The Office of Sponsored Programs


The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency created by Congress in 1950 “to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare; to secure the national defense…”

NSF Links

National Science Foundation

NSF Cost Sharing Policy


NSF Career Proposals

NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide

Grant Proposal Guide changes for NSF11-1

Award & Administration Guide Changes for NSF 11-1

Grant Proposal Guide changes

Award & Administration Guide Changes

Salary Limitations

Summer salary for faculty members at colleges and universities on academic-year appointments is limited to no more than two ninths of their regular academic-year salary.  This limit includes summer salary received from all NSF-funded grants.  October 1, 2010 – New Policies and Procedures Guide.

For proposals submitted after January 5, 2009,  unless there is a stipulation in the NSF solicitation, salary compensation for senior project personnel at colleges and universities  is now limited to no more than two (2) months of their regular salary in any one year. This limit includes salary compensation received from all NSF-funded grants.  This revision alters the long standing NSF policy on summer salary and allows for the reimbursement of two (2) months salary per year whenever appropriate during the year.

January 24, 2003, entitled Revision of the NSF Cost Sharing Policy.

This Important Notice reinforces the concept that, for unsolicited proposals, proposers should not include cost sharing amounts on Line M of the proposal budget. In cases where a program solicitation specifically requires cost sharing, proposers should not exceed the cost sharing level or amount identified in the solicitation;
Reminder to proposers that if both merit review criteria are not addressed separately within the one page Project Summary, the proposal will be returned without review; and Modification of the NSF policy on Group proposals to state that, unless stipulated in a specific program solicitation, PIs who wish to exceed the 15 page Project Description limitation must request and receive a deviation in advance of proposal submission.

Important Notice: Emphasis on Describing Broader Impacts of Research (Merit Review Criteria)

The National Science Foundation emphasizes the importance of addressing both review criteria – intellectual merit and the broader impact – in the proposal. A description of the broader impact – e.g., how well the activity advances discovery while promoting teaching, training, and learning; how well activity broadens the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.) as well as how the proposed activity suggests and explores creative, original or potentially transformative concepts- must be in each proposal. NSF promises to post examples illustrating activities likely to demonstrate broader impacts on the NSF website. The absence of a discussion of the broader impact may become a reason for not reviewing a proposal.

Example of Broader Impacts Statements


FastLane is the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) interactive electronic interface for proposal submission and tracking. FastLane uses the Internet to facilitate the exchange of information between the Foundation and the research and education community. NSF now requires the use of FastLane submission for most proposals and for all research reports.

The University of North Carolina at Greensboro is a registered FastLane institution.

Forgotten Your FastLane Password? The National Science Foundation’s FastLane helpdesk offers an automated password reset function for registered FastLane users. To use this service, simply go to the FastLane URL and click on Proposals, Awards & Status (top yellow link) then click on Change Password (last blue link on the left side of screen).

The password reset function is available all the time, so users no longer need to wait to contact the FastLane Help Desk or their campus Office of Sponsored Programs

Note: This service is only available to those who have previously established a FastLane account through their campus Office of Sponsored Programs.