NSF AISL Program: Applying for Funding
Key NSF Documents
NSF has several prescriptive documents that should inform your proposal development, preparation, and submission.
- The Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide or PAPPG (NSF 22-1) is the essential document for understanding how to prepare and submit proposals to NSF, as well as how NSF makes awards, and administers and monitors grants. Proposals must be submitted through Research.gov or Grants.gov platforms.
- Prospective New Awardee Guide - There are significant administrative and financial accountability requirements associated with federal grant awards and it is your responsibility as a prospective awardee to understand them. Read this guide in its entirety, as missing, incomplete, or inadequate information may result in your proposal being declined!
- Data Management for NSF EHR Directorate Proposals and Awards - All NSF proposals must include a “Data Management Plan,” which is a supplementary document that describe how your project will conform to NSF policy on the dissemination and sharing of research results. While some guidance on Data Management Plans is included in the PAPPG, this document provides additional guidance specific to the Education and Human Resources (EHR) Directorate.
- Common Guidelines for Education Research and Development - The U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences and NSF co-developed the Common Guidelines to clarify the different types of education and learning research and to provide guidance about the purpose, justification, design features, and expected outcomes from these various types. Also, be sure to review the 2018 Companion Guidelines on Replication and Reproducibility in Education Research, which focuses on the importance of replication and reproducibility of research and provides guidance on steps researchers can take to promote corroboration and build the evidence base.
- NSF Merit Review Website - NSF’s merit review process is intended to ensure that submitted proposals are reviewed in a fair, competitive, transparent, and in-depth manner. While the process is described in the PAPPG, this website offers a deeper dive and an interactive, graphical representation of the timeline. This animated video illustrates the process. You can also watch this video to get a sense of what really happens during a review panel. A new Merit Review Process Digest was released in Fiscal Year 2018.
- Perspectives on Broader Impacts - All proposals to NSF must address two criteria—intellectual merit, or the potential to advance knowledge, and broader impacts, the potential to benefit society and contribute to the achievement of specific, desired societal outcomes. While NSF is not prescriptive about what qualifies as “broader impacts,” it did host a 2014 summit to bring together NSF staff, university leaders, and current Principal Investigators to share definitions and examples of broader impacts activities. This report outlines those diverse perspectives.
New to Research.gov? Here are some training supports:
- Visit the Research.gov About Proposal Preparation and Submission page for Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), how-to guides, and video tutorials and the Research.gov About Supplemental Funding Request Preparation and Submission page for FAQs.
- Explore preparing Research.gov proposals and supplemental funding requests on the Research.gov Proposal Preparation Demo Site and Research.gov Supplemental Funding Request Demo Site. All Research.gov automated compliance checks are enabled on the demo sites, and the sites can be used to verify proposal and supplemental funding request document compliance in Research.gov before uploading documents in the actual systems.
- View the Fall 2022 Proposal Submission Modernization Update recording including a demo of Research.gov proposal preparation features.
Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending (Other) Support
- As of January 30, 2023, Research.gov and Grants.gov only accept the revised biographical sketch and current and pending (other) support formats. Research.gov and Grants.gov will generate a compliance error message if a proposer or grantee attempts to upload a prior version of either document.
- The revised biographical sketch and current and pending (other) support formats are in SciENcv, and the fillable PDFs are available on the NSF biographical sketch and current and pending (other) support websites. Proposers currently may use either SciENcv or the fillable PDFs. Beginning October 23, 2023, use of SciENcv will become mandatory.
- The Research.gov Project Reporting System will enforce use of the revised current and pending (other) support format when uploaded in annual and final project reports.
- View the NSF Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending (Other) Support: SciENcv and NSF Formats webinar, NSF presentation, and NIH presentation.
Recordings NSF AISL Informational Webinars
- AISL Proposal Goals (with a deep focus on 1-3 + SSC) Passcode: AISLGOALS1-6 This presentation provides important resources and an overview of the six new AISL proposal goals with a deeper focus on Goals 1-3, which are required of all proposals.
- AISL Project Types The AISL team walks through the five proposal types in the new AISL solicitation, some of which are new.
- AISL Budgets This webinar covers budget preparation, line by line, including budget justifications that align with Project Descriptions.
- RECORDING: Evaluation and Project Oversight (For supporting iterative improvement & accountability)
Innovating and migrating proposal preparation and submission capabilities from FastLane to Research.gov is part of the ongoing NSF information technology modernization efforts, as described in Important Notice No. 147. In support of these efforts, research proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation must be prepared and submitted via Research.gov or via Grants.gov, and may not be prepared or submitted via FastLane.
Any proposal submitted in response to this solicitation should be submitted in accordance with the revised NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1), which is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after October 4, 2021.