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Updated NSF Terms & Conditions and RTCS

March 20, 2018

NSF's Terms and Conditions

(See also: Significant Changes in Research Terms and Condition (RTCs) for all federal sponsors.)

NSF's suite of Award Terms and Conditions (see full listing below) have been revised. Important changes include:

  • Revision of the micro-purchase threshold for procurement activities to $10,000 for awards made to institutions of higher education, related or affiliated nonprofit entities, nonprofit research organizations or independent research institutes. This revision was made in accordance with Section 207 (a)(1) of the American Competitiveness and Innovation Act (AICA);  grantees are authorized to establish lower thresholds at their discretion.
  • New requirement for grantees to have procedures in place to respond to a breach of personally identifiable information (PII) and notify NSF that a breach of PII within the scope of an NSF award has occurred; and
  • Modification of Research.gov to include an “Other” category, which must be used to submit prior approval requirements that do not already have a specific request type in NSF’s electronic systems.
  • For awards made to State and local governments or for-profit organizations, we have developed a separate NSF prior approval matrix, which is referenced in the relevant sets of terms and conditions.
  • Each set of terms and conditions is accompanied by a summary of changes made to that document.NSF National Science Foundation logo

The revised Terms and Conditions will apply to all new NSF awards and funding amendments to existing NSF awards made on or after March 1, 2018. 

Revisions have been made to the following documents:

  • NSF Agency Specific Requirements to the Research Terms and Conditions (ASR);
  • Cooperative Agreement Financial & Administrative Terms and Conditions (CA-FATC);
  • Grant General Conditions (GC-1); and
  • Administration of NSF Conference or Group Travel Grant Special Conditions (FL 26). 

Additionally, in order to reduce administrative burden, the two CA-FATC supplemental terms and conditions for large facilities and FFRDCs have been combined into one document titled Modifications and Supplemental Financial & Administrative Terms and Conditions for Major Multi-User Research Facility Projects and Federally Funded Research and Development Centers.  The Modifications and Supplemental terms and conditions also will apply to all new NSF awards and funding amendments to existing NSF awards made to these entities on or after March 1, 2018.