NSF requirements

Project Description Guidelines

The Project Description may not exceed 15 pages. Visual materials, including charts, graphs, maps, photographs and other pictorial presentations are included in the 15-page limitation. PIs are cautioned that the Project Description must be self-contained, and that URLs must not be used because: 1) the information could circumvent page limitations; 2) the reviewers are under no obligation to view the sites; and 3) the sites could be altered or deleted between the time of submission and the time of review.

The Project Description addresses multiple topics:

  • The Project Description should outline the general plan of work, including the broad design of activities to be undertaken, and, where appropriate, provide a clear description of experimental methods and procedures. Proposers should address what they want to do, why they want to do it, how they plan to do it, how they will know if they succeed, and what benefits could accrue if the project is successful.
  • Broader Impacts. The Project Description must contain, as a separate section within the narrative, a section labeled "Broader Impacts". This section should provide a discussion of the broader impacts of the proposed activities. Broader impacts may be accomplished through the research itself, through the activities that are directly related to specific research projects, or through activities that are supported by, but are complementary to the project. NSF values the advancement of scientific knowledge and activities that contribute to the achievement of societally relevant outcomes. 
  • Results of Prior NSF Support. (Five pages total) The purpose of this section is to assist reviewers in assessing the quality of prior work conducted with prior or current NSF funding. If any PI or co-PI identified on the proposal has received prior NSF support including an award with an end date in the past five years; or any current funding, including any no cost extensions, information on the award is required for each PI and co-PI, regardless of whether the support was directly related to the proposal or not.
  • For proposals that include funding to an International Branch Campus of a U.S. IHE or to a foreign organization or foreign individual (including through use of a subaward or consultant arrangement), the proposer must provide the requisite explanation/justification in the project description.

Page Limit: 15 Pages (including the five pages for Results of Prior NSF Support)