Don’t miss it! Virtual Office Hour featuring the new Safe and Inclusive Work Environments Plan requirement for Off-Campus or Off-Site Research

Tuesday Feb. 7, 2023 3:30- 4:30 ET

Several solicitations from the Directorates for Biosciences (BIO) and Geological Sciences (GEO) will soon require the submission of a Safe and Inclusive Work Environments Plan (list of those solicitations below) that will be considered as part of the Broader Impacts criteria during the review process. An upcoming Virtual Office Hour listening session will occur on February 7, 2023. Program Officers from BIO and GEO will provide an overview of the new requirement and take your questions and comments.

This 2-page supplementary document must address the following four sections:

  1. a brief description of the field setting and unique challenges for the team; 
  2. the steps the proposing organization will take to nurture an inclusive off-campus or off-site working environment, including processes to establish shared team definitions of roles, responsibilities, and culture, e.g., codes of conduct, trainings, mentor/mentee mechanisms and field support that might include regular check-ins, and/or developmental events;  
  3. communication processes within the off-site team and to the organization(s) that minimize singular points within the communication pathway (e.g., there should not be a single person overseeing access to a single satellite phone); and  
  4. the organizational mechanisms that will be used for reporting, responding to, and resolving issues of harassment if they arise.   

If you are planning a submission that will involve off-campus or off-site research, defined as data/information/samples being collected off-campus or off-site including via fieldwork and research activities on vessels and aircraft, we encourage you to join this webinar.

Register for the webinar HERE

The solicitations that currently include this requirement are:

  • BIO Core Solicitations:
    • Division of Environmental Biology (NSF 23-549)
    • Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (NSF 23-547)
    • Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (NSF 23-548 )
  • Biodiversity on a Changing Planet (BoCP, NSF 23-542)
  • Pathways into the Geosciences (GEOPAths NSF 23-540)
  • Cultural Transformation in the Geosciences Community (CTGC NSF 23-539)

Share your Input on Cyberinfrastructure

NSF recently released a Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) inviting the community to provide input on data-intensive science and engineering research questions and challenges and the essential data-related cyberinfrastructure (CI) services and capabilities needed to publish, discover, transport, manage and process data in secure, performant and scalable ways to enable that data-intensive research.

This is an opportunity for the BIO community to provide input on questions, challenges and associated needs specifically related to data-focused CI. While this DCL is not a funding opportunity, all input would be used to inform the refinement of NSF’s CI investment strategy and planning of future NSF funding opportunities.

For more information on how to submit ideas, please refer to the DCL (NSF 20-015) or contact the NSF Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure,

The deadline for submissions is December 16, 2019.


One of BIO’s highlights from this current fiscal year is the movement of the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) from construction into full operations. 179 data products are now freely available to the scientific community and the public on the NEON Data Portal, and we are pleased to note that downloads of the data are rapidly increasing as is use of NEON data in publications. NEON data is also transforming ecological education at a diverse range of institutions.

NSF recently announced (NSF 19-080) its intent to launch an open competition for the management of NEON’s future operations and maintenance. NSF’s major facilities routinely undergo such a merit-based, peer-reviewed process, thus the announcement signals that NEON has matured into a fully-functioning Observatory.  The review process will take roughly two years, with the new award expected to commence in late 2021.  As always, NSF will be relying on community expertise in the merit review process, which will ensure that NEON is an effective resource for ecology for years to come.

We recognize that members of the scientific community may have questions and input for NSF as we embark on this process. We welcome community input, and to that end, we will host a NEON Information Session and Question and Answer Period on Monday, August 12, at the Ecological Society of America’s Annual meeting in Louisville, KY. For those who won’t be at ESA, questions and input can be directed to the cognizant program officer, Dr. Roland Roberts (

We hope to see many of you at ESA.

Help BIO spread the word about your research!

Every PI knows that disseminating data is an essential part of the scientific process. From publishing manuscripts to presenting at meetings, a project’s biggest impacts only come after it has been shared. Promoting new discoveries and cutting-edge research throughout the general public is equally as critical as dissemination within the scientific community – and that’s where we need your help.

The quickest way for NSF to receive notice of an upcoming publication is for PIs to let their Program Officer know directly when a manuscript has been accepted for publication. We are interested in hearing about all BIO-funded research so we can share it in the form of press releases, stories pitched to major media outlets, NSF Discoveries, videos, radio features and more.

Ideally, we want to learn about upcoming publications shortly after they have been accepted. This allows us to prepare press releases or pitch the story to media outlets early enough to release them as soon as your manuscript is published. When you learn of an accepted publication that you think NSF would want to publicize, please send your Program Officer the following information:

  • Title
  • Abstract
  • Journal Title
  • Publication date (or if publication date is unavailable, the acceptance date)

Though we will not be able to share all of the research that is sent to us, we appreciate your help in sharing your work with audiences that might not otherwise hear about the exciting discoveries NSF-funded researchers are making every day. Thank you!

New Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) for 2017

Last updated January 4, 2016

The National Science Foundation has made some changes to the guidance documents for proposal and award policies and procedures. Instead of the current two-guide structure of a Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) and an Award and Administration Guide (AAG), there will be one guide—the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG; NSF 17-1)—comprising two parts: 

  • Part I: Proposal Preparation and Submission Guidelines
  • Part II: Award, Administration and Monitoring of Grants and Cooperative Agreements

For proposals submitted or due, or awards made, on or after January 30, 2017, the guidelines in PAPPG 17-1 apply.

The NSF has detailed the significant changes and clarifications to the PAPPG (NSF 17-1) and provided a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) on Proposal Preparation and Award Administration document.

In the future you will not see references to the GPG in NSF documents and on NSF web pages (the NSF will be updating existing references to the GPG on all web pages over time).

The NSF has also issued a revised version of the Application Guide (.pdf download). It has been updated to align with changes in the new PAPPG (NSF 17-1).

If you have any questions or concerns about the PAPPG (NSF 17-1), FAQs, or the Application Guide, you can contact the NSF Policy Office at policy[at] For technical questions related to, please email support[at]

~Happy New Year! The Directorate for Biological Sciences looks forward to supporting exciting new discoveries and outstanding continuing basic science research in 2017.~

Get NSF document updates by Email through GovDelivery.

Meeting NSF’s Technical Reporting Requirements

PIs must use to meet all NSF technical reporting requirements, including submission of annual, final, and project outcomes reports.

  1. What is Required?

NSF requires that all Principal Investigators (PIs) submit annual reports during the course of an award and a final report no later than 120 days following expiration of an award. Each report is reviewed by the award’s managing Program Officer; the reporting requirement is met only after the Program Officer has reviewed and approved the report.

NSF also requires…

Read more…

Revised Grant Proposal Guide for 2016

A revision of the Grant Proposal Guide will be in effect on January 25, 2016. Note – the revisions apply to all proposals due on or after January 25th.

You can access the 2016 GPG here:

Read about the changes & clarifications to the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (which includes the GPG) here:

Remember, when the instructions in a solicitation differ from the GPG, the solicitation is what you should follow. If you have any questions regarding what guidelines to follow, don’t hesitate to contact the Program Director/Officer for the program to which you are applying. Contact information is always listed on the Program Summary page.

Trick or Treat? Searching for program information on

What’s the trick to finding what you’re searching for on

With Halloween 2015 approaching, you’ve probably been thinking about a lot of scary things. We know navigating can be scary for some people, especially first time visitors. So we thought we should shed some light on the process to make it less scary. Grab some candy, and enjoy this treat.

This post is specifically about using the search function to find program information, but you can also navigate the site using the menus at the top of the page. “Quick Links” at the top right corner of the page may also get you where you want to go. Here’s a screenshot of what the top of the main page looks like: menus

Let’s type something into the search box and see what results we get. We’ll search “Dimensions of Biodiversity,” which is the name of one of BIO’s funding programs.

type in search box

Hit enter and you will see a page full of results like those you see in the screen capture below (assuming no files have been changed “behind the scenes” since this blog post was written). The initial set of results is from a search of “All NSF,” meaning all of

(Click to enlarge images.)


You can filter the results to show only pages related to funding or news. If you click on “More,” you can also filter results to show items related to research discoveries, events, or, statistics (such as pages from the Science and Engineering Indicators). Note, when you chose a filter from “More,” it replaces the “News” option, but don’t worry, “News” hasn’t disappeared, it is now under “More.”


So what are all of these results?!? We are going to demystify them for you.

The best way to find what you are looking for is to look at the URLs of the pages in addition to the page titles and descriptions. Here is an annotated version of the search results, set to “All NSF”.

annotated search results

Filter your results with the “Funding” filter and apply what you just learned. (We’ll enjoy some candy while you do that.)

Now filter your results with the “News” filter to see what news-related results look like. Here is what you will find:


Finally, filter your results with the “Discoveries” filter. Discovery items are stories about NSF-funded research and are different from press releases.


Now, let’s return to the last item in your unfiltered search results…the tricky publication from 2011. Does the page contain news or discovery content? How do you know?

It’s actually an old solicitation. This is tricky because we suggested you look for a fiscal year (“FY”) to identify solicitations, but older solicitations may not have a FY in their titles or descriptions; additionally, their descriptions may not tell you they are archived (we’re working on this!). All other signs point to it being a solicitation, but if in doubt, click the link and open the document. If the document has been archived, there will be a statement on the document itself that says, “This document has been archived and replaced by ______.”

We are working to add archive tags to older documents and make search results relevant. Currently, we are identifying the best search result for a particular keyword or phrase so we can direct the system to recommend those “best bets” to you at the top of the results. As we do so you will see more search results that include a recommended page, like this:

screen shot with recommended page

We hope this quick guide has cleared away some of the cobwebs and given you a better view of how is organized.