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Important Changes to NSF Proposal Submission Requirements

The National Science Foundation has released an updated Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), which includes revised requirements for proposals due or submitted on or after May 20, 2024. While all the changes are summarized, the following are the most important for investigators at Ohio State.

Biographical Sketch

  • Must be prepared in SciENcv
  • Page limit has been removed
  • Synergistic Activities section has been moved

Synergistic Activities Document (New)

  • Each individual identified as key/senior personnel must include a 1-page document listing up to five distinct activities that demonstrate the individual’s broader impact. The document is uploaded as part of the senior/key personnel documents in

Malign Foreign Talent Recruitment Programs

  • Each individual identified as key/senior personnel must certify on both their Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending forms that they are not participating in a malign foreign talent recruitment program. Participants in such programs cannot participate as key/senior personnel on NSF proposals and awards. 

Mentoring Plan

  • A mentoring plan is required if the proposal includes support for either a graduate student or a postdoctoral researcher. The plan is still limited to one page for the entire proposal, including collaborative and linked collaborative proposals.

Individual Development Plans for Postdoctoral Scholars or Graduate Students (New)

  • Each graduate student and/or postdoctoral researcher receiving at least one month of support from the award must have an individual development plan (IDP) that maps their educational goals, career exploration and professional development
  • The plans are not part of the proposal, nor are they submitted to NSF. However, the PI must certify in each annual and final report that IDPs are in place for the relevant postdocs/grad students.
  • OSP is working with the Grad School and Office of Postdoctoral Affairs in developing resources to help PIs meet this requirement.
  • Additional information will be provided by late summer, before the first awards subject to the requirement are issued.

Foreign Organization Eligibility

  • Clarification of the information required to justify providing funds to a foreign organization by a subaward or to a foreign individual through a consulting agreement

Tribal Nation Approval for Proposals that May Impact Tribal Resources or Interests (New)

  • Proposals that may impact the resources of a Tribal Nation must seek and obtain approval from the Tribal Nation prior to award.

New and updated post-award requirements

  • If a project that did not include a mentoring plan adds a graduate student or a postdoctoral researcher after an award is made, the required plan must be submitted to the NSF program officer and reported on annually.
  • If a project that did not have a safe and inclusive working environment plan subsequently adds an off-campus or off-site component a plan must be developed and maintained according to NSF program guidelines