October 30, 2019

NSF Technical Report Requirements/Guidance

What is Required?

NSF requires that all Principal Investigators (PIs) submit annual reports during the course of an award.
  • The annual report is due no later than the 90-day period before the end of the current budget period for the award; it is overdue the day after that 90-day period ends. 
  • A final report must be submitted no later than 120 days following expiration of an award. It is overdue after that 120-day period ends.
  • The annual and final reports are reviewed by the award’s managing Program Officer; the reporting requirement is met only after the Program Officer has reviewed and approved the report.
  • NSF also requires that PIs submit a non-technical, Project Outcomes Report (POR), for the general public 120 days following expiration of an award. This report is submitted and posted on the Research.gov website exactly as submitted, without review by a Program Officer. Its intended audience includes the general public, journalists, Congress and its staffers.  The Project Outcomes Report should be a brief summary (200-800 words). The POR does not need to include a list of publications resulting from the award because NSF automatically imports the citations that the PI provided as part of the PI’s annual and final project reports into Research.gov’s Research Spending and Results.
Overdue reports will prevent the release of continuing grant increments (CGI), approval of No-cost Extensions, and the awarding of additional funding to the PI and all co-PIs listed on the award that has the overdue report.

Where/How to Submit

The above reports are submitted by the PI to NSF via the Project Reporting module in Research.gov.

Select “Awards & Reporting,”  then “Project Reports.”  The PI will need a NSF username and password to login.
  • To find an existing user ID, go to the NSF ID Lookup.
  • To create a new ID, go to Research.gov and click on “Register” at the top of the page. Remember, after creating a FastLane ID, new users will need to affiliate with UC Berkeley. To do this, new UC Berkeley users should send a message to spoawards@berkeley.edu and provide the newly created FastLane ID. SPO will then affiliate the new user with UC Berkeley going forward.
The reporting module can be accessed only by the PI and co-PIs of an award. The module is organized with tabs for each of the components of the report: Accomplishments, Products, Participants, Impact, Changes/Problems, and Special Requirements.

The template also allows the PI to attach PDF documents for images, charts and other supplemental materials; PDF attachments are not permitted for the narrative content of the report.

Note that annual and final progress reports are not cumulative and should be limited to accomplishments, products, etc. from the current reporting period.

A “Getting Started Guide” for creating (and editing) annual and final reports is available on Research.gov.