Important Notice to Presidents of Universities and Colleges and Heads of Other National Science Foundation Grantee Organizations
September 22, 2020
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has been at the forefront in the development of Federal agency electronic systems designed to prepare and submit proposals for Federal financial assistance. From the introduction of FastLane in 1994, to the incremental development of Research.gov as its eventual replacement, NSF has led the way with modern, agile systems tailored to meet the needs of the research community.
While NSF's FastLane system has been a resounding success story, it is now an aging, antiquated system that has become increasingly expensive to maintain and even harder to improve. Over the past few years, NSF has partnered with and received valuable input from the research community, resulting in the development of a modern, flexible Research.gov system that reduces administrative burden to meet the current and future needs of researchers, administrators and organizations. As a result, NSF has successfully migrated important research functions from FastLane to Research.gov including the preparation and submission of annual and final project and outcomes reports, most notifications and requests and award payments. NSF is now taking proactive steps to incrementally move the preparation and submission of all proposals from FastLane to Research.gov with a tentative target date for completion by 2022.
In support of this effort, in the coming weeks and months, NSF will begin making changes to specific funding opportunities to require the use of Research.gov for the preparation and submission of proposals to NSF.1 The Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) will soon require the use of Research.gov for the preparation and submission of proposals in response to its core programs that do not have deadline dates. NSF funding opportunities will clearly specify whether submission via Research.gov is available or required.
To ensure that researchers and administrators are prepared for these changes, NSF is developing additional training materials to meet the needs of the community. This includes video tutorials, Frequently Asked Questions, step-by-step guides and a demonstration site. Current training materials are available on the About Research.gov site.
NSF encourages the community to become familiar with Research.gov and to begin using it for the preparation and submission of proposals, as well as to provide NSF with valuable feedback. For additional information, FAQs, opportunities for training and to provide feedback, please visit Research.gov.
Dr. Sethuraman Panchanathan
1During this time, NSF will continue to permit proposals to be prepared and submitted via Grants.gov.