New NSF Proposal Functionality, Website Enhancements, and Updates to the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support Formats

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has enabled a number of enhancements for proposals submitted in Research.gov, FastLane, and Grants.gov.  In addition, the updated NSF-approved biographical sketch and current and pending support SciENcv and fillable PDF formats that fall under the revised Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1) will be available to preview by September 17, 2021.

NSF is also excited to announce enhanced NSF Funding Opportunity Search functionality and revamped program pages on nsf.gov and beta.nsf.gov, the new version of the NSF website.  As NSF builds its new nsf.gov website in small, iterative pieces using the beta.nsf.gov platform, they are not simply moving existing content from nsf.gov to the new site.  Rather, the new website will improve how information is presented for use by various audiences including prospective proposers, grantees, and the general public.

Here’s what to know.

Research.gov Proposal Submission System Enhancements

  • Research.gov proposal features continue to expand to support the transition of all proposal preparation and submission functionality from FastLane to Research.gov by a target date of December 31, 2022.  Many NSF funding opportunities are supported in Research.gov and clearly specify whether submission via Research.gov is available or required.
  • Effective August 30, 2021, Conference and Ideas Lab proposal types, renewal and accomplishment-based renewal submission types, and preliminary proposals for Ideas Lab solicitations are all now available for submission in Research.gov.  FastLane must be used to submit preliminary proposals for proposal types other than Ideas Lab until that functionality is available in Research.gov.
  • The proposal preparation landing page has been revised, and Principal Investigators will now first select the proposal submission type from the drop-down options and then will follow the proposal setup wizard to initiate a new proposal.  In progress and submitted proposals are accessible from the tiles on the revised proposal preparation landing page, after first selecting the submission type from the drop-down options.
  • New automated compliance checks and associated error and warning messages for the enabled proposal and submission types were also implemented.  Error messages will prohibit proposal submission to NSF, whereas warning messages still permit proposal submission.
  • New Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) were added to the Research.gov About Proposal Preparation and Submission page, and the Proposal Submission Capabilities page has been updated to reflect the latest development updates.
  • All supported proposal and submission types as well as associated compliance checks are also enabled in the Research.gov Proposal Preparation Demo Site.
  • Refer to the PAPPG (NSF 20-1) for current proposal requirements. Guidelines in the revised PAPPG (NSF 22-1) will apply for proposals submitted or due on or after October 4, 2021.

 

NSF-approved Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support Format Updates

 

Current and Pending Support Fillable PDF Updates

  • Based on feedback from the research community and NSF Program Officers, NSF has incorporated functionality as of August 30, 2021, in FastLane and Grants.gov to remove any pages which do not contain data entered by users (i.e., blank pages) from the NSF-approved current and pending support fillable PDF.  This trimming functionality will be integrated in Research.gov on October 4, 2021, in coordination with implementation of the revised PAPPG (NSF 22-1) for proposals submitted in Research.gov and project reports submitted in the Research.gov Project Reporting System.
  • The trimming service only applies to the NSF-approved current and pending support fillable PDF and not to any other uploaded PDFs. Current and pending support PDFs generated in SciENcv do not include blank pages.
  • The current and pending support fillable PDF document is paginated, and the PDF page numbers will not be updated during the trimming process.  This means that it is possible for the trimmed PDF to have skipped page numbers corresponding to the blank pages removed from the fillable PDF.  NSF Program Officers are aware of this potential occurrence in proposals submitted to NSF.
  • Proposers with in progress proposals as of August 30, 2021, can delete previously uploaded current and pending support fillable PDFs from their FastLane or Grants.gov proposals and then re-upload them to trigger the trimming service.

 

Updated Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support SciENcv and Fillable PDF Formats

  • The updated NSF-approved biographical sketch and current and pending support formats will be available in September 2021 to preview before they are required on October 4th.  The updated fillable PDF formats will be available for download from the NSF biographical sketch and current and pending support websites by September 3rd.  Updated SciENcv formats will be available on the SciENcv Create a New Document screen by September 17th.
  • Biographical sketch format updates include increasing the page limit from two to three pages.
  • Current and pending support format updates include the addition of new sections for information on objectives and overlap with other projects to help NSF and reviewers assess overlap/duplication.
  • Although submission of the updated NSF-approved formats is not permitted (i.e., Research.gov, FastLane, and Grants.gov will not allow the 22-1 forms to be uploaded) until implementation of the revised PAPPG (NSF 22-1) on October 4, 2021, NSF is encouraging proposers and grantees to begin familiarizing themselves with the updated NSF-approved formats when they are available.

 

Enhanced Funding Opportunity Search Functionality and Revamped Program Pages

  • Based on extensive research with external and internal stakeholders, NSF has made significant improvements to the NSF Funding Opportunity Search functionality to help researchers and prospective researchers quickly and easily find relevant programs and NSF-funded projects in specified disciplines.  Funding Search results now include short program descriptions, programs incorporated in core program solicitations with links to the relevant guidelines, and Dear Colleague Letters.
  • The revamped program pages include significant content and navigation improvements including information previously only viewable in solicitations.
  • For more information about NSF’s beta site, please visit https://beta.nsf.gov/about-beta. NSF will continue to enhance the site, and ongoing feedback from external and internal stakeholders is vital to the process.  Feedback on the updated Funding Search and program page enhancements or any other aspect of the site may be directed to beta-nsf-feedback@nsf.gov.

Questions? If you have IT system-related questions, please contact the NSF Help Desk at 1-800-381-1532 (7:00 AM – 9:00 PM ET; Monday – Friday except federal holidays) or to rgov@nsf.gov.  Policy-related questions should be directed to policy@nsf.gov.

Original post by NSF on August 30, 2021

NIH Provides Additional Clarifications to Biosketch and Other Support Policies

Although not required by NIH until January 2022, more and more applicants and recipients are following the advice from NIH and transitioning now to the updated formats and instructions for biosketch and other support documents.  As a result, NIH has received a number of requests for additional clarification to their policies. They’ve updated and added FAQs, posted clarified instructions, and adjusted their other support sample document in response. All of these improved resources are accessible from both their biosketch and other support pages.

Here’s a sample of new/updated NIH FAQs:

Look for the blue "updated" sticker and  yellow "new" sticker stickers in the NIH biosketch FAQs and other support FAQs for additional clarifications.

If you’ve checked out their resources and still have questions, please email nihosbiosketch@nih.gov.

 

Original post by NIH on August 2, 2021

Issuance of the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide – Effective October 4, 2021

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has published a revised version of the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide (NSF 21-084).  Overall, the Guide has been updated to align with the changes to NSF’s Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1).  The Guide will be effective for applications submitted (via Grants.gov) or due, on or after October 4, 2021.

Original post on 8/2/2021 by NSF Samantha Brewton Hunter Acting Head, Policy Office Division of Institution & Award Support National Science Foundation

Issuance of NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (NSF 22-1)

NSF is pleased to announce that a revised version of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1) has been issued.
The new PAPPG will be effective for proposals submitted or due on or after October 4, 2021.
Significant changes include:
  • A new section covering requests for reasonable and accessibility accommodations regarding the proposal process or requests for accessibility accommodations to access NSF’s electronic systems, websites and other digital content;
  • A table entitled, NSF Pre-award and Post-award Disclosures Relating to the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support. This table identifies where pre- and post-award current and pending support disclosure information must be provided. Proposers and awardees may begin using this table immediately;
  • Increasing the page limit for the biographical sketch from two to three pages;
  • Updates to the current and pending support section of NSF proposals to require that information on objectives and overlap with other projects is provided to help NSF and reviewers assess overlap/duplication;
  • Adding planning proposals and Career-Life Balance supplemental funding requests as new proposal types;
  • Updates to travel proposals will require that AORs certify that prior to the proposer’s participation in the meeting for which NSF travel support is being requested, the proposer will assure that the meeting organizer has a written policy or code-of-conduct addressing harassment.
You are encouraged to review the by-chapter summary of changes provided in the Introduction section of the PAPPG.
NSF plans to conduct a webinar covering these changes. Visit the NSF policy outreach website to sign up for notifications about this and other outreach events.
While this version of the PAPPG becomes effective on October 4, 2021, in the interim, the guidelines contained in the current PAPPG (NSF 20-1) continue to apply.
If you have any questions regarding these changes, please contact the DIAS/Policy Office at: policy@nsf.gov
Original post by NSF/Jean Feldman on June 23, 2021

Pre-award and Post-award Disclosure Information in NSF Proposals

In an effort to provide the community with helpful reference information regarding pre-award and post-award disclosure information in the biographical sketch and current and pending support proposal sections, NSF has developed a disclosure table entitled,  NSF Pre-award and Post-award Disclosures Relating to the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support, to identify where these disclosures must be provided in proposals as well as in project reports. Proposers and awardees may begin using this resource immediately to assist with completing the relevant proposal and project report sections. As a reminder, current and pending support information is used to assess the capacity of the individual to carry out the research as proposed, as well as to help assess any potential overlap/duplication with the project being proposed.

 A revised Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) will be released next week with an effective date of October 4, 2021, and the disclosures table will be included in this revised version. As noted above, however, proposers and awardees may begin using this table immediately.

Jean Feldman

Head, Policy Office

Division of Institution and Award Support

Office of Budget, Finance and Award Management

Original post on NSF ERA Forum on June 16, 2021

Reminder: Switch Early to the New Secure Two-Factor Authentication Required to Access eRA Modules

Users of eRA Commons, ASSIST, Internet Assisted Review (IAR) and Commons Mobile are encouraged to begin their switchover to the new two-factor authentication (2FA) login method (via login.gov) required to access eRA modules before the mandatory deadline of September 15, 2021 for all users. The authentication will help ensure the security of your personal and confidential information in these systems.

Resources

 

Original post by NIH on June 10, 2021

Implementation of Changes to the NIH Biographical Sketch and Other Support Format Page

This notice describes implementation of the updated Other Support and Biosketch format pages and associated instructions, as outlined in NOT-OD-21-073.

To align applicant and recipient systems with NIH’s longstanding policy requirements and application requirement updates, NIH expects applicants and recipients to use the updated biosketch and other support format for applications, Just-in-Time (JIT) Reports, and Research Performance Progress Reports (RPPRs) as of May 25, 2021. NIH will require the use of the updated format pages for the previously mentioned submissions for anything on and after January 25, 2022. Failure to follow the appropriate formats on or after January 25, 2022 may cause NIH to withdraw applications from or delay consideration of funding.

Please note, applicants and recipients remain responsible for disclosing all research endeavors regardless of the version of the forms used. Therefore, if applicants and recipients choose not to use the updated format pages before they are required, applicants and reecipients must still capture all the necessary information. NIH is fully committed to implementing the SciENcv template for Other Support in early FY 2022.

Notice Number: NOT-OD-21-110
Release Date: April 28, 2021
Related Announcements

NOT-OD-21-073 – Upcoming Changes to the Biographical Sketch and Other Support Format Page for Due Dates on or after May 25, 2021

NOT-OD-21-122 -Announcing New Inbox for Inquiries Related to Changes to Biographical Sketch and Other Support Format Page

Please direct all inquiries to:

Grants policy inquiries:

NIH Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration (OPERA)
Division of Grants Policy
grantspolicy@nih.gov

Systems/forms related inquiries:

NIH Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration (OPERA)
Systems Policy Branch
OPERAsystemspolicy@nih.gov

Original post by NIH on April 28, 2021

NIH Announces New Inbox for Inquiries Related to Changes to Biographical Sketch and Other Support Format Page

This announcement from NIH informs the research community of the creation of a central email inbox for inquiries related to changes to the biographical sketch and other support templates in response to the high volume of inquiries received.

Effective as of this announcement, please send inquiries related to changes to the biographical sketch and other support templates to nihosbiosketch@nih.gov.

NIH is diligently working to ensure complete and timely responses to inquiries received to date via existing email inboxes. The research community may elect to forward inquiries that are pending a response to the new central email inbox, as needed.

NIH encourages the research community to review the currently available resources related to this effort:

Updated Biosketch resources, including FAQs and sample Biosketch format pages can be found here.

Updated Other Support resources, including FAQs and sample Other Support format pages can be found here.

Additional resources, including training videos and other materials will be posted on the pages above as they become available.

Notice Number:
NOT-OD-21-122
Key Dates
Release Date: May 18, 2021
Related Announcements

NOT-OD-21-110 – Implementation of Changes to the Biographical Sketch and Other Support Format Page

NOT-OD-21-073 – Upcoming Changes to the Biographical Sketch and Other Support Format Page for Due Dates on or after May 25, 2021

NOT-OD-19-114 – Reminders of NIH Policies on Other Support and on Policies related to Financial Conflicts of Interest and Foreign Components

Issued by NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH (NIH)
Please direct all inquiries to:

Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration (OPERA)
nihosbiosketch@nih.gov

View the NIH announcement here.

 

Original post by NIH on May 18, 2021

 

 

 

 

Publication of the Revised NIH Grants Policy Statement (Rev. April 2021) for Fiscal Year 2021

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announces publication of the revised NIH Grants Policy Statement (NIHGPS, rev. April 2021). The NIHGPS provides both up-to-date policy guidance that serves as NIH standard terms and conditions of award for all NIH grants and cooperative agreements, and extensive guidance to those who are interested in pursuing NIH grants.

This revision is applicable to all NIH grants and cooperative agreements with budget periods beginning on or after October 1, 2020. This revision supersedes, in its entirety, the NIHGPS dated December 2019. Previous versions of the NIHGPS remain applicable as standard terms and conditions of award for all NIH grants and cooperative agreements with budget periods that began prior to October 1, 2020.

This revision incorporates new and modified requirements, clarifies certain policies, and implements changes in statutes, regulations, and policies that have been implemented through appropriate legal and/or policy processes since the previous version of the NIHGPS dated December 2019.

The requirements set out at 45 CFR Part 75, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for HHS Awards, continue to apply, at this time, as well as NIHs implementation of the federal-wide Research Terms and Conditions (RTCs), available here.

The current version of the NIHGPS, in both HTML and PDF formats, as well as previous versions of the NIHGPS and documents summarizing significant changes implemented with each revision, are available here.

NIH will continue to publish interim grants policy changes through the issuance of NIH Guide Notices, available here. Each Guide Notice describes the policy change, including applicability and effective date, and the necessary language to implement the change as a term and condition of award.

Inquiries
Please direct all inquiries to:

NIH Office of Policy for Extramural Research Administration
Division of Grants Policy
grantspolicy@nih.gov

Notice Number: NOT-OD-21-107
Key Dates Release Date: April 20, 2021
Related Announcements: None
Issued by: NATIONAL INSTITUTES OF HEALTH (NIH)

You can find the full document here.

Original post by NIH April 20, 2021

Planned UEI Updates in Grant Application Forms

On April 4, 2022, the Data Universal Numbering System (DUNS) Number will be replaced by a “new, non-proprietary identifier” requested in, and assigned by, the System for Award Management (SAM.gov). This new identifier is being called the Unique Entity Identifier (UEI).

Grants.gov’s Timeline for Organization DUNS and UEITimeline for UEI Updates

 

All Grants.gov users are encouraged to bookmark and regularly consult GSA’s UEI Update page in order to stay up-to-date with the latest information. Grants.gov will continue to work with GSA regarding these upcoming changes.

Please review, below, Grants.gov’s Timeline for New Form Versions with UEI Fields, as well as the list of federal grant application forms that will be impacted by the transition from DUNS Numbers to the UEI.

Grants.gov’s Timeline for New Form Versions with UEI Fields

Grants.gov's Timeline for New Form Versions with UEI Fields

 

NOTE: Applicants may begin testing the new UEI form versions using this test opportunity in the Grants.gov Training Environment. To request a UEI to use with your testing, send an email to forms@grants.gov.

List of Forms Impacted

New form versions with a UEI field will be created for the forms in the table below. The table also indicates which agency owns the form.

🔎 NOTE: Some forms are available for testing now as follows (see the Forms Status Report for available forms):

# Form Version Owner
1 Application for Federal Assistance (SF-424) 4.0 Grants.gov
2 Application for Federal Domestic Assistance – Short Organizational 3.0 Grants.gov
3 EPA Form 4700-4 4.0 EPA
4 Financial Management and System of Internal Controls Questionnaire 3.0 USDOJ
5 HUD-52651 3.0 HUD
6 HUD-52768 3.0 HUD
7 HUD Applicant-Recipient Disclosure Report 3.0 HUD
8 NEH Supplemental Information for Individuals 4.0 NEH
9 PHS 398 Training Budget 2.0 HHS
10 PHS 398 Training Subaward Budget Attachment(s) Form 3.0 HHS
11 PHS Additional Indirect Costs 2.0 HHS
12 Project/Performance Site Location(s) 4.0 Grants.gov
13 R & R Multi-Project Subaward Budget Attachment(s) Form 10YR 30ATT 2.0 Grants.gov
14 R & R Subaward Budget Attachment(s) Form 2.0 Grants.gov
15 R & R Subaward Budget Attachment(s) Form 10 YR 30 ATT 2.0 Grants.gov
16 R & R Subaward Budget Attachment(s) Form 10 YR 10 ATT 2.0 Grants.gov
17 R & R Subaward Budget Attachment(s) Form 5 YR 30 ATT 2.0 Grants.gov
18 Research & Related Budget 2.0 Grants.gov
19 Research & Related Budget 10YR 2.0 Grants.gov
20 Research & Related Multi-Project 10 Year Budget 2.0 Grants.gov
21 Research & Related Budget (Total Fed + Non-Fed) 2.0 Grants.gov
22 Research & Related Subaward Budget (Total Fed + Non-Fed) 5 YR 30 ATT 2.0 Grants.gov
23 Research & Related Subaward Budget (Total Fed + Non-Fed) Attachment(s) Form 2.0 Grants.gov
24 SBIR/STTR Information 2.0 Grants.gov
25 SF424 Mandatory Form 3.0 Grants.gov
26 SF424 (R&R) 4.0 Grants.gov
27 SF424 R&R Multi-Project Cover 3.0 Grants.gov