NSF Policy Updates: Cost Sharing and Data Management Plan

Effective January 2011, NSF has instituted an updated Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG). The PAPPG is available in HTML or PDF format at Two very important changes to note:

1.       Voluntary Committed Cost Sharing is Prohibited: (Voluntary Committed Cost Share is any cost share that is offered in a proposal but not required by the sponsor as a condition of proposal submission.) Proposals that include voluntary committed cost sharing in the budget, budget justification, or narrative “run the risk of the proposal being returned without review or declined.” FAQ’s in regard to this requirement are available at Important points to note:

a.       Proposal documents should only include project costs for which funding is requested. (e.g., No NSF budget or budget justification should include personnel effort for which funding is not requested.)

b.      Per 2 CFR § 215.23, Current and Pending Support is not part of the budget and so NSF would not consider effort listed on the current and pending support document  to meet the definition of cost share.

c.       NSF’s policy of limiting salary compensation for senior project personnel to no more than two months per year (from all NSF funded grants) remains in effect.

2.       Data Management Plan: All proposals must describe plans for data management, to be uploaded as an attachment (up to 2 pages) under Special Information and Supplementary Documentation in Fastlane. Fastlane will not permit submission of a proposal that is missing the Data Management Plan.  Requirements broken out by NSF Directorate are available at, and the UW has Data Sharing resources online at

If you have any questions about the information above as it relates to a specific proposal or procedures in general, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with your preaward contact in the CALS Research Division (