Preparing a Full Proposal: The GPG, Solicitations and Parts of a Full Proposal

This is one in a series of blog entries with tips for preparing a full proposal for the upcoming August 5, 2016 deadline for the IOS core programs track. It is not intended to be a complete set of instructions, rather to provide some tips about common issues and useful additional information. Please consult the current Grant Proposal Guide and the current IOS Core Programs solicitation (NSF 16-505) for complete instructions. As always, if you have questions contact your friendly program director!

Before preparing a proposal for IOS you will need two documents, the Grant Proposal Guide and the relevant solicitation. The Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) makes up the first part of what is known as the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG). The second part includes post award information. For now concentrate on the first part, the GPG. This document is updated regularly so make sure you have the most recent one. As of this writing, the most current Grant Proposal Guide is NSF 16-1. Like all NSF publications, it is identified with the year it was released and a document number. The PAPPG/GPG is always document 1 for that year. The GPG instructions apply to all of NSF and it is the default source of information for preparing your proposal. Many programs, including those in IOS, have a solicitation. A solicitation is a more specific call for proposals; it details the Division or program’s goals and scope and how submission to the program differs from the instructions in the GPG. Instructions in a solicitation over-ride those in the GPG. Any submission details not mentioned in the solicitation default to the GPG instructions.

For the IOS solicitation Core Programs track, the full proposal requirements include documents not required for the preliminary proposal. The mandatory parts of a full proposal follow the GPG with only a few exceptions. In addition to the biosketch and list of collaborators, PIs must submit an updated version of the Excel spreadsheet with their conflicts of interest previously submitted with the preliminary proposal. PIs should also include a copy of the email inviting them to submit the full proposal uploaded as a single copy document. IOS offers a Mid-Career Award (MCA-IOS) option described in the IOS solicitation (see Important Information and Revision Notes section) that PIs would address in the text and budget as part of the grant activities. Planned Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU), Research Experiences for Teachers (RET), Research Assistantships for High School Students (RAHSS) and Research Opportunity Award (ROA) supplement activities should be included in the budget request at the time of submission and documents for each of these types of requests should be included as supplementary documents. Letters of collaboration should follow the template in the IOS solicitation. All the other supplementary documents such as biosketches, data management plans and postdoctoral mentoring plans follow the GPG instructions. Guidance for the preparation of data management plans can be found on the IOS web page .

Read the next post in this series…