National Science Foundation Proposal Writing Resources

NSF Logo: Blue globe with letters NSF in center

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that promotes the progress of science to advance national health, prosperity, and welfare and to secure the national defense. The NSF is a major funder of research at the University. Please use the tools and resources below to help you design, write, and meet the requirements for proposals to the NSF.

Proposal Templates & Checklists

The buttons below will take you to a page with a checklist and templates based on the NSF guidance for each component of a particular NSF grant mechanism. Use the templates to begin writing each element, and use the checklist to keep track of timing and what parties at UO are responsible for various pieces of an application.

Guidance & Resources

Ways to Improve Proposal-Writing Skills
Resources to support the new proposal writer in learning the style and technique for this specialized writing
Specialized Proposal Prep Resources
Internal UO resources available to PIs to improve their proposals

Research Development Services Training Video

NSF Workshop Videos

Below are links to videos that cover various elements of the agency, proposal preparation, and merit review. 

  • NSF Introduction and Overview (11 min): This Spring 2023 video will cover the basics of the origins, structure, funding rates, and budget of the NSF. PDF of PowerPoint included.
  • Proposal Preparation (88 min): Watch this Fall 2023 video to learn more about how to find funding on the NSF website, the types of proposal mechanisms available, the NSF grant policy and procedure guide, and the various parts of an NSF proposal. PDF of PowerPoint included.
  • Merit Review Process (75 min): This Fall 2023 video will give you an understanding of the process of grant review at the NSF, including review criteria, types of reviewers, how to become a reviewer, and how the agency makes funding decisions. PDF of PowerPoint included.
  • Mock Review Panel (16 min): This video will give you excellent insight into the workings of an NSF review process, and can help you better understand what reviewers consider when they make their recommendations to program officers.