NSF Systems – Updates Implemented in the New PAPPG 23-1

NSF has released an updated Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG), effective January 30, 2023. Below are the NSF system updates that may affect the proposal preparation and submission process:

Broad Agency Announcements (BAA)

Although NSF will primarily disseminate opportunities through solicitations, they may also utilize BAAs for basic and applied research, scientific studies, and experimentation. Funding for these will be in the form of grants, cooperative agreements, contracts, or other arrangements.

Concept Outlines

Guidance for concept outlines are formally included in the PAPPG 23-1. Concept outlines – a concise summary of project ideas– allow NSF program officers to notify the principal investigators whether full proposals can or should be submitted. Each funding announcement will clarify whether Concept outlines must be submitted via email or ProSPCT. Concept outlines can be submitted to solicitations that do not require their submission, and they should be submitted by the PI.


The Program Suitability & Proposal Concept Tool (ProSPCT) is an NSF portal that allows for submission of Concept Outlines. The PI will create and submit the concept outline, and all users must have an active Login.gov account to access ProSPCT.