NSF Updates

Summary of NSF PAPPG 24-1 Changes Effective May 20, 2024

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released a revised version of the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), version 24-1, on January 22, 2024. Below are some of the most significant policy changes related to proposals submitted on or after May 20, 2024. For a complete list of the changes and for additional detail, please see the updated PAPPG (NSF 24-1). Please contact your OSP representative if you have any questions.

  • Biographical Sketch – Biographical Sketch no longer has a page limitation, and implements the new Common Disclosure form, which also removes the Synergistic Activities section. The Biographical Sketch will continue to be created in SciENcv, which will produce a pdf compliant version that can be attached to the proposal in Research.gov.
  • New Synergistic Activities Document – Synergistic Activities that used to be included as part of the Biographical Sketch has been moved to a separate document.  Each individual identified as senior/key personnel must include a one-page document with up to five examples that demonstrate the broader impact of the individual’s professional and scholarly activities that focus on the creation, integration, and transfer of knowledge. This document is submitted as part of the Senior/Key personnel documents in Research.gov.
  • Mentoring Plan – Mentoring Plan has been expanded, now requiring a plan for graduate students as well as postdoctoral researchers supported on a project.  The page limit for a Mentoring Plan is still one page.
  • Current and Pending (Other) Support – implementing the new Common Disclosure form.  The Current and Pending Support form will continue to be created in SciENcv, which will produce a pdf compliant version that can be attached to the proposal in Research.gov.
  • Foreign Organizations – updated guidance for justifying inclusion of a foreign organization (subaward) or foreign individual (consultant) in a proposal budget. The justification must be included in the project description section of the proposal and the box for “Funding of a Foreign Organization or Foreign Individual” must be checked on the Cover Sheet.
  • Malign Foreign Talent Recruitment Programs – guidance provided for individuals who are a party to a Malign Foreign Talent Recruitment Program. Such individuals are not eligible to serve as a Senior/Key Person on NSF proposals and awards.  This new policy is part of NSF’s implementation of the National Security Presidential Memorandum-33 (NSPM-33). Additionally, as part of the proposal submission, Syracuse University must certify that all individuals identified as senior/key persons have been made aware of and have complied with their responsibility to certify that they are not party to a Malign Foreign Talent Recruitment Program.
  • Proposal Font, Spacing, and Margin Requirements – updated to allow for submission of proposal documents in landscape format.
  • Projects Requiring Advanced Computing, Data, and Analysis Capabilities updated instructions – updated to say that many research projects require access to computational, data, analysis, and/or visualization resources to complete the work proposed. Typically, such resources will be noted in the proposal under Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources. For projects that require such resources at scales beyond what may be available locally, NSF supports an array of national resources. Proposals are reviewed for both their scientific and computational/data needs, as well as readiness to utilize the resources.
  • Concept Outlines and Proposal Concept Tool (ProSPCT) – Concept Outlines are used for Planning, RAPID, EAGER and RAISE proposals.  Concept Outlines are typically submitted via email or through the ProSPCT tool.  Follow the submission guidelines included in the NSF funding opportunity.
  • Tribal Nation Approval – proposals that may impact the resources of a Tribal Nation must seek and obtain approval from the Tribal Nation prior to award.

NSF Requirement: Plan for Safe and Inclusive Working Environment for Off-Campus Research

It is National Science Foundation (“NSF”) policy to “foster safe and harassment-free environments wherever science is conducted.” (NSF 2023 PAPPG Guide II-E.9]. NSF’s new policy requirement states that there must be a plan for a safe and inclusive work environment created and on file at the proposal stage.  PIs are responsible for distributing the plan to each participant in advance of departure for an off-campus research activity. Off-campus or off-site research is defined by NSF for this requirement as “data/information/samples being collected off-campus or off-site, such as fieldwork or research activities on vessels and aircraft.”

Effective as of January 30, 2023, NSF grant applicants, including Syracuse University, are required to certify that we have a plan in place for a safe and inclusive work environment. The plan specifically addresses:

  1. Abuse of any person, including but not limited to harassment, stalking, bullying or hazing or any kind, whether the behavior is carried out verbally, physically, electronically, or in written form; and
  2. Conduct that is unwelcome, offensive, indecent, obscene, or disorderly

The creation and distribution of the plan is the responsibility of the award PI. To ease the administrative burden, the Office of Sponsored Programs has created a Plan Template for your use.

  • Page 1. of the template plan provides instructions for the PI,
  • Page 2. of the plan outlines Syracuse University’s compliance with NSF’s requirement and provides links to all relevant University policies, and
  • Page 3. of the plan is the project specific information PIs will prepare and share with OSP prior to proposal submission.

PIs are responsible for distributing a copy of the plan to all required participants (See Participants definition in the FAQ) in advance of departure for an off-campus research activity, as well as maintaining documentation of who received the plan. Unless specifically requested, applicants should not submit the plan to NSF for review.

For additional information and examples of the applicability of the new NSF policy, please see the FAQ, or contact your OSP Research Administrator.

Using SciENcv to Prepare NSF Biographical Sketches and Current and Pending Support

A revised National Science Foundation (NSF) Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG), known as NSF 20-1, has been released. It will be effective on June 1, 2020. NSF-approved formats for the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support will be required for ongoing projects, and all NSF proposals submitted or due on or after October 5, 2020.

Biographical Sketch

  • SciENcv (Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae) allows the researcher to quickly create and maintain their NSF Biographical Sketch, and to integrate publications and other profile information from ORCID (Open Researcher and Contributor Identifier). The Office of Sponsored Projects (OSP) encourages Syracuse University researchers to use ORCID for listing NSF publications to simplify entering and updating publications in one place, and then import the publication records into other systems, including SciENcv.
  • Training resources are available on the SciENcv website.

Current and Pending Support

Additional Resources

NSF will continue to keep the research community informed as approved formats and related information become available, and this information will be available on NSF websites for Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support.

This section compiles guidance related to the National Science Foundation (NSF).