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Top FAQs on NSF Biographical Sketch and Current & Pending Forms

Summarized and highlighted top frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to the new NSF Biographical Sketch and Current & Pending Forms implemented in the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 20-1)

See link for complete NSF FAQ document.

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Biographical Sketch FAQs

Senior personnel must identify **all current domestic or foreign** professional appointments outside of the individual’s academic, professional, or institutional appointments at the proposing organization.

Senior personnel that wish to include publications in the products section of the biographical sketch that include multiple authors may, at their discretion, choose to list one or more of the authors and then “et al.” in lieu of including the complete listing of authors’ names. See PAPPG Chapter II.C.2.f(i)(c) for complete coverage of the requirements for the biographical sketch.

The requirement that all products be "citable and accessible" is not a submission requirement, in the sense of blocking a proposal from consideration, but a definition of the standard to which proposers should adhere. PAPPG Chapter II.C.2.f(i)(c) also notes that full citation information should be included where applicable and practicable. References to organizational or other websites are allowable, provided that the site is available for a reasonable percentage of the time.

Information on NSF-approved formats for the biographical sketch, including FAQs on using SciENcv and the NSF Fillable PDF, is available on the NSF website.

Current and Pending Support FAQs

Background: Current and Pending Support Forms are required for all Senior Personnel included in the proposal.  For additional information on completing Current and Pending Support Forms, see the OSP Current and Pending/Other Support Requirements by Sponsor web page. A separate set of FAQs related to current and pending support is available on the NSF website.

The Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section should contain an aggregated description of the internal and external resources (both physical and personnel) that the organization and its collaborators will provide to the project, should it be funded. The description should be narrative in nature and must not include any quantifiable financial information.

NSF uses the information submitted in the current and pending support section to assess the capacity of the individual to carry out the research [during the life of the proposed NSF project]…as well as to help assess any [other reported current and pending projects that may have] potential overlap/duplication with the project being proposed.

  • [No if ->] If an item or service meets the definition of a gift, it is not reported.
    • A gift includes any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, forbearance, license, special access, equipment time, samples, research data, or other item having monetary value.
    • A gift also includes services as well as gifts of training, transportation, local travel, lodging, meals, research hours, whether provided in-kind, by purchase of a ticket, payment in advance, or reimbursement after the expense has occurred.
    • A gift by definition is given without expectation of anything in return.
  • [Yes if ->] An item or service given with the **expectation** of an associated time commitment is not a gift and **is instead an in-kind contribution** and must be reported to NSF.
    • If the in-kind contribution is not intended for use on the project/proposal being proposed to NSF but has an associated time commitment, the information must be included as part of the current and pending support section of the proposal.
    • If the in-kind contribution is intended for use on the project/proposal being proposed to NSF, the information must be included as part of the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section of the proposal and need not be replicated in the individual’s current and pending support submission.
  • The Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), Chapter II.C.2.h states “Current and pending support includes all resources made available to an individual in support of and/or related to all of his/her research efforts, regardless of whether or not they have monetary value.”
    • Senior personnel are required to provide “the number of person-months (or partial person- months) per year to be devoted to the project by the individual.”
    • NSF uses the information provided to assess the capacity of investigators to carry out the research as proposed and to help assess any potential overlap with the project being proposed.
  • Person-month information included in current and pending support may differ from the person-months requested on the budget for a given project.
    • The information contained on the budget is separate and distinct from the information entered on current and pending support regarding how much time the individual is or is planning or has committed to spend on a project.  
      • For example, if an individual is not requesting salary for a project, then no **person-months** would be shown on the budget.
        • They would, however, be expending effort on the project and therefore, a **number greater than zero must be entered in Current & Pending Support [form].**
    • If the individual is not requesting salary **and** will not be expending any effort [on the project], then the project should not be reported in Current & Pending Support [form].
  • If the in-kind contributions are not intended for use on the project/proposal being proposed to NSF and have no associated time commitment, the information is not required to be reported.
  • However, in-kind contributions with no associated time commitment that are intended for use on the project/proposal being proposed to NSF must be included as part of the Facilities, Equipment, and Other Resources section.
  • No. If the in-kind contributions are not intended for use on the project/proposal being proposed to NSF but they have associated time commitment, the information must be included as part of the current and pending support section of the proposal.
  • If the in-kind contributions are intended for use on the project/proposal being proposed to NSF, the information must be included as part of the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section of the proposal and need not be replicated in the individual’s Current and Pending Support submission.
  • [No if ->] Organizational start-up packages provided to the individual **from the proposing organization [e.g. MSU]** are not required to be reported.
  • [Yes if ->] Start-up packages from other than the proposing organization must be reported. Faculty academic year salary is not considered current and pending support in this context.
  • [Reporting is applicable for the NSF project period being proposed in the application.]
  • For [disclosing] projects that exceed five years, individuals should report on the next five years of the project in current and pending support [form].
    • For example, if the individual is in year three of a ten-year award, they would report on years three through seven.
  • If you are reporting person-months that span two calendar years, you should enter the latter year.
    • For example, if your entry covers your organization’s fiscal year of June 2019 through May 2020, you would enter “2020” for the year and include the corresponding person-months as defined and used by your organization in proposals submitted to NSF.
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