Important Information for FY18


May 17, 2017

In FY18, the Theoretical Nuclear Physics Program will be participating in a pilot program that will employ a streamlined initial budget process for proposals. The intent of this pilot is to allow NSF program staff and reviewers to focus on the science and to reduce the investigators’ administrative workload by requiring only a basic justification of the resources necessary to complete the project. If a proposal is recommended for award, NSF staff will request full budgets and budget justifications and will proceed as normal with the recommendation process.

For the streamlined proposal budget process in the initial proposal submission stage, proposers will submit a zero proposal budget in the NSF Budget format. Since the senior personnel listed on the Cover Sheet are currently prepopulated on the budget, they will need to be removed from Section A of the budget for the purposes of submitting a streamlined proposal budget. To do this, proposers will:

• Go the Budget;
• Click Funds (or Add a Year, if appropriate, then click Funds);
• Delete the Senior Personnel from Budget Section A (by clicking on ‘Add/Remove Senior Personnel’) and then click Save; and
• Click to the Bottom of Page, click Calculate and Save and Go Back.

The budget justification should not provide itemized dollar amounts per budget category; rather it should provide sufficient narrative detail for program officers and reviewers to determine that resources are essential, adequate and appropriate to support the project being proposed. Information must be provided for any of the requested items listed below:

• Person-months of Senior Personnel (such as 1 month, 2 months, etc.);
• Number of postdoctoral scholars, graduate or undergraduate students, administrative and clerical staff, and a brief overview of their respective roles;
• Equipment purchases, including estimated cost;
• Number of domestic and foreign trips anticipated, their necessity for the project, as well as the number of travelers and the location of the trip, if available;
• Number of project participants;
• Pertinent materials and supplies, consultant services, etc.; or
• Any subawards, to whom, and a brief description of the work to be performed.

If a proposal is recommended for award, a full budget and budget justification must be submitted and amounts must be included in all appropriate budget categories, including indirect costs and any other items not discussed in the original budget justification. Organizations that have proposals that are recommended for award will receive further instructions at that time.

Please note that some of NSF’s electronic compliance warning messages in FastLane will not be relevant for this streamlined proposal budgeting pilot and should be disregarded. For example, proposers will receive a warning that an insufficient amount is being requested in the budget; this, however, will not affect the ability to submit the proposal.

If postdoctoral researchers are anticipated and discussed in the budget justification, a Postdoctoral Researcher Mentoring Plan is required even though the absence of one will not prevent submission of the proposal.

It is expected that all proposers will comply with the guidance of the NSF Grant Proposal Guide and applicable program solicitations.

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2020 budget of $8.3 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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