NSF Collaborators and Other Affiliations (COA) Document

Update:As of April 24, 2017, NSF will be piloting the use of a standard template for all COAs. See the NSF Policy Office website for a copy of the template and details.

Starting in January 2016, NSF changed the requirement to list an investigator’s “Collaborators & Other Affiliations” from being included in the Biographical Sketch to a separate document (COA) which is not shared with reviewers. NSF in general has not specified a particular format for this document, but it should be prepared as a separate document for each PI, Co-PI, or Senior Person on a proposal. For Collaborative Proposals from Multiple organizations, linked in NSF FastLane, the COA documents should be uploaded separately for each investigator at their respective proposal.

The document should normally include, as three separate lists, including organizational affiliations:

  • Collaborators (past 48 months) and co-Editors (past 24 months) in alphabetical order
  • Graduate Advisor & Postdoctoral sponsor of the individual (all time)
  • Persons for whom the individual has served as a PhD advisor (all time)
    • Undergraduate, postdoctoral, or other advising is not a disqualifying conflict

Special COA requirements

Some programs have defined a more specific format. These additional requirements can change or supercede the instructions in the PAPPG. Please be sure to check your particular opportunity for special instructions regarding COA. 

Please note that even if there are special formatting instructions, the documents should still be uploaded to “Collaborators & Other Affiliations” module, and not to the “Additional Single Copy Documents” module. For programs that require a single combined document for multiple investigators, this will result in an automatically generated page which states “No Collaborators & Other Affiliations Information Provided” for each investigator who does not have a separate document uploaded. These pages do not go to reviewers, and are not a problem. At present, there is no validation in Fastlane tied to this module.

As of December 2016, the following programs are known to have additional formatting requirements for COA. Should you encounter any others, please forward these to Danforth Nicholas so that this list can be updated.