Vice President for Research & Economic Development
Proposal Services & Faculty Support
October Funding Focus Newsletter #1
What is a Limited Submission?
A limited submission solicitation (RFA, RFP, etc.) places a cap on the number of proposals that Auburn may submit to a sponsor. Auburn coordinates limited submissions by sending out a notification via this newsletter and creating competitions in the Auburn University Competition Space (also known as InfoReady).To apply to any limited submission posted below, click on the above link and search for your competition reflected on the page. Please refer to the Limited Submission Procedures page for a list of requirements.
Limited Submission Announcements

The Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program serves to increase access to multi-user scientific and engineering instrumentation for research and research training in our Nation's institutions of higher education and not-for-profit scientific/engineering research organizations. An MRI award supports the acquisition or development of a multi-user research instrument that is, in general, too costly and/or not appropriate for support through other NSF programs.

MRI provides support to acquire critical research instrumentation without which advances in fundamental science and engineering research may not otherwise occur. MRI also provides support to develop next-generation research instruments that open new opportunities to advance the frontiers in science and engineering research. Additionally, an MRI award is expected to enhance research training of students who will become the next generation of instrument users, designers and builders.

An MRI proposal may request up to $4 million for either acquisition or development of a research instrument. Beginning with the FY 2018 competition, each performing organization may submit in revised “Tracks” as defined below, with no more than two submissions in Track 1 and no more than one submission in Track 2.

Track 1: Track 1 MRI proposals are those that request funds from NSF greater than or equal to $100,000 and less than $1,000,000.

Track 2: Track 2 MRI proposals are those that request funds from NSF greater than or equal to $1,000,000 up to and including $4,000,000.

Consistent with the America COMPETES Act of 2007 (Public Law 110-69), cost sharing of precisely 30% of the total project cost is required for Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education and for non-degree-granting organizations. Non-Ph.D.-granting institutions of higher education are exempt from the cost-sharing requirement and cannot include it. National Science Board policy prohibits voluntary committed cost sharing.

Institutional Limit: 3 Proposals (as lead institution)
Internal Deadline: October 16, 2020, 4:45 pm

On August 19, 2020, the DoD issued an update to the DoD Grants and Agreements Regulations (DoDGARs), 2 CFR Section 1134.140. Awardees are now required to send all significant scientific or technological findings, recommendations, and results derived from DoD endeavors, including the final performance report, to the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC). In addition, they are required to send to DTIC the final peer-reviewed manuscripts of journal articles when they are accepted for publication and titles and publication dates are finalized. The Applicable DOD Component may choose to receive the report and submit to DTIC themselves or provide further instructions to recipients on submitting to DTIC directly. At this time, no action is required. However, if you have a current DOD grant or cooperative agreement, you may receive additional instructions for submitting these reports directly to DTIC. It is anticipated that this requirement will be included in future requests for proposals (RFPs) and award terms/conditions.
National Science Foundation Project Reporting System Update

Effective October 5, 2020, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will enhance the Project Reporting System in to implement the revised Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR). The RPPR is a uniform format for reporting performance progress on Federally funded research projects and research related activities. NSF awardees use the RPPR to prepare and submit annual and final project reports to NSF. Further details about the RPPR can be found on the About Project Reports website.

New Question for Project Reports with Active Other Support Changes
  • On October 5, 2020, NSF will add the following new question to the Edit Participants screen: Has there been a change in the active other support of the PI/PD(s) since the last reporting period? If Principal Investigators (PIs)/Project Directors (PDs) and co-PIs/co-PDs select “Yes,” they will be required to upload their most up-to-date Current and Pending Support document in an NSF-approved format to notify NSF that active other support has changed since the award was made or since the most recent annual report.
  • Current and Pending Support documents not in an NSF-approved format will trigger a compliance error preventing document upload and submission of the annual or final project report.
  • The NSF-approved formats for Current and Pending Support are SciENcv: Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae and an NSF fillable PDF.
  • The NSF Current and Pending Support website includes additional information as well as links to system-related Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for both NSF-approved formats. A set of policy-related FAQs related to current and pending support is also available.
  • The complete lists of FastLane and automated proposal compliance checks effective October 5, 2020, are available on the Automated Compliance Checking of NSF Proposals website.

Additional New Questions from the Revised RPPR
Beginning October 5, 2020, NSF will also add the following three questions to the "Impact" and "Changes/Problems" tabs:
  • What was the impact on teaching and educational experiences? (Impact tab);
  • What percentage of the award’s budget was spent in a foreign country? (Impact tab); and
  • Has there been a change in primary performance site location from that originally proposed? (Changes/Problems tab).

NSF-specific Updates
  • NSF-specific help text updates have been added throughout, and NSF-specific instructions have been clarified or enhanced.
  • To reduce administrative burden, NSF has consolidated data entry fields where possible.

Current and Pending Support Format Training Resources
To learn more about the NSF-approved formats for Current and Pending Support, please view the NSF PAPPG (NSF 20-1) webinar and NSF-Approved Formats for the Biographical Sketch & Current and Pending Support Sections of NSF Proposals webinar.

SciENcv has created the following materials to guide the community through the preparation of the NSF Current and Pending Support document in SciENcv:

Questions? Policy-related questions should be directed to If you have IT system-related or technical questions regarding the NSF-approved formats or the Project Reporting System, please contact the NSF Help Desk at 1-800-381-1532 (7:00 AM - 9:00 PM ET; Monday - Friday except federal holidays) or via

No plane tickets, hotel costs, or food budgets to worry about! In fact, no registration fees either! The NIH is bringing the Fall 2020 NIH Virtual Seminar on Program Funding and Grants Administration direct to your computer…free of charge, Tuesday, October 27 – Friday, October 30!

The online workshop will be held Friday 9 October 2020 through Sunday 11 October 2020, and provides opportunities for participants to engage with former NSF S-STEM Program Officers throughout the workshop.

NSF encourages the community to become familiar with and to begin using it for the preparation and submission of proposals, as well as to provide NSF with valuable feedback. For additional information, FAQs, opportunities for training and to provide feedback, please visit
NSF Central Account Registration Process Information

  • Effective September 28, 2020, the Sign-in page will include three sign-in options:
  • Primary email address + password (new option)
  • NSF ID + password (existing option)
  • Organization-issued Credentials (InCommon Federation participating organizations only) (existing option)
  • Also effective September 28, 2020, users will be able to enter either their primary email address or their NSF ID for NSF account password recovery.
  • The user's primary email address is the one they registered with on, and this email address is displayed on their My Profile page. 
  • This change is intended to make it easier for users to remember their sign-in information, as well as to align with the industry standards for sign-in using an email address.
Vendor Center Update

The Auburn University Vendor Center will no longer be operational after September 18, 2020. The Vendor Center’s replacement, Jaggaer’s Total Supplier Management system, is live and we are currently registering suppliers through this new system.

Should you have any new companies or individuals that need to register as a supplier (formerly known as a “vendor”), please direct them to . PBS is already working with existing suppliers to get their profiles set up in our new Supplier Portal. If you have any questions, please email Vicky Smith at

This notice serves to remind the applicant community about existing guidance that restricts use of hypertext (e.g., hyperlinks and URLs) in NIH applications. Increasing use of unallowable hypertext in NIH grant applications raises multiple concerns. Applications that do not follow these instructions, and include unallowable hyperlinks, may be withdrawn from review and funding consideration.

Effective October 5, 2020, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will begin enforcing the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 20-1) requirement to use NSF-approved formats for the preparation of the Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support proposal documents. The NSF-approved formats are SciENcv: Science Experts Network Curriculum Vitae and an NSF fillable PDF. 
Federal Agency Coronavirus Resource Hubs

The NIH Research Education Program (R25) supports research educational activities that complement other formal training programs in the mission areas of the NIH Institutes and Centers. The overarching goals of the NIH R25 program are to: (1) complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs; (2) encourage individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups underrepresented in the biomedical and behavioral sciences, to pursue further studies or careers in research; (3) help recruit individuals with specific specialty or disciplinary backgrounds to research careers in biomedical, behavioral and clinical sciences; and (4) foster a better understanding of biomedical, behavioral and clinical research and its implications.

The overarching goal of this R25 program is to support educational activities that complement and/or enhance the training of a workforce to meet the nation’s biomedical, behavioral and clinical research needs.

The mission of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) is to conduct and support basic and applied research to better understand, treat, and ultimately prevent infectious, immunologic, and allergic diseases. In addition, NIAID has a unique mandate which requires the Institute to respond to emerging public health threats. Furthermore, the mission includes educational activities that complement the training of the next generation of scientists in NIAID-related research areas

To accomplish the stated over-arching goal of this R25 program, this FOA will support creative educational activities with a primary focus on:

  • Courses for Skills Development: It is expected that the course(s) for skills development provide innovative, state-of-the-art, evidence-based education that relates to the mission of NIAID, and is derived from biomedical, behavioral or clinical research findings. For example, advanced courses in a specific discipline or research area, clinical procedures for research, specialized research techniques, or research methodology. The courses may include elements that promote research skills and career skills of the participants. The format of the courses may involve a traditional in-person approach, online activities, a hybrid of both approaches, or other methods.
  • Research Experiences: It is expected that the research experiences supported by this FOA are relevant to the trainees area of science, yet sufficiently different such that it expands or extends their skills. The expanded experience has to meet the needs and career level of participants. Research experiences must also be designed to address some area of NIAID extramurally supported research. For example, for graduate and health professional students: to provide research experiences and related training not available through formal NIH training mechanisms; to provide hands-on authentic research experiences that reflect ownership of a project and provide opportunity for meaningful contribution to the research in question, and stimulate their interest to consider further education and training for future research related to the NIAID mission; for postdoctorates and junior faculty: to extend their skills, experiences, and knowledge base and prepare them for a NIAID-related career research.
  • Mentoring Activities: Within the context of a mentoring network activities may include, but are not limited to, dedicated efforts at providing technical expertise, advice, insight, and professional career skills that advance the broad career goals of graduate students, postdoctorates and/or early-career faculty; facilitating scholarly writing and grantsmanship; promoting successful transitions from one career stage to another; providing leadership development; helping to identify potential collaborators; helping to establish interdisciplinary or translational collaborations in order to foster a career trajectory towards independent NIAID-related research.

Letter of Intent Due: November 7, 2020
Proposals Due: December 7, 2020

The Scholarly Editions and Scholarly Translations program provides grants to organizations to support collaborative teams who are editing, annotating, and translating foundational humanities texts that are vital to learning and research but are currently inaccessible or are available only in inadequate editions or translations. Typically, the texts are significant literary, philosophical, and historical materials, but other types of work, such as musical notation, may also be the subject of an edition.

The program supports continuous full-time or part-time activities during the periods of performance of one to three years. Projects must be undertaken by at least two scholars working collaboratively. While international collaboration is permitted, projects must maintain an equitable balance between scholars at U.S. institutions and scholars at non-U.S. institutions. In addition to supporting long-term editorial projects, the program also encourages applications for short-term projects and for projects that are at a planning stage.

Proposals Due: December 2, 2020

Debate, exchange of ideas, and working together—all are basic activities that advance humanities knowledge and foster rich scholarship that would not be possible by researchers working on their own. The Collaborative Research program aims to advance humanistic knowledge through sustained collaboration between two or more scholars. Collaborators may be drawn from a single institution or several institutions across the United States; up to half of the collaborators may be based outside of the U.S. The program encourages projects that propose diverse approaches to topics, incorporate multiple points of view, and explore new avenues of inquiry in the humanities.

The program allows projects that propose research in a single field of study, as well as interdisciplinary work. Projects that include partnerships with researchers from the natural and social sciences are encouraged but must employ a humanistic research agenda. Partnerships among different types of institutions are welcome as well as new collaborations with international partners.

Proposed projects must aim to result in tangible and sustainable outcomes, for example, co-authored or multi-authored books; born-digital publications; themed issues of peer-reviewed journals; a series of peer-reviewed articles; and open-access scholarly digital resources. All project outcomes must incorporate interpretive work and collaboration to address significant humanities research questions.

Proposals Due: December 2, 2020

The goal of the training grant program is to enhance the quality and availability of safety training for United States commercial fishermen. Availability includes the frequency, geographic considerations, channels or partners of dissemination, culturally and/or educational appropriate training material, and other characteristics of a successful training program. As a result, the Coast Guard and NIOSH invite applications to support the development and implementation of training and education programs that meet some (or all) of the following:

  • develop and deliver training which addresses the needs of commercial fishermen in the United States;
  • increase the number of qualified marine safety instructors to conduct these types of training;
  • evaluate the effectiveness and impact of the training program on reducing injuries among commercial fishermen;
  • coordinate with existing training programs and partnerships with industry, fishermen, and agencies; and
  • conform to 46 U.S.C. § 4502 (i) Safety Standards for commercial fishing safety training.

Letter of Intent Due: December 22, 2020
Proposals Due: January 21, 2021

The Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program seeks to advance new approaches to and evidence-based understanding of the design and development of STEM learning opportunities for the public in informal environments; provide multiple pathways for broadening access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences; advance innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning in informal environments; and engage the public of all ages in learning STEM in informal environments.

The AISL program supports six types of projects: (1) Pilots and Feasibility Studies, (2) Research in Service to Practice, (3) Innovations in Development, (4) Broad Implementation, (5) Literature Reviews, Syntheses, or Meta-Analyses, and (6) Conferences.

Proposals Due: January 12, 2021

The purpose of the Research on Emerging Technologies for Teaching and Learning 
(RETTL) program is to fund exploratory and synergistic research in emerging technologies (to include, but not limited to, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics, and immersive or augmenting technologies) for teaching and learning in the future. The program accepts proposals that focus on learning, teaching, or a combination of both. The scope of the program is broad, with special interest in diverse learner/educator populations, contexts, and content, including teaching and learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) and in foundational areas that enable STEM (e.g., self-regulation, literacy, communication, collaboration, creativity, and socio-emotional skills). Research in this program should be informed by the convergence (synthesis) of multiple disciplines: e.g., learning sciences; discipline-based education research; computer and information science and engineering; design; and cognitive, behavioral, and social sciences. Within this broad scope, the program also encourages projects that investigate teaching and learning related to futuristic and highly technological work environments.

Proposals Due: January 25, 2021
Proposal Services & Faculty Support