National Science Foundation (NSF) - Specific Requirements & Advice

Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), (NSF 22-1)
This guide is effective for proposals submitted for deadlines on or before January 30, 2023.

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A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG, NSF 23-1) has been issued, effective for proposals submitted or due on or after January 30, 2023.
You are encouraged to review the by-chapter summary of changes provided in the Introduction section of the PAPPG.
Significant changes include:

  • Revisions to incorporate as the replacement for FastLane for proposal preparation and submission   Details
    For tutorials and guidance on how to use, visit the proposal preparation and submission resources site.
  • Requirements for use of SciENcv for the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support documents
  • Use of Concept Outlines as a submission type and the Program Suitability and Proposal Concept Tool (ProSPCT)

    The primary purpose of the concept outline is to ensure that the concept being proposed by the prospective Principal Investigator (PI) is appropriate for the proposal type or funding opportunity, and to help reduce the administrative burden associated with the submission of a full proposal.

    The new Program Suitability and Proposal Concept (ProSPCT) tool will be used for submitting and tracking Concept Outlines.

    A webinar on Concept Outlines at NSF, including a demonstration of the ProSPCT tool, was hosted on September 27, 2022. Slides from the presentation and a recording are available at

    When to submit Concept Outlines?
     (1) Types of Proposals in the PAPPG that require submission of Concept Outlines:
             - Planning
             - Rapid Response Research (RAPID)
             - EArly-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER)
             - Research Advanced by Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering (RAISE)

     (2) Funding Opportunities that require submission of Concept Outlines 
     (3) Concept Outlines also may be submitted at any time

     What to do now?

> Check new solicitations for the Concept Outline requirement
> Use the Concept Outline to check for fit of your idea with NSF program(s), especially if you’re not sure where it will fit

> If preferred, you may still contact Program Officers directly to check for fit (send one-page summary with request for feedback and/or meeting to discuss)


  • Revisions to the certification for Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research (RECR) for proposals submitted on or after July 31, 2023, which expands the training to faculty and other senior personnel as well as requires specific training mandated by the America COMPETES Act, as amended
  • Requirement for proposers to provide a certification regarding Safe and Inclusive Working Environments for Off-Campus and Off-Site Research
  • Revisions to the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support formats to include certifications from the individual (as required by the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, Section 223) regarding information being accurate, current, and complete
  • Requirement for NSF program officers to request updated Current and Pending Support information prior to making a funding recommendation, in accordance with the NSPM-33 Implementation Guidance
  • Information about the use of Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs) and the BAA Management System (BAAM)
  • Implementation of Build America, Buy America statutes
  • New sections on Research Security and Scientific Integrity

NSF 101 is an informational series for the science and engineering research community.

NSF 101 answers commonly asked questions for applicants who might be new to applying for NSF funding opportunities and want to know more about how to communicate with NSF. NSF101 collaborates with program staff across the agency to provide clear, basic instructions to improve accessibility and demystify the NSF experience.


A Guide to Proposal Writing
NSF Abstracts and Titles

The Art and Science of Reviewing Proposals (19-minute video)


Broader Impacts

PAPPG Description of Broader Impacts Requirements

Broadening Participation in Computing -- BPCnet

NSF Examples of Broader Impacts:


Data Management

Data Management Plan Requirements by Directorate, Office, Division Program or other NSF Unit



2010 Handbook for Project Evaluation

Evaluation Tools --- NSF Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professoriate


STEM Education

Improving Undergraduate STEM Education: Education and Human Resources (IUSE: EHR) Program Brochure (NSF 20-023)

Common Guidelines for Education Research and Development and FAQs
A report from the Institute of Educational Sciences/US ED and the National Science Foundation

  • Guidance on building the evidence base in STEM learning
  • Provides guidelines for six types of education “research” projects
  • Overview of the nature, justification, evidence generation and so on for each project type

Companion Guidelines on Repliication and Reproducibility in Education Research (November, 2018)
A Supplement to the Common Guidelines for Education Research and Development


UNH-developed NSF Proposal Development Tools and Resources

RD Digital Library:  NSF -- National Science Foundation

  • Templates – cover letter, collaboration letter
  • Tips & Hints for creating the most effective proposal components

and more...