Starting 10/1 - Option for NSF proposals to be submitted via

Over the last several years the National Science Foundation (NSF) has started to use for their grants management system. This new system provides easy access to research-related information and grants management services in one location. It is modernization of their Fastlane system.

The NSF has posted Important Notice (IN) 147 which outlines the steps they are taking to incrementally move the preparation and submission of all proposals from Fastlane to with a tentative target date for completion by 2022. To get UCSB ready for this transition, on October 1st, 2020, all UCSB faculty will be able to submit NSF proposals via in addition to Fastlane. 

For those that would like to use to prepare and submit proposals, before it becomes mandatory, we ask that:

  1. Only those proposals that can be submitted via be submitted. (Full; Research; Non-collaborative; Collaborative with Subawards; and Collaborative, Separately Submitted)
  2. Submit proposals to SPO for review 5+ days prior to the deadline.
  3. Indicate if the proposal was prepared in Fastlane or in ORBiT in the Data Sheet - Uploads under comments. 
  4. Give SPO the ok to submit 4 hours prior to the deadline. 

We ask for these prerequisites to allow us enough time to troubleshoot in case an issue arises and for the liaisons to have enough time to create a proposal in Fastlane if needed. 

Reminder: For collaborative proposals where the lead institution is using all non-lead institutions must also use

SPO has created step-by-step instructions that can be found here. The NSF also has additional resources including instructional videos that may be helpful. 

Should you have any questions please feel free to contact your SPO Team. For technical questions you can contact the NSF Help Desk. 


Special NSF Notices:

  • Project Summary Submission Error: Please note that when the Project Summary is uploaded as a PDF instead of entering the text directly into the FastLane module, you must check a box on the Project Summary page to have the PDF uploaded with the submission. If you don't do this, it causes an error message and SPO is unable to submit.

Special Notice for all NSF Proposals being submitted to the Division of Chemistry:

The Division of Chemistry has a new solicitation (NSF 18-561), and all new proposals to the individual investigator program (which includes small teams) for the September and October submission windows must go through this solicitation.   There are a few important changes to the usual submission documents:

(1) a listing of the PI’s specific support within any funded, multi-person collaboratives must be delineated in the Current and Pending Support documents;

(2) an additional a single copy document explaining changes to any revised proposal must be included in the resubmissions; and

(3) there is a new limitation in the number of proposals submitted to the Chemistry Division during a fiscal year.  An investigator may only submit one proposal as a PI, Co-PI, or Senior Investigator in this window. As we want to provide the chemistry community with a sustainable and healthy funding rate and manageable workload as reviewers and panelists, we have implemented this change in proposal allowance effective immediately.  Please note that this one proposal per PI per year restriction does not apply to separate solicitations (e.g., CAREER, MRI, CCI, REU, EAGER/RAISE/RAPID, etc.).

Please be sure to submit your proposal to the Chemistry Solicitation (NSF 18-561), and not to the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG).  Proposals submitted to the PAPPG will not be accepted.

Centers for Chemical Innovation – Phase 1:

The Centers for Chemical Innovation (CCI) – Phase 1 program is open for submissions again this fall (NSF 18-555).  Please note that the deadline for required preliminary proposals is August 14, 2018, earlier than in recent years.


Procedure for Submission of a Corrected NSF Application for

Upon Email (Proposal did not make it through NSF yet)
Enter a Type of Submission (Field 1 on the Form)

Check the "Type of Submission" box (1). If this submission is to change or correct a previously submitted "New" application, click the Change/Corrected Application box and enter the tracking number in the Federal identifier field. If this submission is to change or correct a "resubmission", "renewal", "continuation", or "revision" application, leave the Federal identifier field as previously filled with the existing identifier (e.g. Award number). Do NOT insert the tracking number in these cases.

Upon NSF Email (Proposal made it past and now at NSF)

In addition to the validations performed by the ERA system, further administrative review will be conducted by agency staff. The PD/PI and/or the applicant organization may be contacted for further corrections/clarifications that must be done via Fastlane using "proposal file update" module.

Once the proposal has passed Grants.Gov acceptance. NSF does not accept applications through for the following types of transactions:

  • Changed/Corrected Applications
  • Continuation
  • Revision
Proposal File Update - Post Submission

Applications submitted through are considered official submissions to the Federal government. Applicants that wish to change or correct a previously submitted application must use the Proposal File Update module available in the NSF Fastlane System

Check the Status of an Application in Fastlane

After applicants receive a receipt notification from NSF, Fastlane should be used to check the status of an application