Updated August 31, 2021

Complying with National Science Foundation Policy

The information below is intended to guide users to complete the NSF Current & Pending Support, Biosketches and Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources, beginning October 1, 2020.

Note that in addition to the traditional forms of support, some Institutional resources must also be disclosed.


Institutional Financial Resources

Internal Awards (e.g., Caltech Innovation Initiative)

Internal awards are included in Current and Pending Support if the award is in direct support of a research project. Specifically, the awards are used for a project that has (1) scope of work; (2) budget; (3) effort commitment by the PI; (4) period of performance.

Gifts made to Caltech

Caltech and the federal government define a gift as something given without expectation of anything in return. If an item or service meets the definition of a gift, it is not reported as Current and Pending Support. If a gift was given to Caltech for use on a specific research activity, the funds must be disclosed as Current and Pending Support. Also, 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.

Start-up funds

Caltech start-up packages provided to the PI from Caltech are NOT included in Current and Pending Support. Start-up packages from institutions other than Caltech must be reported in Current and Pending Support.


Current & Pending Support, Biosketches and Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources

Current and Pending Support and Biosketches must be provided for all senior personnel and faculty associates. The term "senior personnel" includes:

(Co)Principal Investigator(s) - the individual(s) designated by the grantee and approved by NSF who will be responsible for the project's scientific or technical direction. If more than one, the first one listed will have primary responsibility for the project and the submission of reports.

Faculty Associate (faculty member) - an individual other than the Principal Investigator(s) considered by the performing institution to be a member of its faculty or who holds an appointment as a faculty member at another institution and who will participate in the project.


Current & Pending Support

NSF uses the information submitted in the Current and Pending Support section to assess the individual researcher's capacity to carry out the project as proposed and help assess any potential overlap or duplication with the project being proposed.

NSF requires information on all current and pending support for ongoing projects and proposals. Detailed information about the content is available in the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG), Chapter II.C.2.h. A set of frequently asked questions related to current and pending support also is available.

The proposed project and all other projects or activities requiring a portion of the PI/senior personnel's time must be included, even if they receive no salary support from the project(s).

The total award amount for the entire award period covered (including indirect costs) must be provided, as well as the number of person-months (or partial person-months) per year to be devoted to the project by the individual.

If an 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 an In-Kind contribution is intended for use on the project/proposal being proposed to NSF and either has an associated time commitment or not, 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.

(New) NSF requires reporting of all consulting appointments or other outside activities that involve performing research. Also, report consulting that exceeds Caltech's policy of one day per week or thirteen (13) days per quarter. Reminder: Consulting Agreements - Consulting activities must be reported through the Caltech Disclosure of Financial Interests and Commitments system regardless of whether external consulting supports research endeavors.

(New) Report travel reimbursements paid by an outside organization when the travel is to perform research and where the research activity involves a time commitment. Note: Only report travel reimbursed to you by a third-party entity. Do not report travel reimbursed from Caltech funds or sponsored awards to Caltech.

(New) Report start-up companies based on intellectual property licensed from entities other than Caltech.

If an In-Kind contribution is not used on the project/proposal being proposed to NSF and has no associated time commitment, it need not be reported.

Note that, per NSF: "It is important to note that NSF is not asking for how much time is budgeted for a particular individual(s), but rather how much time the individual(s) is/are planning to spend to complete the scope of work on the proposed project and/or award. If the individual(s) will be spending time on the proposed project or award, then that time must be reported."

Concurrent submission of a proposal to other organizations will not prejudice its review by NSF if disclosed. If the project (or any part of the project) now being submitted has been funded previously by a source other than NSF, information must be provided regarding the last period of funding.

Include the following Current & Pending Support information:

All planned, pending and current project support and in-kind support that is either provided directly to the individual or to the individual through their organization in support of that individual's research endeavors, from whatever source, including, but not limited to:

  • Contracts or Cooperative Agreements for Research – All such sponsored agreements for research or educational activities that take place at Caltech or elsewhere must be included as Current and Pending Support.
  • Consulting activities not permitted by an individual's appointment, or where an exception has been granted. Examples include consulting activities that involve performing research for other entities, or where consulting time exceeds one day a week or thirteen (13) days per quarter, per Caltech policy. (new)
    Reminder: Consulting Agreements - Consulting activities must be reported through the Caltech Conflict of Interest Disclosure system regardless of whether external consulting supports research endeavors.
  • Travel supported/paid by an external entity to perform research with an associated time commitment. (new)
  • Startup companies based on non-Caltech-licensed intellectual property. (new)
  • Fellowship Program - Included in Current and Pending Support, if the fellowship is granted to the Principal Investigator and/or key personnel.
  • Postdoctoral fellowships paid directly to a researcher funded by a foundation or other organization should not be submitted as part of the PI or co-PIs Current & Pending Support submission.
  • Foreign Talent Program1 - Include in Current & Pending Support for the Principal Investigator and any senior personnel. (new)
  • Grants for Research - Included as Current & Pending Support regardless of whether or not the grants are based at Caltech.

1 Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Program. In general, such programs include any foreign-state-sponsored attempt to acquire U.S. scientific-funded research or technology through foreign government-run or funded recruitment programs that target scientists, engineers, academics, researchers, and entrepreneurs of all nationalities working or educated in the United States. These recruitment programs are often part of broader whole-of-government strategies to reduce costs associated with basic research while focusing investment on military development or dominance in emerging technology sectors. See https://www.sciencemag.org/sites/default/files/January%20DOE%20memo.pdf for more information, including distinguishing features of a foreign government talent recruitment program as defined by the Department of Energy.

The NSF proposal and award guide states that In-Kind support includes all resources provided in support of the investigator's researcher endeavors, such as office/laboratory space, equipment, supplies, employees, students, and visitors. Note that "conditional" gifts may also be considered In-Kind support.

If an 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 an In-Kind contribution is intended for use on the project/proposal being proposed to NSF and either has an associated time commitment or not, 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.

If an In-Kind contribution is not used on the project/proposal being proposed to NSF and has no associated time commitment, it need not be reported.

Other Resources

Other Resources, not already included above, are included as Current and Pending Support if the resources are in direct support of the individual's research endeavors at Caltech or any institution or entity.

Projects and Activities - All Projects and Activities not already included above are included as Current and Pending Support if the project or activity supports an individual's research in any way at Caltech or any institution or entity.

NSF references:

1 Foreign Government Talent Recruitment Program. In general, such programs include any foreign-state-sponsored attempt to acquire U.S. scientific-funded research or technology through foreign government-run or funded recruitment programs that target scientists, engineers, academics, researchers, and entrepreneurs of all nationalities working or educated in the United States. These recruitment programs are often part of broader whole-of-government strategies to reduce costs associated with basic research while focusing investment on military development or dominance in emerging technology sectors. See https://www.sciencemag.org/sites/default/files/January%20DOE%20memo.pdf for more information, including distinguishing features of a foreign government talent recruitment program as defined by the Department of Energy.

*NSF defines research as a systematic study directed toward fuller scientific knowledge or understanding of the subject studied. Research is classified as either basic or applied according to the objectives of the sponsoring agency. https://www.nsf.gov/statistics/fedfunds/glossary/def.htm#research


Biosketch

NSF requires a biographical sketch (limited to two pages) for each individual identified as senior personnel. Detailed information about the content is available in the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG), Chapter II.C.2.f.i.b

NSF requires:

A list, in reverse chronological order by start date of all the individual's academic, professional, or institutional appointments, beginning with the current appointment. Appointments include any titled academic, professional, or institutional position whether or not remuneration is received, and whether full-time, part-time, or voluntary (including adjunct, visiting, or honorary).

(NEW) With regard to professional appointments, senior personnel must identify all current domestic and foreign professional appointments outside of the individual's academic, professional, or institutional appointments at the proposing organization.

Consider using ORCiD Open Researcher and Contributor ID - a unique, persistent identifier free of charge to researchers. More information may be found at: https://libguides.caltech.edu/orcid.

As of October 1, 2020, use ONLY the NSF-approved formats, including

NSF references:


Facilities, Equipment & Other Resources

Include 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. Such information must be provided in this section instead of other parts of the proposal (e.g., Budget Justification, Project Description).

Use a narrative description and do not include quantifiable financial information. Reviewers will evaluate the information during the merit review process, and the cognizant NSF Program Officer will review it for programmatic and technical sufficiency.

If an In-Kind contribution is intended for use on the project/proposal being proposed to NSF and either has an associated time commitment or not, 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.

If an In-Kind contribution is not used on the project/proposal being proposed to NSF and has no associated time commitment, it need not be reported.

NSF references:


Other disclosures of international activities

Cover Sheet and Project Description -

  • All research, training, and/or education which involves international counterparts, whether in-person or virtually
  • All subawards, consulting agreements, or other forms of funding to foreign entities or individuals

NSF references:

Collaborators and Other Affiliations -

NSF has a long-standing policy for PIs to report unfunded collaborators contributing to the proposed project as part of the Facilities, Equipment, and Other Resources, as described below.

The NSF proposal and award guide states –

- Any substantial collaboration (foreign or domestic) with individuals not included in the budget should be described in the Facilities, Equipment, and Other Resources section of the proposal (see Chapter II.C.2.i) and documented in a letter of collaboration from each collaborator. Such letters should be provided in the supplementary documentation section of the FastLane Proposal Preparation Module and follow the format instructions specified in Chapter II.C.2.j.1

- Collaborative activities (foreign or domestic) that are identified in the budget should follow the instructions in Chapter II.D.3.

Note: While collaborations not directly contributing to the project may not need to be listed in the proposal as "collaborator", the activity may be considered "in-kind support" if it includes a time commitment, for example, if a PI hosts a visiting researcher funded by an outside entity.

In addition, NSF requires a spreadsheet format for listing Collaborators and Other Affiliations, for purposes of identifying potential conflicts for proposal peer reviews.

- Collaborations and Other Affiliations (COA) information. NSF requests information in spreadsheet form, where the PIs include lists of co-authors and collaborators. NSF uses this information to avoid conflicts of interest in proposal review. From the NSF proposal instructions, related to Table 4 -COA template Table 4: List names as last name, first name, middle initial, and provide organizational affiliations, if known, for the following: Co-authors on any book, article, report, abstract or paper with collaboration in the last 48 months (publication date may be later); and Collaborators on projects, such as funded grants, graduate research or others in the last 48 months.

NSF references:

PAPPG II.C.1.e - Collaborators and Other Affiliations

Any form – Cover Page, Current & Pending, Biosketch, Facilities, Equipment & Other Resources

When an award is selected for funding, review and update all forms as needed before submitting them to NSF.

Note that NSF's award terms and conditions require grantees to identify undisclosed current support or in-kind contributions that were active as of the date the proposal (or the pre-award update) was submitted to NSF. If undisclosed information is discovered, Caltech must report any undisclosed relationships to the NSF with 30 calendar days from the discovery. See Post-Award Disclosure of Project Support Information and/or Post-award Disclosure of In-Kind Contribution Information report for more information. This reporting requirement remains in effect for the life of the NSF award.

Research Performance Progress Report

PIs should update in-kind support and other resource information in each annual project report (RPPR). See details about reporting In-Kind support, other partner organizations (CW B.5-1), and collaborators (CW B.5-2), per p. 21 of the NSF instructions. At this time, the biosketch may not be updated in the RPPR, but this is likely to change in the future.

CW B.5-1

Partner organizations may provide financial or in-kind support, supply facilities or equipment, collaborate in the research, exchange personnel, or otherwise contribute.

Provide the following information for each partnership:

Organization Name:

Location of Organization: (if foreign location list country)

Partner's contribution to the project (identify one or more)

* Financial support;

* In-Kind support (e.g., partner makes software, computers, equipment, etc., available to project staff);

* Facilities (e.g., project staff use the partner's facilities for project activities);

* Collaborative research (e.g., partner's staff work with project staff on the project); and

* Personnel exchanges (e.g., project staff and/or partner's staff use each other's facilities, work at each other's site).

* Other.

More detail on partner and contribution (foreign or domestic)

CW B.5-2

Some significant collaborators or contacts within the recipient's organization may not be covered by "What people have worked on the project?" Likewise, some significant collaborators or contacts outside the recipient's organization may not be covered under "What other organizations have been involved as partners?"

For example, have there been any:

  • collaborations with others within the recipient's organization; especially
    • interdepartmental or interdisciplinary collaborations;
    • collaborations or contact with others outside the organization; and
    • collaborations or contacts with others outside the United States or with an international organization.

It is likely that many recipients will have no other collaborators or contacts to report.

A new section of the RPPR includes questions about foreign activities and expenditures (p. 30).

CW B.6-10

Describe what percentage of the award's budget was spent in foreign country(ies) for this reporting period. If more than one foreign country was involved, identify the distribution of funding between the foreign countries.

U.S.-based recipients should provide the percentage of the budget spent in the foreign country(ies) and/or, if applicable, the percentage of the budget obligated to foreign entities as first-tier subawards.

Recipients that are not U.S.-based should provide the percentage of the direct award received, excluding all first-tier subawards to U.S. entities. If applicable, provide separately the percentage of the budget obligated to non-U.S. entities as first-tier subawards

Contact the Office of Sponsored Research (OSR) if you have questions about completing the RPPR.

Reporting Undisclosed Relationships – "Other Requests," in Research.gov

NSF's award terms and conditions require Caltech to identify undisclosed current support or in-kind contributions that were missed and not reported appropriately (e.g., before award or missed in an annual progress report).

NSF states: If undisclosed information is discovered, Caltech has 30 calendar days to submit a Post-Award Disclosure of Project Support Information and/or Post-award Disclosure of In-Kind Contribution Information report in NSF's Research.gov system.

If you believe you need to disclose new information to NSF, please contact the Office of General Counsel (OGC). If you and OGC determine that there is something to report, you will work with OSR to submit the retroactive disclosure to NSF using an "Other Request" in Research.gov.

NSF References:

NSF Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) Screenshots and Instructions

NSF Project Reporting Format: For PIs, Co-PIs and Research Organizations

Research.gov - About Project Reports

Frequently Asked Questions on Current and Pending Support (Updated June 28, 2021)


Checklist and Guidance for Complying with NSF Policy when Reporting Current and Pending Support v.4 (4/15/2021). Thank you to the University of California, Santa Barbara for their very helpful website on these requirements.

Thank you to Michelle Christy for assistance with this site.