ANSWER: NSF defines “off-campus or off-site research” for the purposes of this requirement as, “data/information/samples being collected off-campus or off-site, such as fieldwork and research activities on vessels and aircraft.”
Projects that include site visits, fieldwork, or other research activities that take place off campus will need a plan. When deciding whether a project includes off-campus or off-site components, please consider the following guidance:
The intent of this requirement is to provide guidance and protection for participants when they may not have ready access to the on-campus resources they normally do. If your participants continue to have such access i.e., project is in a MSU leased building near campus or on MSU Clery Geography, a plan may not be needed. For example, work at the Kellogg Biological Station is part of MSU Clery Geography and would not require an NSF project plan. If participants are sufficiently distant from campus that access to these resources is more limited than they would be if they were on campus, then a plan is likely needed.
If you are using the off-campus F&A rate, you likely have "off-campus or off-site research" that would necessitate a plan.
It is appropriate to consciously consider the options for access to campus resources by location and to be able to provide documentation or justification if questions on resource access are raised.