NSF Proposal Development Resources

The National Science Foundation's (NSF) mission is to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity and welfare; to secure the national defense; and for other purposes. Researchers and faculty at Pitt can learn more about the NSF on the OSP About External Funders page. Below is a collection of resources for developing proposals to submit to the NSF. 

 NSF-Specific Advice & Tips 

Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG)

The NSF's Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) is the source for information about NSF's proposal and award process. Each version of the PAPPG applies to all proposals or applications submitted while that version is effective. 

NSF: A Guide for Proposal Writing

The NSF's Division of Undergraduate Education (DUE) compiled A Guide for Proposal Writing, a document collecting the essence of the advice given out to researchers. These suggestions for improving proposals were collected from a variety of sources, including NSF Program Directors, panel reviewers, and successful grantees. 

NSF Broader Impacts Resources
  • In its NSF 101 series, the foundation offers Five tips for your Broader Impacts Statement to aid researchers in crafting their proposal materials.
  • Advancing Research Impact in Society (ARIS) developed a Broader Impacts Review Document for National Science Foundation ProposalsThis document is designed to assist NSF program managers, proposal reviewers, and review panels in evaluating the BI components of proposals and assist proposers with developing their broader impact plans. 
  • ARIS also has developed a Broader Impacts Toolkit designed to help Researchers and BI Professionals develop projects and partnerships that will satisfy the Broader Impact requirement of NSF proposals. 
  • The BPCnet Resource Portal is an initiative by the Computing Research Association with support from the National Science Foundation's (NSF) Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE).
NSF 101 Series

NSF 101 is an informational series for the science and engineering research community. The series answers commonly asked questions for applicants who might be new to applying for NSF funding opportunities and want to know more about how to communicate with NSF. NSF 101 collaborates with program staff across the agency to provide clear, basic instructions to improve accessibility and demystify the NSF experience.

NSF-Related Outlines, Templates, and Other Documents 

NSF Biosketch Materials

The National Science Foundation requires a biographical sketch (or biosketch) for each individual identified as senior personnel. The NSF Policy office compiled a list of Approved Formats for the Biographical Sketch for proposal submission. 

NSF Current and Pending Support 

NSF requires information on all current and pending support for ongoing projects and proposals. A webpage of Approved Formats for Current and Pending Support is available through the NSF's Policy Office site. 

NSF Collaborations and Other Affiliations

A template is available for identifying Collaborative and Other Affiliations Information (COA), as required by the NSF. Note: The Template has been developed to be fillable, however, the content and format requirements must not be altered as this will create printing and viewing errors. An FAQ has been developed for assistance in completion of the template. 

Recorded NSF Resources & Webinars

Fall 2022 NSF Virtual Grants Conference Resource Center

The National Science Foundation hosted the Fall 2022 Virtual Grants Conference from November 14 - 17, 2022. Conference presentation materials and YouTube livestreams are available at the Resource Center on the NSF Conferences site. Past Grants Conferences are also available for researchers on the NSF Policy Office YouTube Channel.


NSF Policy Office Webinar Series

The NSF Policy Office hosted a series of webinars covering proposal submission topics such as Concept Outlines, Subawards, as well as Current and Pending Support. Recordings of these have been uploaded to a playlist on their YouTube channel. 

NSF CAREER Program Webinars

NSF provided information on the Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program via webinars in the spring of 2021. Recordings and Presentation Slides from the series are available for reference. 

McAllister & Quinn Webinars about the NSF

The OSP Research Development team has partnered with McAllister & Quinn, a DC-based firm that consults on federal and private foundation grant opportunities for higher education clients, to provide informational webinars and recordings about the NSF. These recordings can be found on the Find Funding Workshops area of the OSP site.