National Science Foundation (NSF) FastLane Instructions

Page Updated: March 3rd, 2017

Steps for Accessing and Using FastLane

  • Step 1. If you do not already have one, obtain a NSF password from your Sponsored Research Office (SRO) representative in your Dean's Office.
  • Step 2. Preparer MUST have Adobe Acrobat Reader and Distiller in order to create and print PDF documents in FastLane. See NSF's PDF instructions for assistance.
  • Step 3. Open Firefox or another web browser and go to the FastLane homepage.
  • Step 4. Log in using the Proposals, Awards, Status link in the navy menu bar in the upper, left-hand corner of the page.
  • Step 5. For "Proposal Preparation", refer to NSF's on-line instructions as a tool, or contact your Sponsored Research Office (SPO) representative for assistance.

Principal Investigator (PI) Responsibilities

  • Begin early! It still makes a difference because of possible system delays.
  • PI can initiate the proposal process or can contact their proposal administrator to have him/her begin the process.
  • Initiate the cover sheet, and then "Allow SRO Access" to "view/edit" so that the SRO may assist you with questions or problems that may arise as you work on your proposal. Remember that when you are completely done with the proposal you need to go back and "Allow SRO Access" to "view/edit/submit" so that the SRO can now submit your proposal to NSF.
  • Route WISPER record, budget, and NSF cover/certification pages through campus for proper approvals. (Check with your Chair and/or Dean's Office to see what other documents will be required to obtain necessary submission approval).

Dean's Office SRO Responsibilities

  • Review and approve all budgets.
  • Check that all required sections have been completed and are ready for submission.
  • Once all approvals have been obtained, the SRO will submit the electronic proposal prepared by the PI/Co-PI(s) via FastLane.

Other Useful NSF FastLane Tips and Links

When preparing other FastLane documents such as Project Reports, Revised Budgets, Supplemental Requests, Notifications and Requests, and many more, make sure that all of the necessary institutional approvals and processes have been met before submitting to NSF. Again, contact your Dean's office for questions or assistance.

FAQ: FastLane Proposal Submission
Grant Proposal Guide
Limited Submission NSF-Limited Submissions Memo