National Science Foundation


Internet/Web Access to NSF Activities
And Business Transactions




Table of Contents

What is FastLane?

Why Use FastLane?

How to Use FastLane

Required Use of FastLane

For the Public

For the Researcher/Educator

For NSF Reviewers/Panelists

For the Research Administrator

For the Business Office

For More Information

The National Science Foundation


What is FastLane?

NSF FastLane is an Internet/Web based system that allows NSF customers to conduct business electronically with NSF. Individuals sign on to the system and send/receive their transactions directly to/from NSF. These transactions represent a wide range of activities including Award Search, Proposal Preparation, Proposal Review, Status Reports, Project Reporting, and Post Award Notifications and Requests.

Why Use FastLane?

The NSF FastLane system was developed with the goal of streamlining and redesigning how NSF conducts business with our customer communities. We believe that use of FastLane will result in more efficient processing of transactions, faster NSF response to requests and proposals, and direct access by users to the information that affects their day-to-day work.

How to Use FastLane

FastLane is available from the NSF home page ( or directly at "". The public functions do not require passwords for initial access. The functions listed in the "Registered Institutions" section require the use of a FastLane Personal Information Number (PIN). If you want to access one of these functions and do not know your FastLane PIN, please contact your organization’s Office of Sponsored Research (or equivalent). Business Office functions are limited to the business or financial operations of the grantee organization.

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Required Use of FastLane

NSF issued Important Notice 123, "Working Toward a Paperless Proposal and Award System" in September 1998 describing our vision for paperless proposal and award processing ( Although many programs at NSF may begin requiring the use of FastLane for certain functions prior to the dates below, NSF anticipates that all transactions for these functions will be required in FastLane on the following dates:

Annual and Final Project Reports October 1999

Available Post-Award Requests and Notifications

January 2000

Business Transactions (Payment and Financial Reporting)

October 2000
Submission of Peer Reviews October 2000

Proposal Preparation and Submission

October 2000

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For the Public:

NSF Awards Search

The Awards Search allows you to search our award database for information about all awards made in the past five years. Various search criteria can be used to find awards. Detailed information about each award is displayed, including the award abstract.

Budget Internet Information System

The Budget Internet Information System contains statistical information on NSF proposals, awards, and funding rates with cross-cuts at the state, organization, and NSF organizational levels. Trend information is included for 10 prior years, and detailed information on award funding by fiscal year is also available.

Graduate Research Fellowship/Post-Doctoral Fellowships Applications

These functions allow students and recent doctoral recipients in the U.S. and throughout the world to complete their applications for various fellowships that are sponsored by NSF. The students’ selected references can also use these functions to complete the reference forms.

National Medal of Science Nomination

The Medal of Science Nomination allows anyone to nominate a U.S. citizen for the National Medal of Science. The various nomination forms, including the references, are included in this function.

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For the Researcher/Educator:

Proposal Preparation

Proposal Preparation allows the researcher/ educator to complete the formats that comprise an NSF proposal. The researcher/educator can designate others to help in the preparation of the various proposal forms. Once completed, the researcher/educator makes the proposal available to the Sponsored Research Office (or equivalent) for review, editing, and submission to NSF.

Proposal Status/Continuation Funding Inquiry

The Inquiry functions allow the researcher/educator to check on the status of proposal and award actions at NSF. The Proposal Status inquiry reports on the review process and the funding recommendation as it is made for each proposal. The Continuation Funding inquiry reports on the status of the funding increment for the current fiscal year, including required deadlines.

Post-Award Requests and Notifications

Post-Award Requests and Notifications allow the researcher/educator and his/her organization to process most required post award administrative actions for a specific award. Examples of these are no-cost extensions and requests for changes in project objective or scope.

Project Reporting

The Project Reporting function is used to submit required annual and final project reports for each NSF award. Results of the project as well as demographic information on project participants are captured as part of the report. Researchers and educators also have the ability to submit interim reports to keep NSF informed of progress throughout the duration of the project.

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For NSF Reviewers/Panelists:

Proposal and Panel Review

The two review functions are used by NSF reviewers to submit their proposal reviews. Both the review text and the review rating are included in the review. Access to these functions is open to NSF reviewers around the world.

Panel Travel/EFT Information

Panelists can provide NSF with their travel requirements (desired airport, preferred flight times and seating) and their banking information for electronic funds transfer (EFT). Travel information is sent to the NSF Travel Office. EFT information is transferred to our central database.

For the Research Administrator:

Submit Proposals

The Sponsored Research Office officially submits proposals through this function. At the time of submission, FastLane immediately assigns an NSF proposal number, and the proposal process at NSF is initiated.

Post-Award Requests and Notifications

Post-Award Requests and Notifications allow the research administrator to process administrative actions for any award for the organization. Examples of these are no-cost extensions and requests for changes in project objective or scope.

Institution Reports

FastLane offers various reports to the organizations about their NSF business transactions. These reports include FastLane Users, Recent Proposals, Recent Awards, Final Project Reports, and Continuation Funding Status. Each report offers a download capability for use as a spreadsheet.

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For the Business Office:

Cash Request

Business offices use the Cash Request function to request grant funds. This function provides immediate confirmation of the transfer and provides a cash request history report. Funds are electronically transferred to the grantee's bank account within two to three business days after the Cash Request has been submitted to NSF.

Federal Cash Transaction Report

The Federal Cash Transaction Report is required quarterly. Business offices report to NSF on their financial activity for the previous quarter. Part II, or the detail report, is available as a spreadsheet which can be downloaded and then uploaded upon completion.

For More Information

FastLane URL:

To register for FastLane: access FastLane Registration Information on the FastLane homepage.

For researchers/educators: contact your NSF program office, ask for the FastLane Expert

For administrators: send e-mail to

For business offices: contact NSF’s Division of Financial Management on (703) 306-1283 or send e-mail to

For general information: send e-mail to

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The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. Grantees are wholly responsible for conducting their project activities and preparing the results for publication. Thus, the Foundation does not assume responsibility for such findings or their interpretation.

NSF welcomes proposals from all qualified scientists, engineers and educators. The Foundation strongly encourages women, minorities, and persons with disabilities to compete fully in its programs. In accordance with federal statutes, regulations, and NSF policies, no person on grounds of race, color, age, sex, national origin, or disability shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from NSF (unless otherwise specified in the eligibility requirements for a particular program).

Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED) provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities (investigators and other staff, including student research assistants) to work on NSF-supported projects. See the program announcement or contact the program coordinator at (703) 306-1636.

The National Science Foundation has Telephonic Device for the Deaf (TDD) and Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) capabilities that enable individuals with hearing impairments to communicate with the Foundation regarding NSF programs, employment, or general information. TDD may be accessed at (703) 306-0090 or through FIRS on 1-800-877-8339.


Revision Date: January 2000

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