biographical sketch, however, the information they submit must be compliant with NSF proposal preparation requirements. In addition, it is no longer allowable for the biographical sketches of all senior personnel to be grouped together in a single PDF file. Biographical sketches must now be uploaded separately for each individual identified on the proposal as senior personnel. Biographical sketches for Other Personnel and for Equipment proposals (Chapter II.C.2.f(ii) and (iii) respectively), however, should be uploaded as a single PDF file in the Other Supplementary Documents section of the proposal.
  • All current and project support should be listed in the Current and Pending Support section of the proposal, including internal funds allocated toward specific projects. It is no longer allowable for the current and pending support of all senior personnel to be grouped together in a single PDF file. Current and pending support must now be uploaded separately for each individual identified on the proposal as senior personnel.
  • Results from prior NSF support must be provided for any PI or co-PI that has received NSF funding with a start date in the past five years (including any current funding and no-cost extensions). Information also has been added on which types of NSF awards must be reported on in this section of the proposal.
  • The Special Information and Supplementary Documentation section, now specifies the format that must be used for letters of collaboration.
  • Public Access to Copyrighted Material, is an entirely new section which provides information on NSF’s Public Access Policy. This policy also is referenced in Chapter VI.E.1 on publication and distribution of grant materials.

February 2016 Internal Proposal Deadline Change

Due to the large number of proposals expected to be submitted to sponsors on February 16 and February 25, the Sponsored Programs Office (SPO) finds it necessary to adjust the internal proposal deadline for those specific dates only to four working days prior to the sponsor’s deadline.  The additional time will allow for our analysts to perform our review process.

The internal deadline for those proposals due to sponsors on February 16 will be February 11 and for those proposals due to sponsors on February 25 will be February 22.

SPO will communicate the new internal deadline to those PI’s that have informed us about their intent to submit.  Please share this important change with your faculty and staff.


NIH Application Tips: What Staff Check After Submission that Systems Can’t

Posted on November 24, 2015 by NIH Staff
(https://nexus.od.nih.gov/all/2015/11/24/application-tips-what-staff-check-after-submission-that-systems-cant/)

You may be familiar with the top ten tips for smoothly getting your application through electronic application submission systems (if not, watch this video!). But are you familiar with the kinds of things NIH staff look at after submission before your application can go to review?

The latest issue of eRA’s NIH eSubmission Items of Interest highlights some of the questions staff ask, before referring applications for further processing. These include:

Does the application include all critical sections?

  • Our systems can tell if you attached a pdf document in a certain spot in the application, but can’t assess the content of that attachment. Make sure you attach the correct document, with the correct content, in the correct spot.

Does the topic of the application fit NIH’s mission?

Is the applicant eligible to apply?

Does the application include information in inappropriate places to get around page limits?

  • Resist the temptation to use appendices and other non-page-limited application sections to augment information in your specific aims, research strategy, abstract, biosketches and other page-limited sections of your application (NOT-OD-11-080NOT-OD-07-018).

Was the application submitted on-time?

  • Unlike many agencies, NIH does not shut down the ability to submit to a funding opportunity announcement at 5:01 pm on a due date. We keep the submission door open and assess the circumstances of “late” submissions on a case-by-case basis. Staff check your cover letter submitted with your application for documented circumstances allowed under our late policy. They check to see if the application falls under our continuous submission policy. They also check to see if you ran into any system issues along the way and appropriately notified the eRA service desk to document them.

Do you already have an application with essentially the same content under review?

  • Even under our latest submission rules which allow you to submit the same application again, you can’t have overlapping applications under review at NIH at the same time (NOT-OD-14-074).

Did you follow font and margin guidelines documented in the application guide when preparing all your attachments?