NSF Supported Conferences, Workshops and Symposia Proposals

It is NSF policy (see Chapter XI.A.1.g.) to foster harassment-free environments wherever science is conducted, including at NSF-sponsored conferences. Proposers are required to have a policy or code-of-conduct that addresses sexual harassment, other forms of harassment, and sexual assault, and that includes clear and accessible means of reporting violations of the policy or code-of-conduct. This policy or code-of-conduct must be disseminated to conference participants prior to attendance at the conference as well as made available at the conference itself.

A conference proposal must contain the elements identified below:

  • Collaborators & Other Affiliations Information (see Chapter II.C.1.e) (for conference proposals in excess of $50,000)
  • Cover Sheet
  • Project Summary (see Chapter II.C.2.b)
  • Project Description (not to exceed 15 pages) that includes:
    • A statement of the need for such a gathering and a list of topics;
    • Separate statements on the intellectual merit and broader impacts of the proposed activity;
    • A listing of recent meetings on the same subject, including dates and locations;
    • The names of the chairperson and members of organizing committees and their organizational affiliations;
    • Information on the location and probable date(s) of the meeting and the method of announcement or invitation;
    • A statement of how the meeting will be organized and conducted, how the results of the meeting will be disseminated and how the meeting will contribute to the enhancement and improvement of scientific, engineering and/or educational activities;
    • Results from Prior NSF Support (up to five pages). If any PI or co-PI identified on the proposalhas received prior NSF support including:
      • an award with an end date in the past five years; or
      • any current funding, including any no cost extensions,
        Information on the award is required for each PI and co-PI, regardless of whether the support was directly related to the proposal or not. See Chapter II.C.2.d.(iii) of the PAPPG for additional instructions on preparation of this section.
  • Proposal Budget and Budget Justification: A budget, and budget justification for the conference prepared in accordance with Chapter II.C.2.g. The following provides a listing of the types of costs that may be included on a conference budget. Such costs may be included only if they are specifically and clearly identified in the proposed scope of work and budget.Note that registration fees under NSF-supported conferences are considered program income. For additional information on program income generated from conferences, see Chapter VIII.D.4.
    • Conference Facilities. Rental of facilities and necessary equipment.
    • Supplies. Expendable materials and supplies necessary for the meeting.
    • Conference Services. Costs of translation services, audio visual, webcast, and computer services for recording, transmitting and transcribing the proceedings.
    • Publication Costs. Costs of publishing the proceedings.
    • Salaries. Salaries of professional personnel, editorial and clerical assistants and other staff members in proportion to the time or effort devoted to the preparation and conduct of the conference and summarizing its results.
    • Consultant Services and Speaker Fees. Reasonable fees and travel allowances and per diem (or meals provided in lieu of per diem). Consultants’ travel costs, including subsistence, may be included. If requested, the proposer must be able to justify that the proposed rate of pay is reasonable. Additional inf formation on the allowability of consultant or professional service costs is available in 2 CFR § 200.459. In addition to other provisions required by the proposing organization, all contracts made under the NSF award must contain the applicable provisions identified in 2 CFR § 200, Appendix II.
    • Meals and Coffee Breaks. Meals that are an integral and necessary part of a conference (e.g., working meals where business is transacted). Funds may be included for furnishing a reasonable amount of hot beverages or soft drinks to conference participants and attendees during periodic coffee breaks. Proposed costs for meals must be reasonable and otherwise allowable to the extent such costs do not exceed charges normally allowed by the grantee organization in its regular operations as the result of the grantee organizations written policies. In the absence of an acceptable, written grantee organizational policy regarding meal costs, 2 CFR §200.474(b)(3) will apply.
    • Participant Support Costs. (See Chapter II.C.2.g.(v)).
    • Dependent Care Costs. As needed, the costs of identifying, but not providing, locally available dependent care resources may be included.

The following provides a listing of the types of costs that are not allowable for inclusion on a conference budget.

(i) Meals and Coffee Breaks for Intramural Meetings. NSF funds may not be included or spent for meals or coffee breaks for intramural meetings of an organization or any of its components, including, but not limited to, laboratories, departments and centers, as a direct cost.

(ii)Entertainment. Costs of entertainment, amusement, diversion and social activities (such as tickets to shows or sporting events, meals, lodging, rentals, transportation and gratuities) are unallowable and may not be requested. Travel, meal, and hotel expenses of awardee employees who are not on travel status also are not permitted. See also 2 CFR § 200.438.

(iii)Alcoholic Beverages. No NSF funds may be requested or spent for alcoholic beverages.

(iv)Speaker Fees. Speakers and trainers are not considered participants and should not be included in this section of the budget. However, if the primary purpose of the individual’s attendance at the conference is learning and receiving training as a participant, then the costs may be included under participant support. If the primary purpose is to speak or assist with management of the conference, then such costs should be budgeted in appropriate categories other than participant support.

  • (v)Room and Facilities Rental: Fees for room and facility rental may not be budgeted as participant support costs.
  • Current and Pending Support: The support requested or available from other Federal agencies and other sources. (see Chapter II.C.2.h).
  • Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources: If there will be support from other sources for the conference, such information should be included in the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section of the proposal. The description should be narrative in nature and must not iinclude any quantifiable financial information. Chapter II.C.2.i should be consulted to prepare this portion of the proposal.If included, these resources will not be auditable and must not be included in the proposal budget or budget justification. A description of such support should be included in the Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources section of the proposal.
Data Management Plan: Plans for management and sharing of any data products resulting from the activity. (see Chapter II.C.2.j).