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NSF Guidance

May 10, 2022

Faculty Disclosure Guidance for NSF submissions


Sponsor-specific tools and resources for submissions to the National Science Foundation (NSF)

NSF Proposals & Awards Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG)

NSF released its new PAPPG (NSF 22-1) in June 2021. Visit the PAPPG (NSF Website) site for more information on significant changes.


NSF Uniform Guidance and Prior Approvals

Refer to Federal Research Terms and Conditions (NSF Website).

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Harvard Submission Process

Submissions of proposals and progress reports are due to your School’s submitting office according to their deadline policy for review and authorization.  Submission deadlines vary by the submitting office; for Harvard Chan SPA submit 7 business days before the sponsor’s due date; for OSP and HMS ORA submit 5 business days before the sponsor’s due date.  Please use the links listed below for more information on each submitting office’s deadline policies:


Disclosure Guidelines for NSF submissions

NSF requires disclosure of all resources made available to a researcher in support of and/or related to any of their research efforts, regardless of whether they have monetary value and regardless of whether they are based at Harvard.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) issued new requirements for Current and Pending Support reporting and Biographical Sketches (Biosketches) that went into effect on October 4, 2021.

NSF Pre-award and Post-award Disclosures Summary Chart

This NSF provided table is a helpful reference outlining information regarding pre-award and post-award disclosure information in the Biographical Sketch and Other Support proposal sections. The table identifies where these disclosures must be provided in proposals as well as in project reports.

Biosketch (at proposal stage)
NSF Biographical Sketch (Biosketch)


 General Information Resources


A biosketch is a streamlined version of your CV (curriculum vitae) requested by most funding agencies and institutions. NSF requires them in both competing applications and progress reports. Find instructions and blank format pages below.


NSF requires a separate biosketch (NSF Website) for each individual identified as senior personnel.  The NSF approved Biosketch format (rev 10/4/2021 (NSF provided PDF) page limitation has increased to 3 pages.  More detailed information about the content is available in the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) Chapter II.C.2.f.  

    1. All positions, scientific appointments, and affiliations with both domestic and foreign entities or governments must be included.
    2. The NSF has partnered with NIH to use of SciENcv (NIH website) and its use is strongly encouraged for preparation of an NSF-compliant Biosketch.  For assistance with SciENcv refer to the instructional videos available on HTP (SciENcv course bundle on HTP) that includes:
    1. Inclusion of additional information beyond that specified within the PAPPG may result in the proposal being returned without review.
    2. Changes to Biosketch include revisions to Section A, B, and D.  Details on changes to the Biosketch format (rev 12/2020 (NIH provided DOC)) can be found on the Biosketch NIH Format pages, Instructions, and Sample (NIH Website).




Additional Information

 Section A: Professional Preparation


    1. List of the individual’s undergraduate and graduate education and postdoctoral training.
    2. Information listed must include location, Major (Area), and Degree & Year or Years of service.
      • Undergraduate Institution(s), Location, Major, Degree & Year
      • Graduate Institution(s), Location, Major, Degree & Year
      • Postdoctoral Institution(s), Location, Major, Inclusive Dates (years)
Section B: Appointments


The NSF specifies that the list must include the following, whether or not remuneration is received and whether full-time, part-time, or voluntary (including adjunct, visiting, or honorary).  List in reverse chronological order:

  • All positions, both domestic and foreign
  • All scientific appointments, both domestic and foreign
  • All affiliations with foreign entities or governments
  • All titled academic, professional, or institutional appointments
  • Any relevant academic and professional achievements and honors.
Section C: Products


Each individual may list up to 5 products per product category.

    1. Products:  list up to 5 products most closely related to the proposed project.
    2. Significant Products: list up to 5 other significant products, whether or not related to the proposed project.
      • Acceptable products must be citable and accessible including but not limited to publications, data sets, software, patents, and copyrights.
      • Unacceptable products are unpublished documents not yet submitted for publication, invited lectures, and additional lists of products.
      • Each product must include full citation information including (where applicable and practicable) names of all authors*, date of publication or release, title, title of enclosing work such as journal or book, volume, issue, pages, website and URL, or other Persistent Identifier.

*Senior personnel who wish to include publications in the products section of the biographical sketch that include multiple authors may, at their discretion, choose to list one or more of the authors and then “et al.” in lieu of including the complete listing of authors’ names.

Section D:  Synergistic Activities


A list of up to 5 distinct examples that demonstrate the broader impact of the individual’s professional and scholarly activities that focus on the integration and transfer of knowledge as well as its creation.  Examples may include:

      • Innovation in teach and training
      • Contributions to the science of learning
      • Development and/or refinement of research tools
      • Computation methodologies and algorithms for problem-solving
      • Developmnet of databases to support research and education
      • Broadening the participation of groups underrepresented in STEM
      • Service to the scientific and engineering community outside of the individual’s immediate organization

Synergistic activities must be specific and discrete.  Entries that include multiple components are not permitted.  Examples that are not permitted include:

      • Committee member lists
      • Sub-bullets of honors and prizes
      • Listing of organization for which the individual as served as a review
Current and Pending
NSF Current and Pending Support


 General Information Resources


Current and Pending Support includes all resources made available to a researcher in support of and/or related to all of their research endeavors, regardless of whether or not they have monetary value and regardless of whether they are based at Harvard.  This includes resources and/or financial support from all foreign and domestic entities, including but not limited to, financial support for laboratory personnel, and provision of high-value materials that are not freely available (e.g. biologics, chemical, model systems, technology, etc.).  Such as:

    1. All active and pending grants, whether or not they are based at Harvard
    2. Internal awards in direct support of a research project
    3. In-kind resources (e.g. office/lab space, equipment, personnel, materials not freely available, etc.).  In-kind resources may not necessarily have a readily ascertainable monetary value
    4. Foreign support made to a trainee or fellow working in the lab (e.g. “sponsored fellow” supporting your laboratory’s research efforts)
    5. Positions, affiliations, and appointments that are related to a foreign talent (or similar type) program
    6. All other resources (domestic or foreign) available in direct support of your research endeavors

Detailed information about the content is available in the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG), Chapter, II.C.2.h.


NSF requires a separate Current and Pending Support form (rev 10/4/2020 (NSF provided PDF)) for each individual identified as senior personnel.  Information must be provided for:

    1. The project(s) to be submitted,
    2. ongoing projects, and
    3. for any proposals currently under consideration from whatever source irrespective of whether such support is provided through the proposing organization or is provided directly to the individual.  

Each current and pending support entry should include:

      • Total award amount for the entire award period covered (including indirect costs)
      • Number of person-months per year to be devoted by the individual
      • brief statement of the overall objectives of the project/proposal being proposed or in-kind contribution must be provided
      • summary of the potential overlap between this proposal and any active or pending proposal or in-kind contribution


    1. Additional details can be found on the NIH Other Support website (NIH Website) including changes to the Other Support form (rev 12/2020 (NIH provided DOC)), as well as instructions and FAQs.
    2. Use of SciENcv (NIH Website) is strongly encouraged for Biosketch preparation and updates.  For assistance with SciENcv refer to the instructional videos available on HTP (SciENcv course bundle on HTP) that includes:





Job Aids

Additional Information

Prepare an Inventory of In-Kind Support and Other Resources


All Harvard individuals who are designated as Key Personnel on an NIH award/subaward are required to report all their research support to NIH via the Other Support form, which is required at JIT and with each RPPR if their support has changed since the last submission. To provide a complete list of resources and support, all Key Personnel must take inventory of all resources provided or otherwise supported externally and available in support of their research.  This may include: 

    • Supplies and Equipment, including high value material that is not broadly available.  
    • Facilities, including any office/lab space or other facilities that are not Harvard owned or leased, and not otherwise made broadly available. *Note that institutional resources, including core facilities or shared equipment, should not be included as Other Support, but instead listed under Facilities and Other Resources within the proposal application. 
    • Personnel, including postdoctoral researchers, students, and other lab personnel, paid from an external source or self-funded and working on the research of the reporting Key Person. 
    • Other In-Kind Resources, including Research Collaboration Agreements (RCAs) or other agreements or commitments that may involve the performance of research or exchange of resources in support of your research endeavors. This includes DUAs and MTAs if the exchange covers high value data/materials that are not broadly available.  
    • Outside Funding Support, including funding received directly or through another entity at which you have an affiliation (including the Harvard Affiliates). This includes external start-up packages. 
Collect information from Harvard Systems


Harvard systems may contain information pertaining to potential sources of in-kind and other resources. Please note, the first two options are only available to individual Key Personnel; no one else has access to the OAIR report or the GMAS Other Support and Activities report: 

  1. Download the GMAS report (which includes data from OAIR and Agreements Modules) through a direct link to your Other Support and Activities (Link to GMAS for automatic download of Excel report).  
  2. Export your current activities separately from OAIR, GMAS, and Agreements systems.
  1. Export your active DUAs from the Agreements Module
Undisclosed Other Support


Immediately notify your Research Administrator of undisclosed Other Support (i.e., information that was missing from a proposal at Just-In-Time (JIT) or a Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR)).

Roles and Responsibilities Pertaining to NSF Grant Disclosure
Principal Investigators and Key Personnel

Principal Investigators and Key Personnel are expected to be forthright and transparent about relationships, resources, and activities.  Investigators and Key Personnel will provide a complete and accurate disclosure on their Biosketch and Other Support.  This includes:

    1. Collecting their disclosure information from GMAS.
    1. For NIH Other Support disclosures: providing any required unredacted agreements, with English translation if the original is in a foreign language
    2. Working with their Grant Manager to complete your submission
    3. Certifying with their electronic signature the completeness and accuracy of the final Other Support document with your electronic signature prior to submission to NIH
Grant Managers

Grant Managers will assist PIs and Key Personnel in organizing, formatting, and completing their submission.  This may include:

    1. Creating JIT/Continuation Request in GMAS
    2. Obtaining the disclosure information from the PI or Key Personnel.
    3. Working with the PI or Key Personnel to complete their Biosketch and Other Support.
    4. Uploading documents to the JIT/Continuation Request
      • Assisting the PI with uploading, as needed, foreign agreements for review
      • For NIH Other Support disclosures:  ensuring required supporting documentation, including original agreements and English translations, is attached
    1. Formatting and reviewing for completeness and accuracy.
School or Central Reviewers

School or Central Reviewers will coordinate with Grant Managers and PIs or Key Personnel to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the submission.  This includes:

    1. Reviewing Biosketch and Other Support for completeness and accuracy.
    2. Reviewing Contracts/Agreements submitted by the PIs and other Key Personnel for inclusion on Other Support.
    3. For NIH Other Support disclosures: Ensuring required supporting documentation, including original agreements and English translations, is attached.
    4. Maintaining original signed (certified) copies of Other Support.
    5. Submitting finalized Biosketch and Other Support to NIH.
School Contacts

Use the links below to contact your Research Administrator:

General Current and Pending and Biosketch

School Main Contact Email Address
FAS Lauren Ferrell
GSE Tiffany Blackman
HMS Kelly Evans
HSDM Kelly Evans
SPH Melissa Francis
HKS Carrie Kachoria
SEAS Pam Baker-Weber
HLS Katie McGrath
Wyss Katrin Duevel
Other Schools Contact your OSP Rep with Questions


*Note:  The Research Administration contact for a specific project can be found in the Administrative Team section for the project in GMAS.

NIH and NSF Definition of Research:

A systematic study directed toward fuller scientific knowledge or understanding of the subject studied.

Harvard University Definition of Scientific Appointment:

Any academic or research appointment, including visiting, adjunct or temporary academic appointments, with a university, college, governmental or non-profit research institution and any fiduciary or executive level appointment with a for-profit entity engaged in commercial or research activities of a biomedical nature.

Harvard University Definition of Research:

Adheres to the Federal Policy for the Protection of Human Subjects (known as the “Common Rule” as defined in HHS regulation 45CFR46).  Teaching/training in research methods may also constitute Research for the purposes of NIH’s definition.

The Common Rule defines research as a systematic investigation, including research development, testing and evaluation, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge. (45CFR46.102(l))

Harvard University Definition of Conducting Research:

To be a Project Director, Principal Investigator or to otherwise be responsible for the design, conduct or reporting of research regardless of title or position (e.g., an Investigator). This definition does not normally include service on scientific or clinical advisory boards or more general scientific consulting unless it is anticipated that the individual will make a direct and significant intellectual contribution to a specific research project for the entity.

Harvard University Definition of Research as Part of Consulting:

To be responsible for the design, conduct or reporting of Research regardless of title or position.  This does not normally include service on scientific or clinical advisory boards or more general scientific consulting, unless the Principle Investigator or Senior/Key Personnel is anticipated to make a direct and significant intellectual contribution to a specific Research project for the entity.  Such an activity may result in earning authorship on a publication describing or supporting a research activity, or any consulting activity that otherwise meets the definition of Research.

Harvard University Definition of Support:

Any resources (i.e., financial, in-kind, personnel, provision of high-value materials that are not freely available) made available to a Principle Investigator or Key Personnel for use by this individual to pursue their Research. This includes in-kind resources directly provided to the individual (e.g., office/laboratory space, equipment, supplies or employees or students funded by outside sources). This does not include institutional resources, such as core facilities or shared equipment, that are made broadly available.

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