New NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (NSF 15-1 PAPPG)

The National Science Foundation (NSF) issued a revision of its Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG, NSF 15-1). The update includes implementation of Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards (Uniform Guidance). The Uniform Guidance incorporates eight Office of Management and Budget (OMB) circulars into one guidance under 2 CFR § 200.

The PAPPG will be effective December 26, 2014. Until then, PAPPG (NSF 14-1) continues to apply.

The summary of Significant Changes and Clarifications to the PAPPG can be found at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappguide/nsf15001/sigchanges.jsp

A few of the most notable changes impacting new proposal budgets include:

  • Budget justification is now required for each subaward and is limited to no more than three pages.
  • Budget justification section has been revised to state that all travel (both domestic and foreign) must be now be justified.
  • Supply section provides updated guidance to indicate computing devices may be included as direct costs for devices that are essential and allocable, but not solely dedicated, to the performance of the award.
  • Participant support costs has been clarified to reflect that any additional categories of participant support costs other than those described in 2 CFR § 200.75 (such as incentives, gifts, souvenirs, t-shirts and memorabilia), must be justified in the budget justification, and such costs will be closely scrutinized by NSF. Funds provided for participant support may not be used for other categories of expense without specific prior NSF written approval.
  • Indirect cost language has been updated to allow 10% MTDC for subawards that do not have a federally negotiated rate, including foreign entities