Important information for proposers

All proposals must be submitted in accordance with the requirements specified in this funding opportunity and in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that is in effect for the relevant due date to which the proposal is being submitted. It is the responsibility of the proposer to ensure that the proposal meets these requirements. Submitting a proposal prior to a specified deadline does not negate this requirement.

FAQs on Submitting Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology (PRFB) Proposals

The FAQs below will help support you as you prepare and submit your proposal. If you have additional questions, be sure to reach out to the PRFB Working Group ( 

  1. Where do I submit my PRFB proposal? 

PRFB proposals are submitted through After logging in and ensuring you have your profile and role correctly set up, select "Prepare New Full Proposal" in The postdoctoral fellow/PI must select the "I am a Proposed Postdoctoral Fellow (Postdoctoral Fellowship Proposal)" option to initiate a postdoctoral fellowship proposal.  

If you do not see an option to apply as a Proposed Postdoctoral Fellow, this means you do not have the Proposed Postdoctoral Fellow role. To add this role:

  • Select “Add a New Role” from the sidebar on your Profile page.  
  • Select “Add Investigator or Authorized User Role” under “Prepare Proposals and Manage Awards 
  • Select the role type “Proposed Postdoctoral Fellow” and then Submit. 
  • When preparing a new proposal, you should now have an option to select “I am a Proposed Postdoctoral Fellow (Postdoctoral fellowship proposal)” under “Organization”. If you do not see this option, allow up to 30 minutes for the role to take effect.   


  1. Am I required to have a Unique Entity Identifier (UEI) to submit my proposal? 

No – you are not required to have a UEI to submit a PRFB proposal. Be sure that you select orhave added the role type of “Proposed Postdoctoral Fellow”.  


  1. I’m planning on submitting to Competitive Area 1/2/3. How do I do this? 

Competitive Area 1 (Broadening Participation) and Competitive Area 2 (Rules of Life) are both managed under the Division of Biological infrastructure (DBI). Competitive Area 3 (Plant Genome Research Program) is managed under the Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS). lists the Competitive Areas under slightly different titles than those in the solicitation. The Competitive Areas are listed as follows: 

  • Competitive Area 1 (Broadening Participation): Broadening Participation of Groups Underrepresented in Biology 

  • Competitive Area 2 (Rules of Life): Biology Postdoctoral Research 

  • Competitive Area 3 (PGRP): NPGL PostDocRsrch Fellowship 


  1. Can I submit under multiple Competitive Areas? 

You may notice that allows you to add multiple Competitive Areas. However, the PRFB requires you to select a single Competitive Area to submit under. To avoid confusion, please only select the Competitive Area you wish to apply to.  


  1. Several documents are listed under “Required” on but are not listed under the solicitation. How should I proceed? 

As you prepare your proposal, you will see that lists two documents as required that are not required under the solicitation: Facilities, Equipment, and Other Resources and Budget Justification. For both documents, upload a single sheet that contains the following text: “[DOCUMENT NAME] document not applicable”.  


  1. Am I required to upload a Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan? 

No, you should not submit a Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan. There is no need to upload a document to this section. All descriptions of professional development, training, and mentorship will be contained within the Project Description and Sponsoring Scientist Statement. 


  1. Am I required to provide a Data Management Plan? 

Yes, you must upload a Data Management Plan as part of your proposal. For more information about this document, please see the PAPPG and NSF BIO guidance on Preparing Your Data Management Plan. 


  1. Am I required to upload a Biographical Sketch, Current and Pending Support, and Collaborators and Other Affiliations (COA) document for myself and for my Sponsoring Scientist(s)? 

You must upload a Biographical Sketch, Current and Pending Support, and COA for yourself and for any Sponsoring Scientist associated with your proposal.  

  • Your own documents should be uploaded under Personnel Documents. 

  • Lead Sponsoring Scientist Biographical Sketches and Current and Pending Supports should also be uploaded under Personnel Documents under the Sponsoring Scientist Tab. 

  • Co-Sponsoring Scientist Biographical Sketches and Current and Pending Documents can be uploaded under Other Supplementary Documents 

  • does allow you to add these documents under Personnel Documents, but automatically alphabetizes the sponsors.  

  • All Lead and Co-Sponsoring Scientist COA(s) should be uploaded under ‘Additional Single Copy Documents’.  

  • This section will only allow you to upload PDF files, so you will need to convert your file(s) prior to uploading.  


  1. Am I allowed to submit Letters of Collaboration/Support? 

No, you are not permitted to submit Letters of Collaboration or Support. The only letters you will submit are two (2) Reference Letters and a Sponsoring Scientist Statement. Instructions for submitting both documents can be found near the bottom of the PRFB program page.  


  1. Am I required to upload a Host Institution Letter or Research Support Letter?  

No, neither a Host Institution letter nor a Research Support letter are required or allowed as part of the proposal. The Project Description and Sponsoring Scientist Statement will describe the suitability of the host institution(s) for your professional development and research plans. If an award is offered, we may at that time request additional information from the host institution to ensure that adequate resources will be provided.