You are here

Working with NSF

Sponsor-specific resources related to working with the National Science Foundation (NSF)

Examples of U-M Sponsored Projects with NSF

National Science Foundation

Tips on Working with NSF

In working with NSF, the use of Research. gov is preferred.

Fastlane, a predecessor to Grants.gov, is being phased out. Read more about the transition to Research.gov.

Most other federal sponsors use Grants.gov for their proposals.

  • ORSP advises against using Grants.gov for proposals to NSF
    • Corrections need to be made in FastLane
    • FastLane validations not applied in Grants.gov - 
  • New users are able to register directly through Research.govExisting users in FastLane will be migrated to the new system through a simple, one-time operation when signing in to FastLane or Research.gov.

    NSF PAPPG

    The National Science Foundation (NSF) Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1), is effective October 4, 2021.

    Webinar Now Available
    NSF provided a webinar on the new PAPPG, and posted the video of the webinar on YouTube.


    Significant Changes

    Please see the list of PAPPG (NSF 22-1significant changes and clarifications for all of the updates. 

     
    New Proposal Types in the PAPPG
    The PAPPG (NSF 22-1) incorporates two new "Other Types of Proposals":
     
    Planning Proposals
    ·         Planning proposals must be prepared and submitted in Research.gov.
    ·         Refer to PAPPG Chapter II.E.1. for Planning proposal requirements.
     
    Career-Life Balance (CLB) Supplemental Funding Requests
    ·         CLB supplemental funding requests must be prepared and submitted in FastLane.
    ·         Refer to PAPPG Chapter II.E.8. for CLB supplemental funding request requirements.
     
    Updates to NSF-approved Biographical Sketch and Current and Pending Support Formats
    • The NSF-approved biographical sketch and current and pending support formats were updated to incorporate revisions in the PAPPG (NSF 22-1) and must be used for proposals submitted or due on or after October 4, 2021.
    • The current formats are posted on the NSF biographical sketch and current and pending support websites. Updated system-related Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) are also available: FAQs on using SciENcv and FAQs on using NSF fillable PDF. SciENcv documents created using the previous version (i.e., NSF 20-1) prior to October 4th are automatically converted in SciENcv to the current version after October 4th.
    • Biographical sketch format updates include increasing the page limit from two to three pages.
    • Current and pending support format updates include the addition of new sections for information on objectives and overlap with other projects to help NSF and reviewers assess overlap/duplication.
    • Biographical sketches and current and pending support information also must be uploaded with Change of Principal Investigator (PI) and Add/Change co-PI requests in FastLane.
    • When notifying NSF that active other support has changed since the award was made, or since the most recent annual report, current and pending support information must be uploaded in annual and final project reports in the Research.gov Project Reporting System. 
    •  Research.gov, FastLane, and Grants.gov will generate a compliance error message if a proposer or grantee attempts to upload a prior version of the biographical sketch or current and pending support formats on or after October 4th.
    Removal of Blank Pages from the Current and Pending Support Fillable PDF
    • Research.gov, FastLane, and Grants.gov will remove any pages which do not contain data entered by users (i.e., blank pages) from the NSF-approved current and pending support fillable PDF.
    • The trimming service is triggered in Research.gov and FastLane during document upload and during proposal submission in Grants.gov.
    • The trimming service only applies to the NSF-approved current and pending support fillable PDF and not to any other uploaded PDFs. Current and pending support PDFs generated in SciENcv do not include blank pages.
    • The current and pending support fillable PDF document is paginated, and the PDF page numbers will not be updated during the trimming process. This means that it is possible for the trimmed PDF to have skipped page numbers corresponding to the blank pages removed from the fillable PDF. 

    Research.gov Proposal Submission System Enhancements
    • The Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI) and Planning proposal types and the Letter of Intent submission type are now available for submission in Research.gov.
    • New automated compliance checks and associated error and warning messages for the enabled proposal and submission types were also implemented. Error messages will prohibit proposal submission to NSF, whereas warning messages still permit proposal submission.
    • All supported proposal and submission types, as well as associated compliance checks, are also enabled in the Research.gov Proposal Preparation Demo Site.
    •  New FAQs were added to the Research.gov About Proposal Preparation and Submission page, and the Proposal Submission Capabilities page has been updated to reflect the latest development updates.
    •  Research.gov proposal features continue to expand to support the transition of all proposal preparation and submission functionality from FastLane to Research.gov by a target date of December 31, 2022. Many NSF funding opportunities are supported in Research.gov and clearly specify whether submission via Research.gov is available or required.
     Award Terms and Conditions
    Finally, please note following sets of NSF Award Terms and Conditions have been revised:
    • NSF Agency Specific Requirements to the Research Terms and Conditions (ASR);
    • Grant General Conditions (GC-1);
    • Cooperative Agreement Financial & Administrative Terms and Conditions (CA-FATC);
    • Cooperative Agreement Modifications and Supplemental Financial and Administrative Terms and Conditions (CA-FATC) for Major Multi-User Research Facility Projects and Federally Funded Research and Development Centers; and
    • Administration of NSF Conference or Group Travel Award Grant Conditions (FL 26).

    The revised terms and conditions will apply to all new NSF awards and funding amendments to existing NSF awards made on or after October 4, 2021. 

     

    Questions?

    ORSP Primary Contacts for NSF projects

    Please note that FastLane has been the National Science Foundation's (NSF's) electronic proposal submission and award management system. To date, users have needed a user ID to access. They used to obtain that ID from ORSP. 

    **Beginning, March 26, 2018, new users will be able to register directly through Research.gov. Existing users in Fastlane will be migrated to the new system through a simple, one-time operation when signing in to FastLane or Research.gov after the new functionality is released.***


    NSF's email alert system provides notices of new publications about funding programs and other NSF business. Subscribe to National Science Foundation Update.


    For NSF questions or for NSF system access to FastLane or Research.gov, reach out to the sponsor at their Help Desk by emailing rgov@nsf.gov or calling 1-800-381-1532. To hear the recording on System Availability, call 1-800-437-7408.