NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL OFFICE OF INVESTIGATIONS CLOSEOUT MEMORANDUM 11 Case Number: A-03110072 11 Page 1 of 2 The PI' on an NSF proposal2claimed he neither wrote nor submitted the proposal to FastLane. He explained that he learned of the submission when it was declined via email from NSF. The PI stated that the institution submitted the proposal to NSF and used his Social Security Number (SSN) without his permission. He further suggested that some of the information in the proposal related to institutional statistics and participants' resumes was not entirely accurate. NSF's FastLane Branch chief3 verified that the institution used the PI's and co-PI'S SSN's in submitting the proposal. Further, he verified that the PI and co-PI received emails confirming the receipt of the NSF proposal on the same day it was submitted as well as emails informing them when the proposal had been declined. The use of SSN's as identifiers and the sending of receipts and declinations to PI's by email are normal and routine functions in the proposal review process. We learned from NSF's DGA that the institution had extremely limited experience with submisson of NSF proposals. In fact, the one prior NSF FastLane proposal submission by the institution required significant additional processing and changes by DGA when it was funded because of several procedural errors made by the institution during the submission process. Our review of information provided by the PI showed the proposal development by the institution was an open process and that the PI had been encouraged to participate and prepare some of the proposal materials, which he did. Prior to submission, the PI elected not to participate. Because of the educational nature of the NSF proposal, the institution was not precluded from listing the original PYco-PI, although it would have been better if the institution had selected new PYco-PIS. We determined that the alleged factual inaccuracies contained in the statisticsand the resumes in the proposal appeared to be the result of carelessness and inexperience on the part of the institution when it prepared the proposal package for submission. There does not appear to be any intent to mislead or misrepresent. We received the results of an independent investigation completed by a local police detective4 into the alleged misuse of the PI's and co-PI'S SSN. The matter was declined for prosecution by the local District Attorney (DA). Given the DA's declination and the institution's inexperience I' NSF OIG Form 2 (1 1/02) NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION OFFICE OF INSPECTOR GENERAL OFFICE OF INVESTIGATIONS CLOSEOUT MEMORANDUM with submitting proposals via Fastlane to NSF, there does not appear to be any intent to mislead or misrepresent. We determined that this matter should be closed. This case is closed and no further action will be taken.
Fabrication of Substance in Proposal Grant Fraud
Published by the National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General on 2004-08-10.
Below is a raw (and likely hideous) rendition of the original report. (PDF)