NSF Email Validation System

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has applied a new email validation policy and system: Domain-based Message Authentication, Reporting & Conformance (DMARC).

The ASU Exchange team has reviewed NSF’s DMARC policy and the impact to ASU faculty, staff, and students. In most cases, there will be little or no impact, however all users should be aware of the following:

  • If someone sends as nsf.gov and they are not allowed to, ASU will block the message as required by the NSF DMARC policy.
  • If someone sends an email from gov to an ASU recipient and they are allowed to, the ASU Exchange team will  deliver the message to the best of their ability.
  • Users can forward an email sent from gov just fine, however they cannot redirect an email.
    • The important distinction is who the sender of the email is according to the “From” address.  If you forward an email you received using Outlook, then your address is the sending address so forwarding an email from gov in this manner should be fine.  Setting up a rule to do so should also work provided the email comes as being from an ASU address.
    • Using a forwarding rule to redirect the message, so that it claims to still be from someone@nsf.gov will not work as ASU is not allowed to send email from gov.


  • This also affects users who choose to not use an ASU mailbox, and set something else (like Yahoo) as their destination address in their email preferences.  In that scenario we would relay the message to the third party mail provider who would block the message since ASU is not permitted to send as gov.
    • The workaround for this scenario is for the ASU user to either use an ASU mailbox or for the nsf.gov sender to send directly to their other mailbox provider.