Email Print Share

From NSF Ocean Sciences, Compliance of Proposals (2/5/18)

May 28, 2019

NSF typically updates its proposal and award policies and procedures annually. We would like to call your attention to the most recent version of the Proposals and Awards Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG, NSF 18-1, available on the NSF website) that went into effect on January 29, 2018. Please take some time to review this document to ensure your next proposal to the Division of Ocean Sciences (OCE) is compliant.

Examples of significant changes in this version of the PAPPG include: the requirement of a separate heading for Intellectual Merit in the Project Description, an increase in the Budget Justification page limitation from three pages to five pages, the implementation of the standard Collaborators and Other Affiliations template, and the revision of eligibility standards for foreign organizations.

As Principal or co-Principal Investigators, it is your responsibility to ensure your NSF proposal is compliant with the new PAPPG. We have noticed that some PAPPG changes in recent years have been overlooked, with many proposals being non-compliant and requiring updates that delay the review process. Examples of common non-compliance issues include: URLs in the Project Description, incomplete descriptions of Prior NSF Support, “cheerleading” in letters of collaboration, missing justification for a request of over 2 months of salary support, and an incomplete list of authors in the References.  These are provided as examples, not as an exhaustive list.

Non-compliant proposals may be returned without review. Please work with your sponsored project office and contact the relevant OCE program staff with any questions about compliance issues, preferably prior to proposal submission.

Thank you for your continued hard work and dedication to advancing the field of ocean sciences.



Rick Murray
Director, Division of Ocean Sciences
National Science Foundation

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 2021 budget of $8.5 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.

mail icon Get News Updates by Email 

Connect with us online
NSF website:
NSF News:
For News Media:
Awards database:

Follow us on social
Twitter: and