NSF Update: Proposer Resources, New RTCs Issued

At OSP, we have noticed a recent increase in the number of administrative rejections by NSF compared to prior years. Here’s a list of the most common reasons for rejection. To avoid such issues, we want to make sure you know about the most up-to-date NSF proposal checklist, a quick guide to the administrative requirements of NSF proposals.

In addition, here are some other NSF updates and resources that may be of interest:

  • Help us help you!  Please tell your department administrator about any actions you take with NSF (Letters of intent, notifications, pre-proposals, etc.) so they can let OSP know about the ones that require our approval. OSP cannot respond to automatically generated notifications from NSF. Unsure if a particular item requires OSP approval? Check out our new guide!
  • OSP will be reducing the number of reminders we send you about overdue NSF Technical reports, but we will soon re-instate automatic reminders in advance of the deadline.
  • Finally, NSF has published its long-awaited multi-agency Prior Approval Matrix, which shows when sponsor approvals are needed for common award changes, as well as the new Federal-Wide Research Terms and Conditions (RTC), which provide each agency’s variations to the standard federal terms under Uniform Guidance. NSF, NIH, and DOE plan to begin incorporating the new RTC in awards as of April 3, 2017. For NSF, the biggest variation is that general purpose equipment like printers and office furniture, while still generally not allowable costs, can be charged to a project without prior written approval if they are necessary for the specific project.