Revision of NSF Terms and Conditions

February 26, 2018

Dear Colleagues:

I wanted to make you aware that the Foundation’s suite of Award Terms and Conditions (link is external) (see full listing below) has been revised.  Important changes include:

  • Revision of the micro-purchase threshold for procurement activities to $10,000 for awards made to institutions of higher education, related or affiliated nonprofit entities, nonprofit research organizations or independent research institutes.  This revision was made in accordance with Section 207 (a)(1) of the American Competitiveness and Innovation Act (AICA);  grantees are authorized to establish lower thresholds at their discretion.
  • New requirement for grantees to have procedures in place to respond to a breach of personally identifiable information (PII) and notify NSF that a breach of PII within the scope of an NSF award has occurred; and
  • Modification of to include an “Other” category, which must be used to submit prior approval requirements that do not already have a specific request type in NSF’s electronic systems.

For awards made to State and local governments or for-profit organizations, we have developed a separate NSF prior approval matrix, which is referenced in the relevant sets of terms and conditions.

Each set of terms and conditions is accompanied by a summary of changes made to that document.

The revised Terms and Conditions will apply to all new NSF awards and funding amendments to existing NSF awards made on or after March 1, 2018. 

Revisions have been made to the following documents:

  • NSF Agency Specific Requirements to the Research Terms and Conditions (ASR);
  • Cooperative Agreement Financial & Administrative Terms and Conditions (CA-FATC);
  • Grant General Conditions (GC-1); and
  • Administration of NSF Conference or Group Travel Grant Special Conditions (FL 26). 

Additionally, in order to reduce administrative burden, the two CA-FATC supplemental terms and conditions for large facilities and FFRDCs have been combined into one document titled Modifications and Supplemental Financial & Administrative Terms and Conditions for Major Multi-User Research Facility Projects and Federally Funded Research and Development Centers.  The Modifications and Supplemental terms and conditions also will apply to all new NSF awards and funding amendments to existing NSF awards made to these entities on or after March 1, 2018.   

If you have any questions regarding these changes, please contact the DIAS Policy Office on (703) 292-8243 or by email to (link sends e-mail).



Jean Feldman
Head, Policy Office
Division of Institution & Award Support (DIAS)
Office of Budget, Finance and Award Management