Timely Submission of the NSF Project Outcomes Report is the Gating Factor in Review of New Proposals

To comply with section 7010 of the America COMPETES Act, National Science Foundation implemented an additional reporting requirement, the Project Outcomes Report, for new awards and funding amendments made on or after January 4, 2010. This requirement is in addition to the technical project reports currently submitted through FastLane, and carries the same obligations.

Project Outcome reports must be submitted within 90 days after award expiration. In previous years, failure to provide these reports would delay the awarding of funds, but not the peer review and processing, on subsequent proposals. Now, failure to provide these reports within 90 days of the award expiration will delay peer review and processing of pending proposals for all identified PIs and co-PIs on a given award.

Unlike the Final Outcome report, which is a communication between the Principal Investigator and the NSF Program Officer, the Project Outcomes Report is intended for viewing by the general public, to present a complete picture of the results of the funded research.

RAS’s guidance suggests that the Projects Outcome Report can be as short as 2-3 paragraphs. It should not include:

  • any unpublished information, data, inventions or any other confidential information
  • any personally identifiable information such as names of participants.

The NSF does not review or approve the Project Outcomes Report. It will be posted the next business day on Research.gov’s Research Spending and Results website exactly as it is submitted by the Principal Investigator. Principal Investigators may edit these reports for 30 days after they are submitted. After the 30 day editing window the report may not be edited, however, an unlimited number of addenda may be submitted to supplement the report.

The Project Outcomes Report must be submitted in Research.gov by the Principal Investigator named in the specific award. Instructions for preparing and submitting this report are available by logging onto Research.gov and clicking on Project Outcomes Report.

To determine whether awards have met reporting requirements, Fastlane allows searching by award number or expiration date. (“Search for Awards with Annual/Final/Project Outcome Report Requirements”) 

The complete policy for preparing and submitting these reports is provided in the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Award and Administration Guide, Chapter II.E.3.

Frequently Asked Questions may be found at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/porfaqs.jsp