Undergraduate-Research

Federal Grant Information

The following are links to key documents regarding policies and procedures and upcoming changes.

NSF (National Science Foundation)

Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 23-1)

The new PAPPG will be effective for proposals submitted or due on or after January 30, 2023. Significant changes include:

  • Revisions to incorporate Research.gov as the replacement for FastLane for proposal preparation and submission.
  • Information about the use of Broad Agency Announcements (BAAs) and the BAA Management System (BAAM).
  • Revisions to the certification for Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research (RECR) for proposals submitted on or after July 31, 2023, which expands the training to faculty and other senior personnel as well as requires specific training mandated by the America COMPETES Act, as amended.
  • Use of Concept Outlines as a submission type and the Program Suitability and Proposal Concept Tool (ProSPCT).
  • Requirement for proposers to provide a certification regarding Safe and Inclusive Working Environments for Off-Campus and Off-Site Research.
  • Revisions to the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support formats to include certifications from the individual (as required by the 2021 National Defense Authorization Act, Section 223) regarding information being accurate, current, and complete.
  • Requirement for NSF program officers to request updated Current and Pending Support information prior to making a funding recommendation, in accordance with the NSPM-33 Implementation Guidance.
  • Requirements for use of SciENcv for the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support documents.
  • Implementation of Build America, Buy America statutes.
  • New sections on Research Security and Scientific Integrity.

New Research.gov Proposal Preparation Functionality and NSF-PAR Enhancements – May 2022

Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1)

This PAPPG is effective for proposals submitted or due on or after October 4, 2021. Significant changes include:

  • A new section covering requests for reasonable and accessibility accommodations regarding the proposal process or requests for accessibility accommodations to access NSF’s electronic systems, websites and other digital content;
  • A table entitled, NSF Pre-award and Post-award Disclosures Relating to the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support. This table identifies where pre- and post-award current and pending support disclosure information must be provided. Proposers and awardees may begin using this table immediately;
  • Increasing the page limit for the biographical sketch from two to three pages;
  • Updates to the current and pending support section to require that information on objectives and overlap with other projects is provided to help NSF and reviewers assess overlap/duplication;
  • Adding planning proposals and Career-Life Balance supplemental funding requests as new proposal types;
  • Updates to travel proposals will require that AORs certify that prior to the proposer’s participation in the meeting for which NSF travel support is being requested, the proposer will assure that the meeting organizer has a written policy or code-of-conduct addressing harassment.

Required Biosketch and Current and Pending Formats for NSF and NIH Grants – Effective October 5, 2020
Biographical Sketch Training Resources
Current and Pending Support Training Resources
Responsible and Ethical Conduct of Research (RECR)

According to the NSF, “The responsible and ethical conduct of research (RECR) is critical for excellence, as well as public trust, in science and engineering. Consequently, education in RECR is considered essential in the preparation of future scientists and engineers.” NSF requires that, at the time of proposal submission, a proposing institution’s Authorized Organizational Representative certify that the institution has a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers who will be supported by NSF to conduct research.

Statutory Requirement

“The Director shall require that each institution that applies for financial assistance from the Foundation for science and engineering research or education describe in its grant proposal a plan to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers participating in the proposed research project.”  Specifically,

  1. An institution must have a plan in place to provide appropriate training and oversight in the responsible and ethical conduct of research to undergraduates, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers who will be supported by NSF to conduct research. Institutional certification to this effect is required for each proposal.
  2. While training plans are not required to be included in proposals submitted to NSF, institutions are advised that they are subject to review, upon request.
  3. An institution must designate one or more persons to oversee compliance with the RECR training requirement.
  4. Institutions are responsible for verifying that undergraduate students, graduate students, and postdoctoral researchers supported by NSF to conduct research have received training in the responsible and ethical conduct of research.

For more NSF resources on the RECR requirement, please visit the NSF website.

Valparaiso University Policy

To address the NSF requirement, all undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, faculty, and staff involved in the conduct of research funded by NSF-funded grants are required to complete RECR training prior to beginning work on the project.  Individuals must complete the RCR/RECR online training provided through the CITI Program.

The online CITI Program training is available to all Valparaiso University faculty, staff, and students. When registering for the program, be sure to affiliate with Valparaiso University.  Choose a course(s) that most closely aligns with the type of research that will be conducted.

Increased Enforcement of Reporting Requirements and FAPIIS Website

The NSF – along with other federal funding agencies – are enforcing reporting requirements. PIs with delinquent reports will impact their (and that of any Co-PIs on the grant) to receive additional funding, request no cost extensions, etc. Also, institutions with delinquent reports must be reported to the FAPPIS website. All federal granting agencies must submit such reports and check the FAPIIS website prior to awarding grants. Institutions remain listed on the FAPIIS website for 5 years.

Other NSF Resources

NIH (National Institutes for Health)

Here are some key resources for NIH grants:

Fulbright Program

The Fulbright Program, the flagship international academic exchange program sponsored by the U.S. government, has fostered mutual understanding between the U.S. and other countries since 1946. Partnering with more than 160 countries worldwide, the Fulbright Program offers international educational and cultural exchange programs for passionate and accomplished scholars, artists, teachers, and professionals of all backgrounds to study, teach, or pursue important research and professional projects. OSSR is happy to support faculty and staff interested in applying for a Fulbright opportunity.