NSF Proposal Preparation Checklist

NSF Proposal Preparation Checklist

Source: NSF 18-1, Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide 

Proposal Preparation Checklist 
It is imperative that all proposals conform to the proposal preparation and submission instructions specified in Part I of the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide.  Conformance with all preparation and submission instructions is required and will be strictly enforced unless a deviation has been approved in advance of proposal submission.  Note that some NSF program solicitations modify standard NSF proposal preparation guidelines, and, in such cases, the guidelines provided in the solicitation must be followed.  FastLane uses the rules specified for each type of proposal, (e.g., Research, RAPID, EAGER, RAISE, GOALI, Ideas Lab, FASED, Conference, Equipment, or Travel) to check for compliance prior to submission to NSF.  Proposers are strongly advised to review the applicable sections of Chapter II.E. relevant to the type of proposal being developed PRIOR to submission.  NSF will not accept or will return without review proposals that are not consistent with these instructions.  See Chapter IV.B and visit: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/autocompliance.jsp for additional information.  
Prior to submission, it is strongly recommended that an administrative review be conducted to ensure that proposals comply with the instructions, and the format specified.  This checklist is not intended to be an all-inclusive repetition of the required proposal contents and associated proposal preparation guidelines.  It is, however, meant to highlight certain critical items so they will not be overlooked when the proposal is prepared.
[  ] General:
[  ] The proposal is compliant with the provisions in the PAPPG and/or the relevant program solicitation.
[  ] The proposal is responsive to the relevant program description or announcement (if applicable).
[  ] If the proposal has been previously declined and is being resubmitted, the proposal has been substantively revised to take into account the major comments from the prior NSF review.
[  ] The proposed work is appropriate for funding by NSF, and is not a duplicate of, or substantially similar to, a proposal already under consideration by NSF from the same submitter.
[  ] The proposal must be submitted by 5 p.m. submitter's local time on the established deadline date.

[  ] Single Copy Documents:
[  ] Authorization to Deviate from NSF Proposal Preparation Requirements is included (if applicable).
[  ] List of Suggested Reviewers, or Reviewers Not To Include has been provided (if applicable).
[  ] SF LLL, Disclosure of Lobbying Activities has been provided (if applicable). 
[  ] Collaborators and Other Affiliations (COA) Information has been separately provided for each individual identified as senior project personnel through use of the COA template available at: https://nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/coa.jsp.

[ ] Cover Sheet:
[ ] For interdisciplinary proposals, ensure all relevant programs are identified.

[ ] Title includes any necessary prefix, e.g., “Collaborative Proposal:.”

[ ] For renewal proposals, previous award numbers have been entered.

[ ] Related preliminary proposal number has been entered (if applicable).

[ ] The “Special Exception to the Deadline Date Policy” box has been checked on the NSF Cover Sheet and the requisite Single Copy Document has been provided (if applicable).

[ ] Appropriate box(es) have been checked, and requisite information has been provided.

[ ] Project Summary:
[ ] The Project Summary may ONLY be uploaded as a Supplementary Document if use of special characters is necessary. Such Project Summaries must be formatted with separate headings for Overview, Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts.

[ ] The Project Summary must not exceed one page.

[ ] Project Description:
[ ] The Project Description must not exceed the 15-page limitation, the limit specified in a specific program solicitation, or the limit provided in the instructions for types of proposals (e.g., RAPID, EAGER and Ideas Lab).

[ ] Project Description contains, as a separate section within the narrative, a section labeled “Intellectual Merit.”

[ ] Project Description contains, as a separate section within the narrative, a section labeled “Broader Impacts”.

[ ] Project Description is self-contained, and Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) have not been included.

[ ] Results from Prior NSF Support have been provided for any PI or co-PI identified on the proposal that has received prior NSF support including:

• an award with an end date in the past five years; or

• any current funding, including any no cost extensions.

[ ] Results related to Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts are described under two separate, distinct headings, and are limited to five pages of the Project Description.

[ ] References Cited:
[ ] This section includes bibliographic citations only and does not provide parenthetical information outside of the 15-page Project Description.

[ ] Each reference is in the required format, which may vary according to the norms of the scientific discipline.

[ ] Biographical Sketch(es):
[ ] The content described is in accordance with the instructions, and does not contain additional information beyond that specified.

[ ] Each biographical sketch must not exceed two pages.

[ ] Each individual’s biographical sketch must be uploaded as a single PDF file associated with that individual.

[ ] Proposal Budget:
[ ] Each budget line item is documented and justified in the budget justification.

[ ] Any compensation for senior personnel in excess of two months is disclosed in the proposal budget and justified in the budget justification.

[ ] A budget justification must be provided for the proposer AND any proposed subawardee.

[ ] The amount for indirect costs was be calculated by applying the current negotiated indirect cost rate(s) to the approved base(s) and amount is specified in the budget justification.

[ ] Each budget justification must not exceed five pages or the page limitation specified in a specific program solicitation. For proposals that contain a subaward(s), each subaward must include a separate budget justification that must not exceed five pages.

[ ] Cost Sharing:
[ ] Unless required by an NSF program solicitation, voluntary committed cost sharing has not been included. Note that voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited and Line M on the proposal budget will not be available for use by the proposer. While not required by NSF, proposing organizations may, at their own discretion, continue to contribute voluntary uncommitted cost sharing to NSF-sponsored projects. These resources are not auditable by NSF and should not be included in the proposal budget or budget justification.

[ ] Current and Pending Support:
[ ] All current and pending support from whatever source (e.g., Federal, state, local or foreign government agencies, public or private foundations, industrial or other commercial organizations, or internal funds allocated toward specific projects) must be listed. The proposed project and all other projects or activities requiring a portion of time of the PI and other senior personnel must be included, even if they receive no salary support from the project(s).

[ ] Information on this proposal is included.

[ ] Each individual’s current and pending support must be uploaded as a single PDF file or inserted as text associated with that individual.

[ ] Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources:
[ ] An aggregated description of the internal and external resources (both physical and personnel) that the organization and its collaborators will provide to the project, should it be funded, has been included.

[ ] No quantifiable financial information has been provided.

[ ] If there are no facilities, equipment or other resources identified, a statement to that effect has been included in this section of the proposal and uploaded into FastLane.

[ ] Special Information and Supplementary Documentation:
[ ] A postdoctoral mentoring plan, limited to one page, has been included, if required.

[ ] A data management plan, limited to two pages, has been included.

[ ] Letters of collaboration documenting collaborative arrangements of significance to the proposal have been included (if applicable).

[ ] Other types of information identified in Chapter II.C.2.j have been included, as appropriate. [ ] Any additional items specified in a relevant program solicitation have been included.

[ ] Appendices:
[ ] Appendices may not be included unless a deviation has been authorized.


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