Submitting a Proposal

NSF Non-Compliance

Common NSF non-compliance items:

  • Wrong format:  small font size; insufficient spacing between lines; insufficient margins
  • Broader impacts are not addressed per directions (Summary, Project Description, Recent NSF Support – Project Description, completed work (if applicable)
  • Similar or duplicate proposal from same researchers
  • Resubmitted proposal – not revised
  • Incomplete Biographical Sketch section, required for each PI, co-PI, and senior project personnel
  • Reference section:   article title missing; incomplete list of all authors for each reference (*Do not use et al.*).   List full names and affiliations of: collaborators within 4 years; co-editors within 2 years; graduate advisors; postdoctoral sponsors; postdoctoral scholars within 5 years; *all* prior graduate students
  • Incomplete Current and Pending Support section – required for each PI, co-PI, and senior project personnel (e.g., missing recently submitted proposals)
  • Recent (within 5 years) NSF Support section (up to 5 pages) missing or incomplete.  Required for each PI and coPI.   Include NSF award number, amount, time period; title; results of the completed work in two separate sections on Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts; publications/products and their availability; if renewal, relation of the completed work to the proposed work.
  • Supplementary Documentation: . If permitted in solicitation, brief letters confirming nature of participation in the proposed project.  Such letters should not include remarks about PI/co-PI’s past or planned activities.


Completing and Submitting a Proposal Approval Form

The Proposal Approval Form, or PAF, is the internal document the University uses to record the submission of a proposal. Among other things, it details the cumulative budget, cost sharing, indirect cost rate, and conflicts of interest. Please see the College of Engineering’s Proposal Submission Timeline for internal deadlines to ensure that the proposal is submitted by the sponsor’s proposal deadline as well as information on what documents you need to submit to the Associate Dean for Research and ORSP. Please visit the eRPM website to access the electronic Proposal Approval Form (PAF).