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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Grant and Cooperative Agreement Related Policy and Systems Issues Following the Resumption of Operations at the National Science Foundation Updated October 22, 2013


This document addresses grant and cooperative agreement policy and systems issues that may
arise following the resumption of normal operations at NSF and supplements Important Notice
No. 134, Resumption of Operations at the National Science Foundation, issued on October 17,
2013. NSF is providing this information as a service to our proposer and awardee communities
to facilitate a smooth return to normal NSF operating procedures.

Unfortunately, the shutdown resulted in a significant backlog of proposal actions and delays and
may result in the cancellation of related activities and certain programs. NSF staff will tackle
this backlog as a priority and will provide guidance in the near future on programmatic impacts.

We will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available. Questions
regarding this guidance should be directed to the Policy Office in the Division of Institution &
Award Support at policy@nsf.gov.

Assistance - Grants and Cooperative Agreements

Proposal Preparation & Submission

• The NSF FastLane system is available for proposal preparation and submission.

• Grants.gov continued to operate during the funding lapse; however, since FastLane was
not operating, proposal downloads from Grants.gov did not take place. Proposals,
therefore, were neither checked for compliance with NSF proposal preparation
requirements nor processed. These activities have resumed.

• New funding opportunities (program descriptions, announcements or solicitations) will be
issued based on schedules that will be determined by the cognizant NSF Directorates
and Program Directors.


Impact on Existing Due Dates

• Funding opportunities with deadlines or target dates occurring between October 1
through 25, 2013 have been revised. The updated due dates are available on the
Resumption of Operations page on the NSF website at
http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/postshutdown.jsp. Frequently asked questions
regarding these date changes also are available on the Resumption of Operations

Proposal Review Process

• All panels that were canceled due to the shutdown will be rescheduled to a later date,
unless a different direction is determined by the cognizant Program Officer.

• Ad hoc reviews that could not be submitted via FastLane during the shutdown may now
be submitted via the FastLane Proposal Review function.

Proposal Processing Time

• In many cases, the Foundation will not be able to meet our customer service standard of
informing applicants whether their proposals have been declined or recommended for
funding within six months of the deadline or target date, or receipt date, whichever is

Issuance of New Grants and Cooperative Agreements

• Grants or cooperative agreements impacted by the shutdown will be awarded based on
a schedule that will be determined as early as practicable.

Issuance of Continuing Grant Increments (CGIs)

• CGIs that could not be processed during the shutdown will be issued by NSF as early as

Post Award Administration

Performance of Work

• During the shutdown, awardees were authorized to continue performance under their
NSF awards to the extent that funds were available and the term of the grant or
cooperative agreement had not expired. Any expenses incurred during the shutdown
were required to be necessary for performance of the work and allowable in accordance
with the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) cost circulars.
• Payments and the ability of awardees to draw down and record expenses under grants 
and cooperative agreements were reinstated on October 17th. 
Project Reporting 
• Awardees should submit their project reports via Research.gov as soon as possible now 
that normal operations have resumed. 
No-Cost Extensions and Other Post Award Transactions 
• Awardees may now submit no-cost extension requests via the FastLane Notifications 
and Requests module. 
• Awardees may now submit Award Transfer Requests, Supplemental Funding Requests, 
and Other Post Award Notifications and Requests via the FastLane Notifications and 
Requests module now that normal operations have resumed. 
Cooperative Agreements in Support of Large Facilities 
• Awardees are encouraged to confer with their cognizant Program Official and Grants & 
Agreements Officer to review events occurring and work performed during the shutdown, 
plans for returning to normal operations, funding availability, and necessary 
administrative and other actions by NSF. Awardees are encouraged to prioritize actions 
requested of NSF as the agency works through a backlog of actions needed to return to 
normal operations. 
• All requests for NSF action should be submitted in FastLane or any alternate means as 
set forth in the relevant cooperative agreement. 
• Payments and the ability of awardees to draw down and record expenses under grants 
and cooperative agreements were reinstated on October 17th. 

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