NSF’s Research.gov Expanded: Separately Submitted Collaborative Proposals from Multiple Organizations Now Available

Dear Colleagues:

NSF has announced that effective March 30, 2020, collaborative proposals (from multiple organizations submitted separately) can now be prepared and submitted via Research.gov. When using Research.gov to submit separately submitted collaborative proposals from multiple organizations, ALL organizations must use the same platform (Fastlane or Research.gov). The two systems can not be mixed for these submissions.

At this time, the Fastlane system is still available for these types of submissions.  Please see full message below for other highlights of the Research.gov system.


Dear Colleagues:

We are excited to announce that effective March 30, 2020, the research community can prepare and submit separately submitted collaborative proposals from multiple organizations in Research.gov. Proposers can now prepare Full, Research proposals in Research.gov that are:

  • Single submissions from one organization (available since April 2018)
  • Single submission collaborative proposals with subawards (available since June 2019)
  • Separately submitted collaborative proposals from multiple organizations

What’s New for Separately Submitted Collaborative Proposals?

  • Proposal Preparation: Proposers can select a separately submitted collaborative proposal as an option in the Proposal Creation Wizard and identify themselves as part of a lead or non-lead organization.
  • Linking:The lead organization can initiate a request to link proposals with non-lead organizations. However, all proposals in the collaboration must be prepared and submitted in Research.gov and cannot be a mix of Research.gov and FastLane proposals.
  • New “Submission Pending” Status:The Research.gov submission process for separately submitted collaborative proposals is different than the submission process in FastLane.
    • A new Research.gov “Submission Pending” status informs the organization that their proposal submission is pending in a queue until all linked lead and non-lead proposals in the collaboration attain “Submission Pending” status and can be submitted to NSF as a set. 
    • Separately submitted collaborative proposals with a “Submission Pending” status can be edited, but the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) must resubmit the edited proposal to return it to a “Submission Pending” status.
    • A Proposal File Update (PFU) is not required to edit the proposal at the “Submission Pending” stage. However, a PFU could be utilized after the entire collaborative set is submitted to NSF and a proposal ID number for each separately submitted collaborative proposal is generated.
  • Submit Proposal Wizard:The AOR Submission Wizard screen will display the lead and non-lead organization information.
  • Other Related Changes:
    • Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan:A Postdoctoral Mentoring Planis only required when funds for postdoctoral scholars are requested on the budget. A proposal compliance error will block proposal submission if there is a mentoring plan but no requested funds.
    • Print Concatenate:This functionality is available for lead and non-lead proposals.
    • New Automated Compliance Error/Warning Messages and Business Rules for Separately Submitted Collaborative Proposals:Compliance checks triggering an error will prohibit proposal submission to NSF, whereas checks triggering a warning will allow proposal submission to NSF.  
    • Delete In-progress Proposals:Proposers can delete their in-progress separately submitted collaborative proposals.
    • Redesigned Research.gov “About” Page with New and Updated FAQs:Check out our redesignedResearch.gov About Proposal Preparation and Submission webpagewith links to new and updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) organized by topic.

What’s Ahead?

We are also happy to share that NSF is currently developing the following capabilities in Research.gov:

  • Other Authorized User (OAU) role changes (see Research.govadvisorycurrently posted)
  • Support for Single Copy Documents
  • Submission of Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Phase I and Phase II proposals
  • Submission of Rapid Response Research (RAPID), Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER), and Research Advanced by Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering (RAISE) proposals

Stay tuned for additional information about these developments in the coming months!

Help NSF Build Research.gov

Research.gov is being developed incrementally, and features will expand with the goal of eventually transitioning all proposal preparation and submission functionality from FastLane to Research.gov. NSF strongly encourages the use of Research.gov where possible and wants feedback on your experience, so we can continue to offer a better user experience. Please submit your feedback on theResearch.gov Feedbackpage (select “Proposal Preparation & Submission” under the Site Area dropdown menu).

We would appreciate you sharing this information with your colleagues. If you have IT system-related questions, please contact the NSF Help Desk at 1-800-381-1532 (7:00 AM – 9:00 PM ET; Monday – Friday except federal holidays) or viargov@nsf.gov. Policy-related questions should be directed topolicy@nsf.gov.

We look forward to receiving your Research.gov proposals and your feedback about our new system!



Jean Feldman

Head, Policy Office

Division of Institution and Award Support

Office of Budget, Finance & Award Management

National Science Foundation


Erika Blossom, CRA

Senior Contract & Grant Officer

COVID-19: In response to the SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 (Coronavirus ) pandemic, the Office of Research will be telecommuting through May 01, 2020. During this time, email is the best method of contact as voicemails will be checked periodically. For information about Research Continuity planning and updates please visit:https://news.research.uci.edu/research-continuity

Sponsored Projects Administration 
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E-mail: Erika.Blossom@uci.edu

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