New Updates to Research.gov
As of June 24, 2019, the research community can prepare and submit full, collaborative research proposals with subawards in Research.gov. In addition, Research.gov gained a new email notification functionality, which will notify the Sponsored Project Office (SPO)/Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) when Principal Investigators (PIs) enable proposal access to SPOs/AORs.
System Enhancements and Feedback
Over the past year the National Science Foundation (NSF) has implemented several enhancements to Research.gov, including additional flexibilities for PDF uploads and compliance checks for fonts and font sizes. NSF will continue to enhance the new system incrementally and welcomes feedback from users during the development process.
Research.gov vs. FastLane
As part of its proposal preparation and submission modernization efforts, NSF will continue to migrate system capabilities from FastLane to Research.gov. NSF encourages the research community to use the new Research.gov proposal system as eventually Research.gov will completely replace FastLane for proposal preparation and submission. During this transitional time you can still prepare and submit proposals in FastLane, but it is important to remember that if you prepare a proposal in FastLane, you will not be able access or edit it in Research.gov and vice versa. A proposal must be submitted in the system where it was prepared.
For more information, see below for the full announcement on the June system enhancements sent to the Federal Demonstration Project listserv.
We are very pleased to announce that as of June 24, 2019, the research community can prepare and submit full, research collaborative proposals with subawards in Research.gov. This is in addition to the existing capability (since April 2018) to prepare and submit full, research non-collaborative proposals in Research.gov. Since that initial release just over a year ago, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has implemented several enhancements to the site, including additional flexibilities for PDF uploads, support for PDFs generated from LaTeX source documents, and compliance checks for fonts and font sizes. Future enhancements to the Research.gov proposal system will allow the preparation and submission of separately submitted collaborative proposals from multiple organizations.
Compared to FastLane, our grants management system launched in 1994, the Research.gov proposal system is much easier to use and provides proposers with faster document uploads and the ability to quickly create and update documents. We encourage you to try the new system, and we are confident that you will agree that this next generation grants management system is more efficient and less burdensome than FastLane.
Also, as of June 24, 2019, a new email notification functionality was implemented to generate Sponsored Project Office (SPO)/Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) email notifications when Principal Investigators (PIs) enable proposal access to SPOs/AORs. A similar email notification is available in FastLane, and we are excited to add the capability in Research.gov.
Modernizing Proposal Preparation and Submission
NSF's modernization of its FastLane system continues with the goal of improving the user experience to prepare and submit NSF proposals, while also reducing administrative burden for both proposers and NSF staff. As capabilities are migrated from FastLane to Research.gov, the system features will expand until it eventually replaces FastLane for proposal preparation and submission.
While proposers can still prepare and submit collaborative proposals with subawards as well as full, research non-collaborative proposals in FastLane, we encourage the research community to use the new Research.gov proposal system because as NSF continues to enhance the new system incrementally, your vital feedback is being incorporated during the development process.
Preparing and Submitting Proposals in Research.gov
Here's some of the current Research.gov features that proposers are enjoying:
Integrated compliance checks for fonts, margins, and line spacing;
Real-time compliance feedback and alerts, so proposers know a proposal section is compliant before moving on to another section;
Specific checks on the budget screens and for Collaborators and Other Affiliations (COA) uploads;
A few seconds to upload documents versus 30-90 seconds for each document upload in FastLane; and
Embedded relevant sections of the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) and video job aids, so proposers don't have to go to multiple sites to access guidance and tools.
Initiating a Proposal in Research.gov
By answering a few questions in the five-step proposal wizard, Research.gov customizes the set-up process and compliance rules for the proposal being created. In addition, the proposal wizard dynamically drives the proposal sections that are required on subsequent screens.
If you have not done so already, we invite you to initiate a proposal in Research.gov by following the steps outlined below:
Open Research.gov and click “Sign In” located at the top right of the screen;
Enter your NSF ID and password and click “Sign In;”
From the Research.gov "My Desktop" page, click "New! Prepare Proposals (Limited proposal types)" in the "Prepare & Submit Proposals tile" or go to this option from the top navigation bar by selecting the "Prepare & Submit Proposals" tab and clicking on "New! Prepare Proposals (Limited proposal types);"
Select the "Prepare Proposal" option in the "Prepare New Proposal" tile on the left side of the Proposal Preparation page; and
Follow the five-step proposal wizard to set up the proposal.
After completing the initiation steps, you are ready to complete all required and optional sections of your proposal and then submit it to NSF.
NSF wants to hear from you! To submit feedback about the new Research.gov Proposal Preparation and Submission Site:
Go to the Research.gov Feedback page;
Choose “Other” under the Site Area dropdown menu;
Include your feedback in the Comments or Suggestions field; and
Click Submit when you are ready to send your feedback to NSF.
Training Resources and Additional Information
Research.gov About Proposal Preparation and Submission webpage – This webpage includes links to FAQs and video job aids (Initiating a Proposal, How to Manage Personnel & Senior Personnel Documents, How to Work on a Proposal Budget, How to Upload a Collaborators and Other Affiliations Document, and How to Submit a Research Proposal in Research.gov). Note: If a video does not automatically play in your browser, please try viewing the video using a different browser.
Automated Proposal Compliance Checks for Proposals Submitted via Research.gov – This checklist presents all of the current Research.gov automated proposal compliance checks, together with the associated non-compliant errors or warnings.
Additional information about proposal preparation and submission in Research.gov, including FAQs, is available on the Electronic Research Administration (ERA) Forum website.
Please share this information with your colleagues. If you have IT system-related questions, please contact the NSF Help Desk at 1-800-381-1532 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Policy-related questions should be directed to email@example.com.
Head, Policy Office
Division of Institution and Award Support
Office of Budget, Finance & Award Management