Changes to NSF Proposal Preparation Guidelines (effective 12/26/2014)

December 22, 2014 –

The National Science Foundation has released a new update to their Grants Proposal Guide (NSF GPG 15-1) which implements the Uniform Guidance (2 CFR 200 – for more info on the Uniform Guidance, see OSP website). 

This new guide is effective as of Friday, December 26, 2014. Any proposal with a deadline of December 26th or later will be subject to these new guidelines. Please check the solicitation and/or deadline date for any NSF proposal that you may be preparing to determine which version of the GPG applies. We have prepared a new NSF Proposal Checklist which incorporates these changes which is now posted on the OSP website, and attached here.

A new version of the NSF Application Guide has also been released with the same effective date of December 26, 2014. The new instructions will require changes to Coeus in order to be submitted System-to-System (S2S). Therefore, any NSF applications to be submitted via will need to use the Adobe package until these updates are made. We will announce as soon as NSF S2S submission with the new forms becomes available.

The top changes likely to affect MIT proposal development are highlighted below, and links are provided to the updated NSF publications. If you have additional questions regarding a specific proposal, please contact your OSP Contract Administrator.

Top changes with GPG 15-1

  1. New guidance, per the Uniform Guidance, that a minimum 10% MTDC indirect rate should be applied when there is no federally negotiated indirect cost rate. Please note that this will apply both to subawardees without a rate agreement and to MIT proposals for non-research activities. This is a change from the previous version of the GPG which did not allow for any indirect costs without a negotiated rate.
  2. Other changes which implement the allowability (e.g. computers, administrative staff, meetings) and procurement requirements of the Uniform Guidance.
  3. Clarifications regarding the requirements of “Results from Prior NSF Support” and “Broader Impacts of the Proposed Work” subsections of the project description
  4. Total numbers of all collaborator types must now be provided in Biosketch, not just students and postdocs.

Helpful Links:

  1. NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide 15-1
  2. Application Guide (Dec 2014) (available in PDF only)
  3. MIT Office of Sponsored Programs: NSF Page
  4. Download a printable copy of this page.