November 20, 2014

NSF Issues Revised PAPPG

The National Science Foundation Policy Office in the Division of Institution and Award Support has announced that the revised version of the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG), (NSF 15-1) has been issued. The revision includes a summary of Significant Changes and Clarifications to the PAPPG.

The NSF announcement states the following:

The PAPPG has been revised to implement 2 CFR § 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance). The Uniform Guidance incorporates language from eight existing Office of Management and Budget (OMB) circulars into one consolidated set of guidance in the Code of Federal Regulations. The PAPPG also has been revised to incorporate other significant changes and clarifications unrelated to the Uniform Guidance implementation.

The PAPPG is comprised of documents relating to the Foundation's proposal and award process and consists of the:

(a) Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) for guidance on the preparation and submission of proposals to NSF; and
(b) Award & Administration Guide (AAG) to guide, manage, and monitor the award and administration of grants and cooperative agreements made by the Foundation.

As mandated by OMB, the new PAPPG will be effective December 26, 2014. In addition to the significant changes to implement the Uniform Guidance, other important revisions include:
  • Acknowledgement of the implementation of NSF’s new financial system (iTRAK);
  • Addition of an NSF electronic capabilities modernization status matrix to assist the community as NSF transitions our electronic capabilities to;
  • Additional compliance checking regarding the type of proposal mechanism used;
  • Expansion of the budget justification section to reflect that each subaward must include a separate budget justification of no more than three pages;
  • New coverage on the Ideas Lab funding mechanism;
  • Description of new prior approval requirements; and
  • Numerous clarifications throughout the document.
Given the extensive nature of the changes made to implement the Uniform Guidance and other important revisions, the community is strongly encouraged to review the by-chapter summary of the changes provided in the Introduction section of the PAPPG. A webinar to brief the community on the new PAPPG will be held in early January; further communication will be forthcoming.

While this version of the PAPPG becomes effective on December 26, 2014, in the interim, the guidelines contained in the current PAPPG (NSF 14-1) continue to apply. We will ensure that the current version of the PAPPG remains on the NSF website, with a notation to proposers that specifies when the new PAPPG (including a link to the new Guide) will become effective.