NSF 20-1 has been replaced by NSF 22-1. Learn about the 2022 PAPPG Updates.

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 20-1) is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after June 1, 2020.

Significant changes include:

Biographical Sketch

Must use an NSF-approved format:


Synergistic Activities – CLARIFICATION

Should be specific, single activities and not include multiple examples or paragraphs to further describe the activity.

  • Acceptable: “Proposal reviewer for four federal agencies” OR “Proposal reviewer for NSF” and “Proposal reviewer for DOE” (separate items)
  • Unacceptable: “Proposal reviewer for NSF, DOE, NASA and DOD”

Current & Pending Support

Must use an NSF-approved format:

Visit the NSF Current & Pending webpage for more information and FAQs (including clarification on the reporting of gifts and in-kind contributions)

RAPID and EAGER Proposals

E-mail documentation from a cognizant NSF Program Officer approving submission must be uploaded to with the proposal.

List of Suggested Reviewers or Reviewers Not to Include

Reason for exclusion of a reviewer is no longer required.

Project Description

Removed the requirement for Project Description to include a labeled “Intellectual Merit” section.

Conference Proposals

  • Information on complaint submission and resolution must be disseminated to conference participants.
  • Must include plan for recruitment of and support for participation of groups underrepresented in science and engineering.
  • Must describe plans to identify resources for child/family care.