Office of Research and Sponsored Programs

Funding updates:

Please see Upcoming Deadlines of Grant Opportunities for information about approaching grant deadlines.


October 1, 2010

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has issued a revised Proposal and Award Policies & Procedures Guide – the PAPP.  See the “Dear Colleague” letter below.  Jean Feldman and her colleagues from NSF will join us Thursday afternoon October 28, 2010 during the [Council on Governmental Relations] (COGR) meeting to discuss the revisions to the PAPP (and Grant General Conditions...).  The Thursday late afternoon session will include presentations from Sally Rockey and Joe Ellis from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) describing changes to the NIH Grants Policy Statement.  The NIH changes should be issued before the COGR meeting as well.  
Dear Colleagues:  
We have published a revised version of the version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), (NSF 11-1): The document is available in html, and, a pdf version of the document will be posted in the near future.  
The new PAPPG will be effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 18, 2011.  Clarifications and changes include:

  • Chapter II.C.2.j, Special Information and Supplementary Documentation, contains a clarification of NSF’s long standing data policy.  All proposals must describe plans for data management and sharing of the products of research, or assert the absence of the need for such plans.  Fastlane will not permit submission of a proposal that is missing the Data Management Plan.  The Data Management Plan will be reviewed as part of the intellectual merit or broader impacts of the proposal, or both, as appropriate.  
  • Chapter II.C.2.g(xi), Cost Sharing, has been revised to implement the National Science Board’s recommendations regarding cost sharing.  Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited.  In order to assess the scope of the project, all organizational resources necessary for the project must be described in the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section of the proposal.  The description should be narrative in nature and must not include any quantifiable financial information.  Mandatory cost sharing will only be required when explicitly authorized by the NSF Director.  
  • Chapter II.C.2.a, Cover Sheet, has been revised for consistency with the requirements of the Federal Funding & Accountability Act, to replace the Performing/Research Organization information with Project/Performance Site Primary Location information.  This change already has been made on a government-wide basis in the SF 424 family of forms.  If the project will be performed at a location other than the awardee, additional geographic information must be provided.  

A by-chapter summary of significant changes is provided at the beginning of both the Grant Proposal Guide and the Award & Administration Guide to assist you in identifying the changes.  
If you have any questions regarding these NSF changes, please contact the Policy Office on (703) 292-8243 or by e-mail to     
Carol Blum
Director, Research Compliance and Administration
Council on Governmental Relations (COGR)
1200 New York Ave., NW, Suite 750
Washington DC 20005
202-289-6655, ext. 17


April 27, 2010

From the Grants Resource Center:

Delays, Delays, and Developments Announced for Popular ED Programs

The U.S. Department of Education is seeking additional public comments regarding the Office of Management and Budget review process of the Title III: Strengthening Institutions Program. Comments are due May 24, 2010, which means that the actual application may not appear until sometime in June, with a July deadline date. 

The Title V: Developing Hispanic-Serving Institutions (Part A) application is expected during the week of April 26, 2010.  However, the Part B program, Promoting Postbaccalaureate Opportunities for Hispanic Americans (PPOHA), is going to be delayed. Program officer Peter Fusscas says that a notice of proposed requirements should appear in the Federal Register within the next few days. The deadline for public comment will be within 30 days, which will then set the release date of the PPOHA application into June or later. Fusscas also states that a notice for public comment is expected soon for the new HSI-STEM Articulation program.This program will be similar in scope to the FY 08 College Cost Reduction and Access Act competition.

Meanwhile, the release of the TRIO Upward Bound and McNair programs will be delayed until FY 12. This move is consistent with the delays that affected the Student Support Services (SSS), Talent Search, and Educational Opportunity Centers programs. The passage of the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 brought several changes for TRIO programs, including a change from a four-year to a five-year competition cycles. It was announced during the GRC 2008 External Funding Conference that the SSS Program would be delayed for a year to accommodate these changes.  

Current Upward Bound and McNair programs with September 30, 2011 completion dates will be given an automatic extension to September 30, 2012.  Barring any other delays, new competition details are expected late next year with new projects slated to start on October 1, 2012. 

In other Office of Postsecondary Education news, after the cancellation of last year's Comprehensive Program competition and the addition of four "special focus" competitions, there was much confusion surrounding the future and focus of the Fund for the Improvement of Postsecondary Education (FIPSE).  But FIPSE is back, with a plan to open not only a new Comprehensive Program competition, but also additional one-time only competitions. 

SBIR and STTR Live to See another Ninety Days

The Senate has voted unanimously to extend the Small Business Administration Act (SBA) and the Small Business Investment Act, including the Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer programs, through July 31, 2010. The programs were set to expire April 30. Additional temporary extensions are expected in the coming months as the congressional conference committee continues to negotiate the SBA-related reauthorizations.

Gore Talks Grants, Greening, and Greed

More foundations will invest substantially more in grants focused on climate change and sustainability if former vice president Al Gore has his way. During the keynote address at the annual meeting of the Council on Foundations, Gore called global warming "by far the most serious problem facing our civilization," as theChronicle of Philanthropy reports. The speech highlighted the ways environmental stewardship overlap with other critical issues in private sector grant-making: civic engagement, youth development, sustainable fun ding, and dissemination of research results.

Prepare for Fast Turnaround HRSA Equipment Deadline

The Health Resources and Services Administration has informed GRC that its Equipment Grants programis on hold. A new announcement expected soon, with the possibility of fewer than 30 days between the solicitation's release and the application deadline. GRC will post updates as soon as they become available.


April 26, 2010

From the Council of Graduate Research:

Congressional update: This week the House Science and Technology Committee released a full draft of the “America COMPETES Reauthorization Act of 2010,” which it plans to consider next Wednesday, April 28.  Among other things, the legislation would reauthorize the National Science Foundation (NSF).  Last week’s Weekly Update reported details about the bill sections that were approved by the Subcommittee on Research and STEM Education. The full bill includes several provisions of interest to the graduate education community, including: 

  • Authorizes NSF to award “competitive grants to implement or expand research-based reforms in master’s and doctoral level STEM education that emphasize preparation for diverse careers in the STEM workforce”  Activities supported under this section could include the development and implementation of future faculty training programs and the creation or improvement of science master’s programs.
  • Mandates that NSF treat the Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) and Graduate Research Fellowship (GRF) programs equally by requiring that the programs have the same annual rate of funding change.
  • Creates two postdoctoral fellowship programs: one in STEM Educational Research and the other in research in any field supported by NSF.
  • Authorizes Department of Energy (DOE) STEM education programs for students and teachers, including research opportunities at National Labs for graduate students as well as “scholarships, fellowships, and traineeships for undergraduate and graduate students in energy systems science and engineering and other STEM disciplines supported by the Department.”
  • Mandates that DOE appoint a Director of STEM Education to oversee all such programs at DOE.
  • Establishes an “Energy Applied Science Talent Expansion Program for Institutions of Higher Education” that would fund 5 grants of up to $5 million each over 5 years to institutions for implementation or expansion of energy systems science and engineering programs and provide financial support to master’s and doctoral students. $30 million would be authorized in FY 11, rising to $40 million in FY 15.
  • Expands the “Protecting America’s Competitive Edge (PACE) Graduate Fellowship Program” authorized in the original America COMPETES Act to include master’s students.
  • Authorizes NSF funding from Fiscal Year 2011 through FY 15, rising from $8.2 billion to $10.7 billion.
  • Authorizes the DOE Office of Science at $6.2 billion in FY 11, increasing to $8.2 billion in FY 15.
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