Updates to NSF FastLane

Dear Colleagues,

Please see below the notification for NSF Fastlane regarding upgrades to the system effective September 26, 2016 – in particular, the changes affecting the Project Summary section in grant applications.

Please let me know if you have any questions.


Jonathan K. Lew, MPA

eRA Officer

Sponsored Projects Administration

UCI Office of Research

5171 California Avenue, Suite 150

Irvine, CA 92697-7600



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Dear Colleagues:

On September 26, 2016, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will release updates to FastLane that may impact the way you work.

As part of NSF’s efforts to modernize proposal submission and increase competitive fairness in the proposal process, NSF continues to focus on implementing automated proposal compliance checks in FastLane.

Effective September 26, 2016, FastLane will now check to ensure that the combined text of the Project Summary text boxes (or uploaded PDF if the Project Summary contains special characters) does not exceed one page prior to submission, rather than the current check of 4,600 characters. See the Proposal & Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG), Chapter II.C.2b for further information.

The compliance checks will trigger an error message in the following circumstances:

oProject Summary text exceeds the one-page limit;

oProject Summary text is entered and the user also uploads a “Project Summary with Special Characters” supplementary document.

Note About Proposal File Update (PFU):

Proposers should be aware that if a proposal was received by NSF prior to September 26, 2016, containing a Project Summary that complies with the previous 4,600-character limit but exceeds the one-page limit, a PFU addressing any section of the proposal will result in the proposal not being accepted if it does not comply with these compliance checks. The checks will be run on all sections of the proposal, regardless of which section was updated during the PFU.


Note About Grants.gov:

Proposers should also be aware that Grants.gov will allow a proposal to be submitted, even if it does not comply with these proposal preparation requirements. Should NSF receive a proposal via Grants.gov that is not compliant, it will be returned without review.

We encourage you to share this information with your colleagues. For system-related questions, please contact the NSF Help Desk at 1-800-381-1532 or . Policy-related questions should be directed to .

Thank you,

FastLane Team at the National Science Foundation

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