May 12, 2015

Changes to the ROSES-15 summary of solicitation

In response to comments from proposing organizations, the ROSES-2015 Summary of Solicitation has been modified in a few ways:

  1. Award dollar values are no longer required as part of the current and pending support section. See below for details.
  2. We have clarified the rules regarding the location of The Summary Table of Work Effort and the flexibility allowed for components of the  Scientific/Technical section of the proposal. See below for details.
  3. The new program elements previously added to ROSES via amendments now appear in the list of appendices.

More Details:

1. In the past we have had complaints from investigators regarding the old requirement in the Guidebook that the total dollar value of the entire award be included in the current and pending. Understandably, proposers who were were merely Co-Is for 10% of their time on a large award didn't want to list a huge multi-million award value lest it made them look rich, which they feared prejudice reviewers against them. Since it irked them that they had to put down the total value of the award, not just their part, the guidebook this year asks for only the part of the award going to the individual for whom the current pending is being reported. However, it turns out that separating out the costs of just one individual can be a lot of work and leads to lots of questions about what to include (presumably one has to include a proportional amount of the procurements, indirects etc.). In the end we in SMD decided that knowing the time commitment was the most important part of current and pending so we would just remove dollar values from our current and pending in ROSES. Yes, this is now different from and supersedes the instructions in the Guidebook for proposers. The Section of Table 1 that corresponds to Current and pending (at the bottom of page 39 and the top of page 40 has been modified to reflect this change and to correct another error as well. It now appears as follows:

Current and Pending Support: Sixth part of the proposal, not page limited.
Required Required for the PI. Also required for all team members who are proposed to perform a significant share (>10 percent) of the proposed work. Where names are not known, include the position, such as "postdoctoral fellow." [Clarified and corrected on May 12, 2015]
Required For each current project or pending proposal list the level of effort and cost for that one team member (only) per year. Do not list the entire No award values are required. This supersedes the Guidebook for proposers. [Corrected on May 12, 2015]

2. It was noted by a number of proposers that Table 1 of ROSES-2015 lists some components of the proposal in an order that differs from that in the 2015 guidebook for proposers. We have Clarified ROSES to make it clear when an order is required and what it is:

First, in listing the components of the Scientific/Technical section of the proposal, Table 1 of ROSES (at the top of page 39, the "content" parts) puts impact and relevance at the top, whereas the guidebook for proposers placed impact and relevance after implementation. We think that the order in ROSES makes more sense than waiting till after implementation (e.g., "now that I am done telling you all about the details of my analytical method, let me tell you why we are doing this cause I never mentioned this before"). But neither this nor the list in the guidebook are required. Authors should present the components of the Scientific/Technical section of the proposal in whatever order allows them to unfold their arguments most effectively. This is not true outside of the Scientific/Technical section, where we do tell you where to put things. The Section of Table 1 on the Technical section of the proposal has been modified to reflect this clarification that the authors have flexibility in this section. The changed text appears on the middle of page 38 but the list of the components actually appears on page 39. It now appears as follows:

Scientific/Technical/Management Section Second required component and the main part of the proposal. The sequence for science content here is recommended, but proposers may order the elements as they prefer [Clarified May 12, 2015]

Second, it was noted that we placed the Summary Table of Work Effort above current and pending in Table 1 of ROSES (page 39), whereas the guidebook for proposers placed the Table of Personnel and Work Effort (in 2.3.12) at the end after the letters and certifications and budget. Again, we think that the order in ROSES makes more sense because it puts the summary of work effort, which is about people and time, right in between Biographical Sketches and Current and Pending, which are also about people and time. The content of this table is given in the guidebook but please locate it in the proposal as given ROSES. Yes, this is different from and supersedes the instructions in the Guidebook for proposers. We meant it.

Summary of work effort: This is a new fifth section of the proposal. [Note, location differs from and supersedes that given in Guidebook. [Clarified May 12, 2015]

Since we are discussing this section, it's worth noting that the time commitments in this Table of Personnel Work Effort should accurately reflect the time you intend to spend on the project, funded by NASA, or not. Universities should be able to report all of the planned work commitment, funded by NASA, or not, because the table of personnel and work effort is outside of the budget section. It has been noted in the guidebook that any time commitment that is not funded by NASA included here is not considered cost sharing, as defined in 2 CFR § 215.23.

Questions concerning these changes may be directed to: Max Bernstein at