NSF Proposal Submission Requirements – Changes for 2013

NSF has released a new Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG), available online at

The new PAPPG implements the following changes – please take note, as proposals that do not comply will be returned by NSF without review.

1. Project Summary

The Project Summary must include 3 separate sections: Overview, Intellectual Merit, and Broader Impacts. Fastlane will be updated to include 3 separate text boxes for these 3 sections of the Project Summary, all of which must be completed in order for a proposal to be reviewed. If the Project Summary is uploaded as a file attachment, these 3 headings still must be addressed clearly and distinctly.

2. Biosketch

The Publications section is changed to Products, to accommodate the changing nature of scientific work. Acceptable items to list in this section now include, in addition to publications, patents, data sets, software, and copyrights. Unpublished articles and invited lectures should not be listed.

3. Project Description

The Project Description must include:

  • A discussion of the Broader Impacts of the proposed activities as a separate section within the narrative.
  • Results from prior and/or current NSF support that either the PI or any co-PI has received.

4. Budget

Personnel for which no funding is requested (e.g., PI’s and co-PI’s) should not be listed in the budget or budget justification. Instead, their role(s) should be described in the Facilities, Equipment, and Other Resources section of the proposal.

5. Facilities, equipment, and other resources

Should include both physical and personnel resources that the institution will provide to the project, if funded. Must not include any quantifiable financial information.

For further information, NSF has also released FAQs related to these changes, available at