This is the unofficial website of the NSF AAPF program, run by the fellows themselves. For official information about the fellowship, please go to the NSF program announcement.
How to Get to the Right Page to Submit your Annual Report
Joan Schmelz's Suggestions on Writing Annual Reports
Please recall that every NSF awardee must submit an annual report through Research.gov. The report format identifies several subsections, and you will be prompted to enter a response in each of these. You do not need to provide text in every category, but please respond to all subsections that are applicable to your project. For most of these, a paragraph or two of prose is sufficient, something like 200-300 words. The Major Activities and Significant Results sections should be more substantial, something like 500-600 words. These sections should describe in some detail your research and education/outreach activities. You have the option of attaching PDF files, but please limit these to relevant charts, graphics, or images. Do NOT upload your entire report or subsections of your report as PDFs; use the boxes provided in Research.gov.
The target audience for your report is your program officer, who will use the information to ensure progress on your work. She/he will also use these reports to glean material for NSF annual reports, suitable for Congress and the general public. Be sure to include any interesting activities for this purpose. Since none of the readers of your report are likely to be experts in your particular subfield, please avoid acronyms whenever possible and define them when they are unavoidable. You are free to use general astronomy jargon, but not sub-field specific jargon.
Please take the reports seriously. Be thorough. NSF program officers are often asked to supply examples of what awardees are doing. Future funding levels depend on our ability to prove that we are spending the government’s money wisely, and these reports provide a primary resource for this information.
Check Research.gov to determine the appropriate report deadline date, but let me clarify a potential source of confusion. Research.gov will list a "due date," which is 90 days prior to the anniversary of the award start date, and an "overdue date," which is the anniversary of the award start date. Your report is due on the due date and late the day after the due date. The submission of your annual report triggers the processing of your next award increment, so your stipend payments and other allowances may be delayed if you submit your reports late. It is unnecessary to file an annual report during the final year of your fellowship; instead, a final report is due 90 days after your fellowship termination date. Final reports should include a description of the final year of your fellowship activities and may also include any comprehensive activities or results that you would like to highlight from your fellowship tenure.
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions while you are authoring your reports.
Dr. Joan T. Schmelz
Division of Astronomical Sciences
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Blvd., Ste. 1045
Arlington, VA 22230