University of North Dakota Faculty/Staff Newsletter

NSF update provided for proposal policies and procedures

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has issued a new “Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide” (PAPP) that is effective for proposal due on or after January 18, 2011. One of the items that NSF has come out strongly on is Cost Share. The agency does not want any Cost Share in the proposal unless the program solicitation requires Cost Share. The following is directly out of the PAPP Guide:

(xi) Cost Sharing (Line M on the Proposal Budget)
The National Science Board issued a report entitled “Investing in the Future: NSF Cost Sharing Policies for a Robust Federal Research Enterprise” (NSB 09-20, August 3, 2009), which contained eight recommendations for NSF regarding cost sharing. In implementation of the Board’s recommendation, NSF’s revised guidance29 is as follows:

Voluntary Committed Cost Sharing

Inclusion of voluntary committed cost sharing is prohibited and Line M on the proposal budget will not be available for use by the proposer.30 In order for NSF, and its reviewers, to assess the scope of a proposed project, all organizational resources necessary for, and available to a project, must be described in the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section of the proposal (see GPG Chapter II.C.2.i for further information). NSF Program Officers may not impose or encourage cost sharing unless such requirements are explicitly included in the program solicitation.

Mandatory Cost Sharing

Mandatory cost sharing will only be required for NSF programs when explicitly authorized by the NSF Director, the National Science Board, or legislation. In those rare instances, cost sharing requirements will be clearly identified in the solicitation and must be included on Line M of the proposed budget. Such cost sharing will be an eligibility, rather than a review criterion. Proposers are advised not to exceed the mandatory cost sharing level or amount specified in the solicitation.31

When mandatory cost sharing is included on Line M, and accepted by the Foundation, the commitment of funds becomes legally binding and is subject to audit.32 When applicable, the estimated value of any in-kind contributions also should be included on Line M. An explanation of the source, nature, amount and availability of any proposed cost sharing must be provided in the budget justification. It should be noted that contributions derived from other Federal funds or counted as cost sharing toward projects of another Federal agency may not be counted towards meeting the specific cost sharing requirements of the NSF award
Failure to provide the level of cost sharing required by the NSF solicitation and reflected in the approved award budget may result in termination of the NSF award, disallowance of award costs and/or refund of award funds to NSF by the awardee.

If you have any questions, please contact Grants & Contracts Administration 7-4151