Find links to information about working with the National Science Foundation (NSF).

NSF Resources


Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG)

Additional NSF Notices and Announcements


2019 PAPPG Summary of Significant Changes and Clarifications

The following are some of the major changes to the PAPPG: 

  • NSF Proposal Preparation and Submission has been updated to provide information about the modernization of the proposal preparation functionality in The new coverage specifies that the on-screen instructions in may differ from what is stated in the PAPPG and that the on-screen instructions must be followed. Chapter I.A
  • Dear Colleague Letters (DCLs) has been revised to address an expanded use of the DCL. They also may now be used to announce NSF’s interest in receiving proposals in specified topical areas via the following types of proposals described in Chapter II.E.: Rapid Response Research (RAPID); Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER); Research Advanced by Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering (RAISE); and Conference. Chapter I.C.4
  • Subawards has been updated to clarify that the description of the work to be performed by the subaward must be included in the project description. Chapter II.C.2.g(vi)(e)
  • Types of Proposals specifies that "RAPID", "EAGER" and "RAISE" must be included in the proposal project title. The language has been updated to indicate that these proposal types are not eligible for reconsideration. Chapter II.E
  • Conferences has been supplemented with new language that requires conference proposers to have a policy or code-of-conduct that addresses sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, or sexual assault, and that includes clear and accessible means of reporting violations of the policy or code-of-conduct. This policy or code-of-conduct must be disseminated to conference participants prior to attendance at the conference as well as made available at the conference itself. This section also has been updated to specify that conference proposals in excess of $50,000 must include the Collaborators & Other Affiliations Information in the proposal submission. Guidance in the Participant Support Costs section of conference proposals has been updated to clarify that speakers and trainers are not considered participants and should not be included in this section of the budget. If the primary purpose of the individual’s attendance at the conference is learning and receiving training as a participant, however, then the costs may be included under participant support. If the primary purpose is to speak or assist with management of the conference, then such costs should be budgeted in appropriate categories other than participant support. Chapter II.E.7
  • Changes in PI/PD, co-PI/co-PD or Person-Months Devoted to the Project at the Initiation of NSF is an entirely new section that describes the process that will be used by NSF upon receipt of notification identified Chapter VII.A.2.f. or g. Chapter VII.B.3

For a comprehensive listing, go to Significant Changes and Clarifications to the PAPPG on the NSF website.

Find recent Dear Colleague Letters from the past month here.

As of January 18, 2011, all proposals submitted to the National Science Foundation (NSF) must include a Data Management Plan that describes how the proposal will adhere to the NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results. Investigators are expected to share with other researchers, at no more than incremental cost and within a reasonable time, the primary data, samples, physical collections, and other supporting materials created or gathered in the course of work under NSF grants. Grantees are expected to encourage and facilitate such sharing. See Award & Administration Guide (AAG) Chapter VI.D.4 for more detailed information.

Data management requirements and plans specific to Directorates, Office, Division, Program, or other NSF unit, relevant to a proposal are available at: If guidance specific to the program is not provided, then the requirements established in Grant Proposal Guide, Chapter II.C.2.j apply.

A Data Management plan may include:

  1. the types of data, samples, physical collections, software, curriculum materials, and other materials to be produced in the course of the project;
  2. the standards to be used for data and metadata format and content (where existing standards are absent or deemed inadequate, this should be documented along with any proposed solutions or remedies);
  3. policies for access and sharing including provisions for appropriate protection of privacy, confidentiality, security, intellectual property, or other rights or requirements;
  4. policies and provisions for re-use, re-distribution, and the production of derivatives; and
  5. plans for archiving data, samples, and other research products, and for preservation of access to them.

If a Data Management plan is not relevant to the proposed research, a valid plan may state that no detailed plan is needed, provided that clear justification is offered.

NSF proposals that request funding to support postdoctoral researchers must include a description of the mentoring activities that will be provided for such individuals. In no more than one page, the mentoring plan must describe the mentoring that will be provided to all postdoctoral researchers supported by the project, irrespective of whether they reside at the submitting organization, any subawardee organization, or at any organization participating in a simultaneously submitted collaborative project. See the current NSF Grant Proposal Guide Chapter II.C.2j for more information.


The Office of Research Postdoctoral Scholars Resources page

The Research Development team can offer guidance on data management plans as they relate to a specific proposal. For more information, get in touch with one of our Research Development Directors.