Proposal processing for scholarships of science and its details , mails , references


Proposals received by NSF are assigned to the appropriate NSF program for acknowledgement and, if they meet NSF requirements, for review. All proposals
are carefully reviewed by a scientist, engineer, or educator serving as an NSF Program Officer, and usually by three to ten other persons outside NSF either as
ad hoc reviewers, panelists, or both, who are experts in the particular fields represented by the proposal. These reviewers are selected by Program Officers
charged with oversight of the review process. Proposers are invited to suggest names of persons they believe are especially well qualified to review the proposal
and/or persons they would prefer not review the proposal.

 These suggestions may serve as one source in the reviewer selection process at the Program
Officer's discretion. Submission of such names, however, is optional. Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts of interest with the proposal. In
addition, Program Officers may obtain comments from site visits before recommending final action on proposals. Senior NSF staff further review
recommendations for awards. A flowchart that depicts the entire NSF proposal and award process (and associated timeline) is included in PAPPG Exhibit III-1.

 A comprehensive description of the Foundation's merit review process is available on the NSF website at:
Proposers should also be aware of core strategies that are essential to the fulfillment of NSF's mission, as articulated in Leading the World in Discovery and
Innovation, STEM Talent Development and the Delivery of Benefits from Research - NSF Strategic Plan for Fiscal Years (FY) 2022 - 2026. These strategies are
integrated in the program planning and implementation process, of which proposal review is one part. NSF's mission is particularly well-implemented through the
integration of research and education and broadening participation in NSF programs, projects, and activities.
One of the strategic objectives in support of NSF's mission is to foster integration of research and education through the programs, projects, and activities it
supports at academic and research institutions. These institutions must recruit, train, and prepare a diverse STEM workforce to advance the frontiers of science
and participate in the U.S. technology-based economy. NSF's contribution to the national innovation ecosystem is to provide cutting-edge research under the
guidance of the Nation's most creative scientists and engineers. NSF also supports development of a strong science, technology, engineering, and mathematics
(STEM) workforce by investing in building the knowledge that informs improvements in STEM teaching and learning.
NSF's mission calls for the broadening of opportunities and expanding participation of groups, institutions, and geographic regions that are underrepresented in
STEM disciplines, which is essential to the health and vitality of science and engineering. NSF is committed to this principle of diversity and deems it central to
the programs, projects, and activities it considers and supports.
A. Merit Review Principles and Criteria
The National Science Foundation strives to invest in a robust and diverse portfolio of projects that creates new knowledge and enables breakthroughs in
understanding across all areas of science and engineering research and education. To identify which projects to support, NSF relies on a merit review process
that incorporates consideration of both the technical aspects of a proposed project and its potential to contribute more broadly to advancing NSF's mission "to
promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense; and for other purposes." NSF makes
every effort to conduct a fair, competitive, transparent merit review process for the selection of projects.

 1. Merit Review Principles
These principles are to be given due diligence by PIs and organizations when preparing proposals and managing projects, by reviewers when reading and
evaluating proposals, and by NSF program staff when determining whether or not to recommend proposals for funding and while overseeing awards. Given that
NSF is the primary federal agency charged with nurturing and supporting excellence in basic research and education, the following three principles apply:
All NSF projects should be of the highest quality and have the potential to advance, if not transform, the frontiers of knowledge.
NSF projects, in the aggregate, should contribute more broadly to achieving societal goals. These "Broader Impacts" may be accomplished through the
research itself, through activities that are directly related to specific research projects, or through activities that are supported by, but are
complementary to, the project. 

The project activities may be based on previously established and/or innovative methods and approaches, but in either
case must be well justified.
Meaningful assessment and evaluation of NSF funded projects should be based on appropriate metrics, keeping in mind the likely correlation between
the effect of broader impacts and the resources provided to implement projects. If the size of the activity is limited, evaluation of that activity in isolation
is not likely to be meaningful. Thus, assessing the effectiveness of these activities may best be done at a higher, more aggregated, level than the
individual project.
With respect to the third principle, even if assessment of Broader Impacts outcomes for particular projects is done at an aggregated level, PIs are expected to be
accountable for carrying out the activities described in the funded project. Thus, individual projects should include clearly stated goals, specific descriptions of
the activities that the PI intends to do, and a plan in place to document the outputs of those activities.
These three merit review principles provide the basis for the merit review criteria, as well as a context within which the users of the criteria can better understand
their intent.
2. Merit Review Criteria
All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of the two National Science Board approved merit review criteria. In some instances, however, NSF will employ
additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities.
The two merit review criteria are listed below. Both criteria are to be given full consideration during the review and decision-making processes; each criterion
is necessary but neither, by itself, is sufficient. Therefore, proposers must fully address both criteria. (PAPPG Chapter II.D.2.d(i). 

contains additional information
for use by proposers in development of the Project Description section of the proposal). Reviewers are strongly encouraged to review the criteria, including
PAPPG Chapter II.D.2.d(i), prior to the review of a proposal.
When evaluating NSF proposals, reviewers will be asked to consider what the proposers want to do, why they want to do it, how they plan to do it, how they will
know if they succeed, and what benefits could accrue if the project is successful. These issues apply both to the technical aspects of the proposal and the way in
which the project may make broader contributions. To that end, reviewers will be asked to evaluate all proposals against two criteria:
Intellectual Merit: The Intellectual Merit criterion encompasses the potential to advance knowledge; and
Broader Impacts: The Broader Impacts criterion encompasses the potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired
societal outcomes.
The following elements should be considered in the review for both criteria:
1. What is the potential for the proposed activity to
a. Advance knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields (Intellectual Merit); and
b. Benefit society or advance desired societal outcomes (Broader Impacts)?
2. To what extent do the proposed activities suggest and explore creative, original, or potentially transformative concepts?
3. Is the plan for carrying out the proposed activities well-reasoned, well-organized, and based on a sound rationale?

 Does the plan incorporate a
mechanism to assess success?
4. How well qualified is the individual, team, or organization to conduct the proposed activities?
5. Are there adequate resources available to the PI (either at the home organization or through collaborations) to carry out the proposed activities?
Broader impacts may be accomplished through the research itself, through the activities that are directly related to specific research projects, or through
activities that are supported by, but are complementary to, the project. NSF values the advancement of scientific knowledge and activities that contribute to
achievement of societally relevant outcomes. Such outcomes include, but are not limited to: full participation of women, persons with disabilities, and other
underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM); improved STEM education and educator development at any level;
increased public scientific literacy and public engagement with science and technology; improved well-being of individuals in society; development of a diverse,
globally competitive STEM workforce; increased partnerships between academia, industry, and others; improved national security; increased economic
competitiveness of the United States; and enhanced infrastructure for research and education.
Proposers are reminded that reviewers will also be asked to review the Data Management Plan and the Postdoctoral Researcher Mentoring Plan, as
Additional Solicitation Specific Review Criteria
In addition to the standard NSF Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts Criteria,

 reviewers will be asked to consider the extent to which the project is aligned with
the spirit of the legislation that created the program in view of:
The case made about the regional or national need for professionals with degrees being awarded in this project.
The information provided about the likelihood of low-income scholars to find a rewarding job in the STEM workforce upon graduation with either an
undergraduate or graduate degree.
B. Review and Selection Process
Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation will be reviewed by Ad hoc Review and/or Panel Review.
Reviewers will be asked to evaluate proposals using two National Science Board approved merit review criteria and, if applicable, additional program specific

 A summary rating and accompanying narrative will generally be completed and submitted by each reviewer and/or panel. The Program Officer assigned
to manage the proposal's review will consider the advice of reviewers and will formulate a recommendation.
After scientific, technical and programmatic review and consideration of appropriate factors, the NSF Program Officer recommends to the cognizant Division
Director whether the proposal should be declined or recommended for award. NSF strives to be able to tell applicants whether their proposals have been
declined or recommended for funding within six months. Large or particularly complex proposals or proposals from new awardees may require additional review
and processing time. The time interval begins on the deadline or target date, or receipt date, whichever is later. The interval ends when the Division Director acts
upon the Program Officer's recommendation.
After programmatic approval has been obtained, the proposals recommended for funding will be forwarded to the Division of Grants and Agreements or the
Division of Acquisition and Cooperative Support for review of business, financial, and policy implications. After an administrative review has occurred, Grants
and Agreements Officers perform the processing and issuance of a grant or other agreement. Proposers are cautioned that only a Grants and Agreements
Officer may make commitments, obligations or awards on behalf of NSF or authorize the expenditure of funds. No commitment on the part of NSF should be
inferred from technical or budgetary discussions with a NSF Program Officer. 

A Principal Investigator or organization that makes financial or personnel
commitments in the absence of a grant or cooperative agreement signed by the NSF Grants and Agreements Officer does so at their own risk.
Once an award or declination decision has been made, Principal Investigators are provided feedback about their proposals. In all cases, reviews are treated as
confidential documents. Verbatim copies of reviews, excluding the names of the reviewers or any reviewer-identifying information, are sent to the Principal
Investigator/Project Director by the Program Officer. In addition, the proposer will receive an explanation of the decision to award or decline funding.
A. Notification of the Award
Notification of the award is made to the submitting organization by an NSF Grants and Agreements Officer. Organizations whose proposals are declined will be
advised as promptly as possible by the cognizant NSF Program administering the program. Verbatim copies of reviews, not including the identity of the reviewer,
will be provided automatically to the Principal Investigator. (See Section VI.B. for additional information on the review process.)
B. Award Conditions
An NSF award consists of: (1) the award notice, which includes any special provisions applicable to the award and any numbered amendments thereto; (2) the
budget, which indicates the amounts, by categories of expense, on which NSF has based its support (or otherwise communicates any specific approvals or
disapprovals of proposed expenditures); (3) the proposal referenced in the award notice; (4) the applicable award conditions, such as Grant General Conditions
(GC-1)*; or Research Terms and Conditions

* and (5) any announcement or other NSF issuance that may be incorporated by reference in the award notice.
Cooperative agreements also are administered in accordance with NSF Cooperative Agreement Financial and Administrative Terms and Conditions (CA-FATC)
and the applicable Programmatic Terms and Conditions. NSF awards are electronically signed by an NSF Grants and Agreements Officer and transmitted
electronically to the organization via e-mail. 

*These documents may be accessed electronically on NSF's Website at Paper copies
may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-8134 or by e-mail from
More comprehensive information on NSF Award Conditions and other important information on the administration of NSF awards is contained in the NSF
Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) Chapter VII, available electronically on the NSF Website at
Administrative and National Policy Requirements
Build America, Buy America
As expressed in Executive Order 14005,

 Ensuring the Future is Made in All of America by All of America's Workers (86 FR 7475), it is the policy of the executive
branch to use terms and conditions of Federal financial assistance awards to maximize, consistent with law, the use of goods, products, and materials produced
in, and services offered in, the United States.
Consistent with the requirements of the Build America, Buy America Act (Pub. L. 117-58, Division G, Title IX, Subtitle A, November 15, 2021), no funding made
available through this funding opportunity may be obligated for an award unless all iron, steel, manufactured products, and construction materials used in the
project are produced in the United States. For additional information, visit NSF's Build America, Buy America webpage.
C. Reporting Requirements
For all multi-year grants (including both standard and continuing grants), the Principal Investigator must submit an annual project report to the cognizant
Program Officer no later than 90 days prior to the end of the current budget period. (Some programs or awards require submission of more frequent project
reports). No later than 120 days following expiration of a grant, the PI also is required to submit a final project report, and a project outcomes report for the
general public.
Failure to provide the required annual or final project reports, or the project outcomes report, will delay NSF review and processing of any future funding
increments as well as any pending proposals for all identified PIs and co-PIs on a given award. PIs should examine the formats of the required reports in
advance to assure availability of required data.
PIs are required to use NSF's electronic project-reporting system, available through, for preparation and submission of annual and final project
reports. Such reports provide information on accomplishments, project participants (individual and organizational), publications, and other specific products and
impacts of the project. Submission of the report via constitutes certification by the PI that the contents of the report are accurate and complete.
The project outcomes report also must be prepared and submitted using This report serves as a brief summary, prepared specifically for the
public, of the nature and outcomes of the project. This report will be posted on the NSF website exactly as it is submitted by the PI.
More comprehensive information on NSF Reporting Requirements and other important information on the administration of NSF awards is contained in the NSF
Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) Chapter VII, available electronically on the NSF Website at
S-STEM Monitoring system: In response to the need for NSF to report on the operation and success of the S-STEM program, an additional web-based data
collection site has been developed for the purpose of collecting information about program participants. This system: S-STEM.ORG is maintained by an external
Each Track 1, Track 2 and Track 3 S-STEM PI is required to complete information about each S-STEM Scholar and subsequently update the information
reported through the website during each semester of continued S-STEM support. Instructions will be provided shortly after the award to successful grantees.
This information must be provided within 30 days of the beginning of each semester or quarter). Any information that would permit identification of individual
responses will be held in strict confidence.
Third Year Review for S-STEM Track 3 Inter-institutional Consortium awards: Track 3 projects are required to participate in a Third-Year Review that will
focus on accomplishments, challenges, changes in the project, and lessons learned. 

Instructions will be provided in advance to the third-year anniversary to
successful Track 3 grantees. Third year reviews provide feedback and guidance for project implementation and assessment of project outcomes. Project teams
present information on the status of project activities and outcomes to date. After the review of project documentation and a presentation by the awardee team, a
team of S-STEM staff will acknowledge accomplishments, discuss shortcomings, and make recommendations to improve project implementation as appropriate.
If a third-year review is not satisfactory, NSF reserve reserves the right to cancel the project.
Data collection efforts from S-STEM Resource and Evaluation Center (S-STEM-REC): NSF has awarded an S-STEM Resource and Evaluation Center
tasked with collecting and synthesizing outcomes and achievements of Track1, 2 and 3 projects nationwide. Projects are required to collaborate with the SSTEM-REC initiatives to showcase the impact of S-STEM funding.
S-STEM Program Evaluation: Projects are required to cooperate and participate in a third-party independent evaluation of the S-STEM program. 

Please note that the program contact information is current at the time of publishing. See program website for any updates to the points of contact.
General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:
Alexandra Medina-Borja, Lead, telephone: (703) 292-7557, email:
Mindy Capaldi, Co-Lead, telephone: (703) 292-2994, email:
Michael J. Ferrara, Co-Lead, telephone: (703) 292-2635, email:
Thomas D. Kim, Co-Lead, telephone: (703) 292-4458, email:
Michael J. Davis, telephone: (703) 292-5111, email:
Connie K. Della-Piana, telephone: (703) 292-5309, email:
Jennifer T. Ellis, telephone: (703) 292-2125, email:
Bonnie Green, telephone: (703) 292-5111, email:
Abiodun Ilumoka, telephone: (703) 292-2703, email:
John Jackman, telephone: (703) 292-4816, email:
Elise N. Lockwood, telephone: (703) 292-2410, email:
Jill K. Nelson, telephone: (703) 292-5111, email:
Kalyn Owens, telephone: (703) 292-4615, email:
Eric J. Sheppard, telephone: (703) 292-5111, email:
Keith A. Sverdrup, telephone: (703) 292-4671, email:
Paul Tymann, telephone: (703) 292-2832, email:
Patrice Waller, telephone: (703) 292-4944, email:
Huihui H. Wang, telephone: (703) 292-4894, email:
Mindy Capaldi, telephone: (703) 292-2994, email:
For questions related to the use of NSF systems contact:
NSF Help Desk: 1-800-673-6188 Help Desk e-mail:
For questions relating to contact: Contact Center: If the Authorized Organizational Representatives (AOR) has not received a confirmation message from within
48 hours of submission of application, please contact via telephone: 1-800-518-4726; e-mail:
The NSF website provides the most comprehensive source of information on NSF Directorates (including contact information), programs and funding
opportunities. Use of this website by potential proposers is strongly encouraged. In addition, "NSF Update" is an information-delivery system designed to keep
potential proposers and other interested parties apprised of new NSF funding opportunities and publications, important changes in proposal and award policies
and procedures, and upcoming NSF Grants Conferences. Subscribers are informed through e-mail or the user's Web browser each time new publications are
issued that match their identified interests. "NSF Update" also is available on NSF's website. provides an additional electronic capability to search for Federal government-wide grant opportunities. NSF funding opportunities may be accessed
via this mechanism. Further information on may be obtained at
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent Federal agency created by the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended (42 USC
1861-75). The Act states the purpose of the NSF is "to promote the progress of science; [and] to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare by
supporting research and education in all fields of science and engineering."
NSF funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. It does this through grants and cooperative agreements to more than 2,000
colleges, universities, K-12 school systems, businesses, informal science organizations and other research organizations throughout the US. The Foundation
accounts for about one-fourth of Federal support to academic institutions for basic research.
NSF receives approximately 55,000 proposals each year for research, education and training projects, of which approximately 11,000 are funded. In addition,
the Foundation receives several thousand applications for graduate and postdoctoral fellowships. The agency operates no laboratories itself but does support
National Research Centers, user facilities, certain oceanographic vessels and Arctic and Antarctic research stations. The Foundation also supports cooperative
research between universities and industry, US participation in international scientific and engineering efforts, and educational activities at every academic level.
Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED) provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities
to work on NSF-supported projects. See the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide Chapter II.F.7 for instructions regarding preparation of these
types of proposals.
The National Science Foundation has Telephonic Device for the Deaf (TDD) and Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) capabilities that enable individuals
with hearing impairments to communicate with the Foundation about NSF programs,

 employment or general information. TDD may be accessed at (703) 292-
5090 and (800) 281-8749, FIRS at (800) 877-8339.
The National Science Foundation Information Center may be reached at (703) 292-5111.
The National Science Foundation promotes and advances scientific progress in the United States by competitively awarding
grants and cooperative agreements for research and education in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering.
To get the latest information about program deadlines, to download copies of NSF publications, and to access abstracts of awards,
visit the NSF Website at
Location: 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, VA 22314
For General Information
(NSF Information Center):
(703) 292-5111
TDD (for the hearing-impaired): (703) 292-5090
To Order Publications or Forms:
Send an e-mail to:
or telephone: (703) 292-8134
To Locate NSF Employees: (703) 292-5111
The information requested on proposal forms and project reports is solicited under the authority of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended.
The information on proposal forms will be used in connection with the selection of qualified proposals; and project reports submitted by awardees will be used for
program evaluation and reporting within the Executive Branch and to Congress. The information requested may be disclosed to qualified reviewers and staff
assistants as part of the proposal review process; to proposer institutions/grantees to provide or obtain data regarding the proposal review process, award
decisions, or the administration of awards; to government contractors, experts, volunteers and researchers and educators as necessary to complete assigned
work; to other government agencies or other entities needing information regarding applicants or nominees as part of a joint application review process, or in
order to coordinate programs or policy; and to another Federal agency, court, or party in a court or Federal administrative proceeding if the government is a
party. Information about Principal Investigators may be added to the Reviewer file and used to select potential candidates to serve as peer reviewers or advisory
committee members. See System of Record Notices, NSF-50, 

"Principal Investigator/Proposal File and Associated Records," and NSF-51, "Reviewer/Proposal
File and Associated Records." Submission of the information is voluntary. Failure to provide full and complete information, however, may reduce the possibility
of receiving an award.
An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a valid Office of Management and
Budget (OMB) control number. The OMB control number for this collection is 3145-0058. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to
average 120 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions. Send comments regarding the burden estimate and any other aspect of this
collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to:
Suzanne H. Plimpton
Reports Clearance Officer
Policy Office, Division of Institution and Award Support
Office of Budget, Finance, and Award Management
National Science Foundation
Alexandria, VA 22314

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