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Grant Proposals

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LaTeX for NSF Proposals

Below you will find LaTeX help for writing NSF proposals. Please start by reading the instructions in the Guide to Using the NSFmaster Template.

Important Note 1: Use NSF Format of the Proposal for detailed guidance. Use one of the following typefaces identified below:

  • Arial9, Courier New, or Palatino Linotype at a font size of 10 points or larger;
  • Times New Roman at a font size of 11 points or larger; or
  • Computer Modern family of fonts at a font size of 11 points or larger.

A font size of less than 10 points may be used for mathematical formulas or equations, figures, table or diagram captions and when using a Symbol font to insert Greek letters or special characters. PIs are cautioned, however, that the text must still be readable.

Important Note 2: All pages of the proposal must be numbered, including the 1 page summary. Each section listed may be sent in one master PDF, but each must begin with page 1 and will be uploaded separately on NSF's proposal submission system.

Download NSFmaster template (6 files):

Download 6 .tex files zipped (Doesn't include Collaborators .xls File):

Proposal Guide


Frequently Asked Questions

My page numbers disappeared! How do I get them back?

Most often the command \renewcommand{\thepage}{} or equivalently \def\thepage{} was issued somewhere to eliminate a page number (this usually happens for the one-page summary). It is best not to change \thepage like this. Instead, use \thispagestyle{empty} to turn off the page numbering of the current page. Note: The most recent guidelines require page numbers for every page of the proposal (so you shouldn't need to be turning off page numbers anyway).

The template uses 11pt font. Can I use a different size?

You may use 12pt font but not 10pt. (The 11pt font is the minimum font size recommended.)

Explanation: The NSF states that sometimes the minimum requirement is 10pt, but proposals formatted at 10pt will sometimes get shrunk down if converted to pdf, or while being checked by the Compliance Checker. The NSF also states that while 10pt could be acceptable in some cases, them readability of the proposal is of paramount importance. Therefore, the minimum font size recommended is 11pt. It is important that you ensure this requirement is still met even when you convert your files to PDF and prior to submitting your proposal documents to the department.