NSF Guidance

Last updated 12-8-2020

In the summer of 2020, the NSF released an updated version of its Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG), NSF 20-1, which included significant reporting changes related to inappropriate foreign influence.  Please review the information enclosed on this page to ensure compliance in your NSF submissions.

Researchers and research administrators should discuss any questions regarding disclosure requirements with their ORPA representative.


NSF requires a biographical sketch (limited to two pages) for each individual identified as senior personnel. Detailed information about the content is available in the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) Chapter II.C.2.f.

Biosketches for senior personnel must include:

  • "All of the individual's academic, professional, or institutional appointments, beginning with the current appointment."
  • With regard to professional appointments, senior personnel must identify all current domestic or foreign professional appointments outside of the individual's academic, professional, or institutional appointments at the proposing organization.

Approved formats for Biographical Sketches must be used starting 10/5/2020.  These include either:

Both FastLane and Research.gov will reject a proposal submission that does not utilize one of the approved formats.

Current and Pending

The NSF defines “Current and pending” as information on all current and pending support for ongoing projects and proposals.  NSF uses this information to assess the capacity of the individual to carry out the research as proposed and to determine whether there is a potential for overlap or duplication with the project being proposed.

 Current and Pending support includes:

  • All resources made available to an individual in support of and/or related to all of his/her research efforts, regardless of whether or not they have monetary value.  
  • Also includes in-kind contributions (such as office/laboratory space, equipment, supplies, employees, students). 
  • In-kind contributions not intended for use of the project/proposal being submitted also must be reported.

Current and pending information must be provided for:

  • this project,
  • ongoing projects,
  • and for any proposals currently under consideration from whatever source,
    • irrespective of whether such support is provided through the proposing organization,
    • or is provided directly to the individual.

Other considerations include:

  • Research endeavors are those of the individual PI or senior personnel.
  • Senior personnel must report measurable effort on each source of support listed.  NSF uses the information to assess capacity of researchers to carry out the project and to assess overlap.
  • An HHMI investigator included on a proposal who is not requesting salary, does not need to report this support on the Current and Pending.  Instead, their name and estimated effort should be reported on the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources page.

The following may not need to be included on the Current and Pending:

  • Time devoted to mentoring activities that take place as part of the researcher’s regular appointment at the proposing organization. 
    • However, if the researcher receives in-kind support either directly or through the proposing organization from an external source to support mentoring of students, then that in-kind support and the associated time committed to mentoring the student, must be reported on the Current and Pending.
  • Start-up packages from the proposing organization.
    • However, start-up packages from all other organizations must be reported.
  • ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​True outside consulting does not need to be reported. 
    • However, consulting that involves research should be included.
  • ​​​​​​​True gifts do not have to be reported. 
    • However, if a gift is given with an expectation of something in return and involves an associated time commitment, then it is not a gift but instead is an in-kind contribution that should be reported. 

In-kind Contributions:

  • With no associated time commitment and not intended for use on the project/proposal do not need to be included.
  • With an associated time commitment, but not ​​​​​​​intended for use on the project/proposal being proposed to NSF,  must be reported on the Current and Pending.
  • Is intended for use on the project/proposal being proposed, then it must be included in the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section of the proposal and does not have to be reported on the Current and Pending.​​​​​​​

Approved formats for Current and Pending Support must be used starting 10/5/2020.  These include either:

Post Award Notifications

Post-Award Notification requirements were updated on 10/5/20 to include the following new questions on the RPPR:

  • Has there been a change in the active other support of the PI/PD(s) since the last reporting period?
    • If PIs or co-PIs select “Yes,” they will be required to upload their most up-to-date Current and Pending Support document in an NSF-approved format to notify NSF that active other support has changed since the award was made or since the most recent annual report.
  • What was the impact on teaching and educational experiences?
  • What percentage of the award's budget was spent in a foreign country?
  • Has there been a change in primary performance site location from what was originally proposed?

The NSF-approved formats for Current and Pending Support are SciENcv: Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae and an NSF fillable PDF.

The NSF Current and Pending Support website includes additional information as well as links to system-related Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for both NSF-approved formats. A set of policy-related FAQs related to current and pending support is also available.

NSF Article 38:  Post-award Disclosure of Current Support and In-Kind Contribution (effective on awards/increments issued 10/5/20 or later):

  • If an organization discovers that a PI or Co-PI on an active NSF grant failed to disclose current support or in-kind contribution information as part of the proposal submission process, the AOR must submit a list of required information within 30 calendar days of the identification of the undisclosed current support or in-kind contribution through use of the “Other Request” category in the Notification and Request Module in Research.gov.