PPAG upcoming changes effective May 20, 2024

  • January 22, 2024

The National Science Foundation (NSF) plays a crucial role in supporting scientific research and innovation. For NSF grant applicants, staying informed about policy changes is essential for a successful application process. In this blog post, we will delve into the upcoming changes to the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PPAG) scheduled to take effect on May 20, 2024. NSF will present information about these PPAG changes in a webinar on March 12th at 2 PM EST. Sign up on the Policy Office outreach website to be notified once registration opens.

Key changes to the PPAG

While we strongly encourage all applicants to thoroughly read the PPAG, below is a summary of the key changes outlined in NSF’s summary of changes page:

  1. Proposal Font, Spacing, and Margin Requirements, has been modified to allow for the submission of proposal documents in landscape format.
  2. Biosketches: This section has been revised to remove the 3-page limitation for the biographical sketch. There is no page limitation for this section of the proposal.
  3. The Synergistic Activities section has been removed from the biographical sketch. This information must now be submitted by individuals designated as senior/key persons as part of the senior/key personnel documents in Research.gov.
  4. Proposal Submission Enhancements: The NSF is implementing improvements to the proposal submission process. These enhancements aim to streamline and simplify the submission of proposals, making it more efficient for applicants.
  5. Merit Review Criteria Clarifications: Understanding the criteria used for merit review is crucial for applicants. The NSF has made clarifications to the merit review criteria, ensuring that applicants have a clearer understanding of how their proposals will be evaluated.
  6. Budgetary Changes and Guidelines: The changes include updates to budgetary guidelines, impacting how applicants plan and allocate resources for their projects. It is essential for grant seekers to familiarize themselves with these modifications to align their proposals with the new guidelines.
  7. Collaborative Proposals: For collaborative projects involving multiple organizations, the NSF has introduced changes to enhance the collaborative proposal submission process. Applicants engaged in collaborative efforts should pay close attention to these adjustments.
  8. Compliance and Reporting Requirements: NSF is strengthening its focus on compliance and reporting. Grant recipients must be aware of any new requirements and ensure they meet the necessary compliance standards throughout the project lifecycle.
  9. Broader Impacts Criterion Emphasis: The NSF has reinforced the importance of the broader impacts criterion in proposal evaluation. Grant applicants should carefully consider and articulate the broader societal impacts of their research when preparing proposals.

Modifications timeline

As of May 20, 2024, NSF grant applicants will need to adapt to the changes outlined in the updated Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide. In the interim, the guidelines contained in the current PAPPG (NSF 23-1) continue to apply. 

This blog post serves as a guide for NSF grant seekers, summarizing the key takeaways from the recent changes. Applicants are encouraged to refer to the full summary of changes for a more detailed understanding of how these adjustments may impact their specific proposals. Remember, staying informed is the first step toward success in the competitive world of scientific research funding. Best of luck to all NSF grant applicants in their pursuit of groundbreaking discoveries and advancements.

Ready To Take the Next Step?

We assist our clients in locating, applying for, and evaluating the outcomes of non-dilutive grant funding. We believe non-dilutive funding is a crucial tool for mitigating investment risks, and we are dedicated to guiding our clients through the entire process—from identifying the most suitable opportunities to submitting and managing grant applications.