NSF Proposal Preparation Checklist

Source: NSF 16-1, Grant Proposal Guide

It is imperative that all proposals conform to the proposal preparation and submission instructions specified in the Grant Proposal Guide. Conformance with all preparation and submission instructions is required and will be strictly enforced unless a deviation has been approved in advance of proposal submission. Note that some NSF program solicitations modify the general provisions of the GPG, and in such cases, the guidelines provided in the solicitation must be followed. FastLane uses the rules specified for each type of proposal, (e.g., RAPID, EAGER, Ideas Lab, Equipment, Conference, and International Travel) to check for compliance prior to submission to NSF. Proposers are strongly advised to review the applicable sections of the GPG pertinent to the type of proposal being developed PRIOR to submission. NSF will not accept* or will return without review proposals that are not consistent with these instructions. See GPG Chapter IV.B for additional information.

Prior to submission, it is strongly recommended that an administrative review be conducted to ensure that proposals comply with the instructions, in the format specified. This checklist is not intended to be an all-inclusive repetition of the required proposal contents and associated proposal preparation guidelines. It is, however, meant to highlight certain critical items so they will not be overlooked when the proposal is prepared.


___The proposal is responsive to and compliant with the provisions in the program description, announcement, or solicitation.

___If the proposal has been previously declined and is being resubmitted, the proposal has been revised to take into account the major comments from the prior NSF review.

___The proposed work is appropriate for funding by NSF, and is not a duplicate of, or substantially similar to, a proposal already under consideration by NSF from the same submitter.

___The proposal must be submitted by 5 p.m. submitter's local time on the established deadline date.

Single Copy Documents:

___Authorization to Deviate from NSF Proposal Preparation Requirements is included (if applicable).

___List of Suggested Reviewers or Reviewers not to Include has been provided (if applicable).

___Collaborators and other Affiliation information has been provided for each individual identified as senior project personnel.

Cover Sheet:

___For interdisciplinary proposals, ensure all relevant programs are identified.

___For renewal proposals, previous award numbers have been entered.

___Related preliminary proposal number has been entered (if applicable).

___Appropriate box(es) have been checked, and requisite information has been provided.

Project Summary:

___The Project Summary may ONLY be uploaded as a Supplementary Document if use of special characters is necessary. Such Project Summaries must be formatted with separate headings for Overview, Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts.

Project Description:

___Project Description does not exceed the page limitations specified in the GPG or solicitation.

___Project Description contains, as a separate section within the narrative, a section labeled "Broader Impacts."

___Project Description is self-containted, and Uniform Resource Locators (URLs) have not been included.

___Results from Prior NSF Support have been provided for PIs and co-PIs who have received NSF support within the last five years. Results related to Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts are described under two separate, distinct headings.

References Cited:

___This section includes bibliographic citations only and does not provide parenthetical information outside of the 15-page Project Description.

___Each reference is in the specified format.

Biographical Sketch(es):

___The content described is in accordance with the instructions, and does not contain additional information beyond that specified.

Proposal Budget:

___Each budget line item is documented and justified in the budget justification.

Current and Pending Support:

___All current and pending support from whatever source (e.g., Federal, State, local or foreign government agencies, public or private foundations, industrial or other commercial organizations, or internal funds allocated toward specific projects) must be listed. The proposed project and all other projects or activities requiring a portion of time of the PI and other senior personnel must be included, even if they receive no salary support from the project(s).

Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources:

___An aggregated description of the internal and external resources (both physical and personnel) that the organization and its collaborators will provide to the project, should it be funded, has been included.

___No quantifiable financial information has been provided.

___If there are no facilities, equipment, or other resources identified, a statement to that effect has been included in this section of the proposal and uploaded into FastLane.

Special Information and Supplementary Documentation:

___The types of information identified in GPG Chapter II.C.2.j have been included, as appropriate.

___Any additional items specified in a relevant program solicitation have been included.

*Proposal Not Accepted is defined as FastLane will not permit submission of the proposal.