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Sponsor-specific resources related to working with the National Science Foundation (NSF)
Resources, Recent News, and Updates
- Addressing the Definition of U-Year in Budget Justification
- NSF's Terms and Conditions Updated
- New NSF User Accounts Coming Monday, March 26, 2018
- Research.gov Fully Available April 30, 2018 - Preview until Friday, April 27
- NSF's Terms and Conditions and RTC Updates
- New Grants.Gov Guide aligning to PAPPG
- NSF Proposal Review Checklist
- Tips for Working with NSF
On January 29, when NSF issued its Proposal & Award Policies and Procedures Guide, it noted that it is a university's responsibility to include in the Budget Justification (now limited to five (5) pages), a definition of the term "year" for the purposes of complying in a consistent manner with NSF's two-month limit on salary requested in the proposal budget for senior personnel.
In order to comply with NSF's guidance, ORSP recommends using the following:
"The University of Michigan uses the following definitions for the purpose of calculating the two-month limit on salary requested in the proposal budget for senior personnel:
- A calendar year is the 12 month period starting January 1 and ending December 31.
- A fiscal year is the 12 month period starting July 1 and ending June 30.
- A University Year (aka U-Year), per Sec. 5.01 of the University of Michigan's bylaws and as used in connection with appointments of members of the faculty and other personnel, contains any two terms in the calendar, as defined for the year in question."
NSF revised its suite of Award Terms and Conditions (link to full listing below). Important changes include:
- Revision of the Equipment article to align with 2 CFR § 200.313 requirements for all equipment purchased under NSF awards and provide clarity on reporting requirements for NSF-owned equipment; and
- Revision of the Patent Rights article to implement government-wide changes to the Department of Commerce Bayh-Dole regulations at 37 CFR § 401 effective May 14, 2018.
A summary of changes accompanies each set of terms and conditions.
The revised Terms and Conditions will apply to all new NSF awards and funding amendments to existing NSF awards made on or after May 14, 2018.
NSF revised the following documents:
NSF is making major changes to the way the research community registers new users and maintains account information. Research.gov and Fastlane users will now have a single user ID for signing in to FastLane and Research.gov for proposal and award activities. This means that ORSP will no longer register users to submit proposals to NSF or FastLane.
- Instead, new users will be able to register directly through Research.gov on or after March 26, 2018.
- Existing users in Fastlane will be migrated to the new system through a simple, one-time operation when signing in to FastLane or Research.gov after the new functionality is released.
Beginning April 30, 2018, proposers will be able to prepare and submit full, research non-collaborative proposals in Research.gov.
The initial release of this new Research.gov capability will run in parallel with existing FastLane. Proposers can prepare and submit full, research non-collaborative proposals in Research.gov or in FastLane starting on April 30, 2018. As NSF moves away from Fastlane, all proposals will be submitted via Research.gov.
ORSP will support in both submission systems during the transition. We do encourage you to take advantage of the transition period and become familiar with Research.gov before it becomes final.
Preview Research.gov (For Testing Only) until April 27, 2018
Those with current FastLane or Research.gov account IDs can give the site a test drive to acclimate to the new technology and give preliminary feedback to NSF. This opportunity will end at 8:00 p.m. on April 27, 2018. Please be aware of the following important items as you test the new functionality during the preview period:
- All test data entered on the Research.gov proposal preparation site from February 26, 2018, until the preview concludes at 8:00 p.m. EDT on April 27, 2018, will be deleted at the end of the preview period.
- NSF will not be able to recover any proposal test data entered during the preview period and deleted by NSF after the preview period concludes.
- NSF's suite of Award Terms and Conditions (see full listing below) have been revised. See also: Significant Changes in Research Terms and Condition (RTCs) for all federal sponsors.
The new NSF Grants.gov Application Guide has been issued and updated to align with changes to NSF's Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 18-1).
Some of the significant changes include:
- Collaborators & Other Affiliations (COA) Information provided through use of COA template.
- Project Description must now contain separate section identified as “Intellectual Merit.”
- Budget Justification increased to no more than five pages.
(Updated September 2015) ORSP will check the items on this NSF Proposal Review Checklist on a standard unsolicited proposal to one of the National Science Foundation’s standing scientific programs (i.e., proposals to which the only application guideline is the above NSF’s Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), provided a finalized proposal is received within ORSP’s internal deadline and Sponsored Research Office (SRO) Access has been granted in FastLane.
In working with NSF, the use of Research. gov is preferred. Fastlane, a predecessor to Grants.gov, is being phased out.
Most other federal sponsors use Grants.govfor their proposals.
- ORSP advises against using Grants.gov for proposals to NSF
- FastLane validations not applied in Grants.gov
- Corrections need to be made in FastLane anyway
**Beginning, March 26, 2018, new users will be able to register directly through Research.gov. Existing users in Fastlane will be migrated to the new system through a simple, one-time operation when signing in to FastLane or Research.gov after the new functionality is released.
References and Resources
ORSP Primary Contacts for NSF projects
Please note that FastLane has been the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) electronic proposal submission and award management system. To date, users have needed a user ID to access. They used to obtain that ID from ORSP.
**Beginning, March 26, 2018, new users will be able to register directly through Research.gov. Existing users in Fastlane will be migrated to the new system through a simple, one-time operation when signing in to FastLane or Research.gov after the new functionality is released.***
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