Significant NSF Policy Updates, Effective 5/20/2024

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has published revisions to their core policy documents that represent significant changes for NSF researchers and administrators, effective May 20, 2024. Please review this message in its entirety and share broadly with all applicants and awardees affected by these changes.

Updated Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), NSF 24-1

This updated core policy document, applicable to all NSF proposals and awards, includes several updates of note to the research community. A summary of the most notable changes are below, with further discussion available via a recording of the April 2024 OSP Roundtable.

  • All named senior/key personnel are required to use the new Common Form for Biographical Sketch and Common Form for Current & Pending (Other) Support available in SciENcv. These forms include updated researcher certifications, expanded to include confirmation that the individual is not a current party to a Malign Foreign Talent Recruitment Programs (MFTRP)
  • All named senior/key personnel must provide a one-page document listing of up to five distinct synergistic activities within their proposal. See PAPPG 24-1 Chapter II.D.2.h(i).
  • All projects which include support for graduate students or Postdocs must have a one-page Mentoring Plan. The Plan must describe the mentoring that will be provided to all graduate students and PostDocs supported by the project, regardless of whether they reside at the submitting organization, any subrecipient organization, or at any organization participating in a simultaneously submitted collaborative proposal. If a project did not include a Mentoring Plan in their proposal but subsequently adds a graduate student or PostDoc to the project, a Mentoring Plan must be authored and sent to the assigned NSF Program Officer. See PAPPG 24-1 Chapter II.D.2i(i).
  •  All projects which include substantial support (i.e., 1 month or more) for graduate students or Postdocs must have Individual Development Plans for Postdoctoral Scholars and Graduate Students. The Plan must address educational goals, career exploration, and professional development. A certification that a Plan is in place and is updated annually for each person will be added to the annual report in The Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) is currently working on resources to help achieve this requirement and will provide updates to the Cornell research community via the Working with NSF page. See PAPPG 24-1 Chapter VII.B.7.
  • All units must have on file a project specific plan regarding the safe and inclusive working environments for all projects that includes off-campus or off-site research. If a project did not include a Plan in their proposal but subsequently adds off-campus work, a Plan must be authored and retained by the unit. See PAPPG 24-1 Chapter II.E.9.
  •  Proposals that may impact the resources or interests of a federally recognized American Indian or Alaska Native Tribal Nation (Tribal Nation) will not be awarded by NSF without the prior written approval from the designation official(s) from the relevant tribe(s). See PAPPG 24-1 Chapter II.E.10.
  • Proposers are encouraged to indicate in the Project Description the extent to which, if any, generative AI was used to develop their proposal.

Updated Standard NSF Award Terms & Conditions

NSF has published revisions to their entire suite of standard NSF Award Terms & Conditions to implement the changes outlined above. The revised terms and conditions will apply to all new NSF awards and funding amendments to existing NSF awards made on or after May 20, 2024.

Published on: Monday, May 13, 2024 - 3:15pm