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NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG)

The NSF has updated the  PAPPG it becomes effective for all proposals submitted on or after January 14, 2013.  There are a number of updates to the guide, including changes to the Merit Review Criteria.  The presentation below discusses these changes.  Please contact your ORSP Project Administrator for questions or assistance with these changes.

NSF Updates to PAPPG - Powerpoint



Data Management Plans are required for ALL NSF proposals  

Proposals without the required Data Management Plan will be returned from NSF without review.
What is a Data Management Plan?

  • A Data Management Plan is a supplementary document of no more than two pages labeled “Data Management Plan.”
  • The supplementary document should describe how the proposal will conform to NSF policy on dissemination and sharing of research results.  See NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) Chapter II.C.2 for full policy.
  • What needs to be included in the plan varies widely with the nature of the research and the discipline (see below).  Some disciplines have been handling the dissemination and sharing of research results in standardized ways for a long time, while for others this is relatively new concept. 
  • Due to the variability across disciplines and the need for it to be appropriate for specific research activities, the Data Management Plans will be evaluated by the reviewers from the discipline as part of the normal review process.

Requirements by Directorate, Office, Division, Program, or other NSF Unit:
Only the NSF units listed below have published specific guidelines thus far, but the list has been growing steadily.  It is possible that more units within NSF will produce general guidelines in the future.  For a complete, up-to-date list, of guidelines for preparation of Data Management Plans for various areas within NSF, see the following Web site:

Please note:  Check specific program solicitations for additional information.  Any guidance within a specific program solicitation must be followed, regardless of existing general guidelines that might seem to apply.

Engineering Directorate (ENG)

Geological Sciences Directorate (GEO)

Mathematical and Physical Sciences Directorate (MPS)

Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences Directorate (SBE)

  • Directorate-wide Guidance

NSF Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) related to Data Management & Sharing:



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