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NSF Updates – Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG)

The NSF PAPPG was recently updated and the new guidelines go into effect on May 20, 2024 for all proposals due on or after this date. Below is a summary of the significant changes. If you have any questions regarding how this may affect your proposal, please reach out to OSP Pre-Award at If you have questions on how this may affect your current NSF award, please reach out to OSP Post-Award at

Senior/Key Personnel Documents

  • Common Forms (biosketch and current & pending (other) support documents) in SciENcv will be mandatory for all proposals with due dates on or after May 20, 2024.
  • Biosketches no longer have a page limit
  • “Synergistic Activities” are no longer included on the Biosketch but will be uploaded as a separate document for each Senior/Key personnel
    • Document limit: 1 page (to include 5 distinct examples that show the broader impacts of the Senior/Key person’s scholarly and professional activities)

Malign Foreign Talent Recruitment Programs (MFTRP)

  • Any person found to be party to a MFTRP is ineligible to be a Senior or Key person on an NSF proposal or award made on or after May 20, 2024.
  • Each Senior or Key person must certify that they are not a party to an MFTRP on the new common forms (biosketch and current and pending (other support)), found in SciENcv, at the proposal stage and annually thereafter in for awards after May 20, 2024. False representations may be subject to prosecution and liability.

Mentoring Plan

  • The mentoring plan has been expanded to include graduate students and postdoctoral researchers supported on the project.
  • The mentoring plan remains limited to one page.
  • If funds are rebudgeted to support a postdoc or graduate student and the original proposal did not include a mentoring plan, then the recipient must send the cognizant NSF Program Officer the requisite mentoring plan.

Individual Development Plan (IDP)

  • Required for all postdoc and graduate students substantially supported (equal to or greater than one month of support) on the project
  • The IDP is not required to be submitted to NSF, but it can be requested at any time.
  • The IDP must be updated and certified annually by PI or Co-PI when they complete their annual report.

Foreign Consultants and/or Subawards

  • If foreign organizations are included in the proposal, additional justification should be provided in the Project Narrative.
  • The justification must include, at minimum:
    • why support from U.S. resources is not feasible;
    • why the foreign organization or foreign individual can carry out the activity more effectively than a U.S. organization or U.S. individual
    • what unique expertise, organizational capability, facilities, data resources, and/or access to a geographic location not generally available to U.S. investigators the foreign organization or foreign individual brings to the project; and
    • what significant science and engineering education, training, or research opportunities the foreign organization or foreign individual offers to the U.S.

Tribal Nations Approval

  • Required on all projects that may have a potential impact on tribal resources or interests.
  • If the project may have potential impact on tribal resources or interests:
    • The box “Potential Impacts on Tribal Nations” on the cover sheet must be checked by the lead organization.
    • At proposal, one of three documents must be uploaded into “Supplementary Documents”:
      • Copy of written request to relevant Tribe(s)
      • Written confirmation from relevant Tribe(s) that a review and approval is unnecessary
      • Copy of document from relevant Tribe(s) that a review and approval have been completed and work is approved.

Postaward Additions of Off-Site or Off-Campus Research

Requires that a Plan for Safe and Inclusive Working Environments be developed and maintained as part of the project records if off-site work is added during the award period.

Resources and Additional Information