October 30, 2017

NSF Issues Revised Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide

A message from Jean Feldman, Head of the National Science Foundation Policy Office:

Dear Colleagues:

We are pleased to announce that a revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), (NSF 18-1) has been issued.

The new PAPPG will be effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 29, 2018. Significant changes include:
  • Addition of a new eligibility subcategory on international branch campuses of U.S. Institutions of Higher Education;
  • Revision of eligibility standards for foreign organizations;
  • Implementation of the standard Collaborators and Other Affiliations (COA) template that has been in pilot phase since April;
  • Increase in the Budget Justification page limitation from three pages to five pages;
  • Restructuring of coverage on grantee notifications to and requests for approval from NSF, including referral to the Prior Approval Matrix available on the NSF website; and
  • Numerous clarifications and other changes throughout the document.
You are encouraged to review the by-chapter summary of changes provided in the Introduction section of the PAPPG.

A webinar to brief the community on the new PAPPG will be held on December 8 at 2 PM EST. Sign up to be notified when registration is available on the outreach notifications website, by selecting “All NSF Grants and Policy Outreach Events & Notifications.”

While this version of the PAPPG becomes effective on January 29, 2018, in the interim, the guidelines contained in the current PAPPG (NSF 17-1) 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.

If you have any questions regarding these changes, please contact the Policy Office on (703) 292-8243 or by e-mail to policy@nsf.gov.


Jean Feldman
Head, Policy Office
Division of Institution and Award Support
Office of Budget, Finance & Award Management

October 03, 2017

Changes to NIH Policy for Issuing Certificates of Confidentiality

The National Institutes of Health has issued Notice of Changes to NIH Policy for Issuing Certificates of Confidentiality (NOT-OD-17-109).


A Certificate of Confidentiality (Certificate) protects the privacy of research participants enrolled in biomedical, behavioral, clinical or other research. The Certificate prohibits disclosure in response to legal demands, such as a subpoena

In the past NIH provided Certificates of Confidentiality to PIs carrying out human subjects’ research. NIH has just issued guidance that they will no longer do this


Effective October 1, 2017, certificates of confidentiality will issue automatically for applicable NIH awards as part of the award terms and conditions

NIH will not determine applicability; that is now the responsibility of the awardee institution and investigators

Also, NIH will no longer provide a paper certificate. NIH has indicated that:
Documentation of NIH funding or support (i.e., the award notice), the NIH Notice of Changes to NIH Policy for Issuing Certificates of Confidentiality (NOT-OD-17-109), the NIH Grants Policy Statement (See subsection 301(d) of the Public Health Service Act, and any additional future guidance issued by NIH, will serve as documentation of the issuance of a Certificate for a specific study.

The policy applies to research commenced or ongoing on or after December 13, 2016. The NIH CoC website has now been updated and includes updated consent language and FAQs.