NSF Safety and Inclusion Plan for Off-campus or Off-site Research Activities

Date: 
Monday, January 23, 2023

Dear PIs and Research Administration Colleagues, 

The following requirement applies to all National Science Foundation (NSF) proposals which follow the NSF 23-1 PAPPG effective 1/30/23. This includes proposals for NSF funding submitted through other organizations, ie., when NSF is the prime sponsor. 

The NSF policy is described in the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (NSF 23-1) to foster safe and harassment-free environments wherever science is conducted. The NSF policy requires that the University has a plan in place to address certain behaviors should they occur while off-campus or off-site research is conducted. NSF defines off-campus or off-site research as data/information/samples being collected off-campus or off-site, such as fieldwork and research activities on vessels and aircraft.

PI’s are responsible for preparing the plan and completing the certification form for each proposal for NSF funding that proposes to conduct research off-campus or off-site. If more than one field excursion is proposed, only one form and one plan are needed.  This form and the plan need to be attached in the proposal documents section in Kuali Research so that ORA can provide the signed certification and submit the proposal to NSF. The form is available on ORA’s website. 

Refer to ora.umd.edu/proposal-development/sponsor-tips/NSF for details, resources, and relevant policies the University is taking to promote a safe and inclusive culture.

The NSF Safety & Inclusion certification form and plan attachment are in addition to any post-submission or pre-award lab/safety compliance review completed by ESSR and recorded in KR via the compliance tab.

Kuali Research has been updated to support this requirement with updated explanation text added to questionnaire questions, a narrative attachment type specifically to upload this form and plan, and a validation to serve as a reminder of this additional process. 

The NSF Research.gov Proposal Cover Sheet’s Special Processing Instructions section will include an indicator for Off-campus or Off-Site Research, though the plan itself may not need to be included in the proposal for NSF review. PIs should refer to their FOA for proposal requirements and reach out to their ORA Contract Administrators for assistance.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Sally Egloff, on behalf of Wendy T. Montgomery Assistant Vice President, Office of Research Administration

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