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Research.gov - Frequently Asked Questions

About Research.gov

  1. What is Research.gov?

    Research.gov is the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) grants management system that provides easy access to research-related information and grants management services in one location. Research.gov is the modernization of FastLane, providing the next generation of grants management capabilities for the research community.

  2. Who should I contact for more information about Research.gov?
    For more information or questions about Research.gov and its service offerings, please contact the Research.gov team by e-mail at feedback@research.gov or by phone at (703)-292-8150. To provide feedback, there is an online Research.gov feedback form.
  3. Are you shutting down FastLane in the near future?
    No. Eventually Research.gov will replace FastLane. However, that is years away. FastLane will continue to be available to NSF grantees in the foreseeable future, as its capabilities are moved to Research.gov. Additionally, Research.gov offers Single Sign on with FastLane so you can seamlessly access both systems when logged into Research.gov. 
  4. How does Research.gov relate to FastLane?

    FastLane is NSF's web-based grants management system used by over 250,000 scientists, educators, technology experts, and administrators, including the nation's top researchers.  NSF has been recognized for FastLane's exemplary performance, and while NSF has achieved success with FastLane, the system was built starting in 1994 and is in need of modernization. 

    Research.gov is an opportunity to modernize and evolve NSF's grants management systems to increase the quality and scope of services for the research community.  The modernization includes moving legacy FastLane capabilities to a new, modern portal platform.

  5. What is the history behind Research.gov?

    Since FastLane’s launch in 1994, it has faithfully followed the principle that user feedback and overall benefit to the research community should drive any change made to the system.  Resulting in a site that handily processes more than 50,000 grant proposals every year, and supports many other tasks on behalf of NSF and the projects it funds.  Why the move then to Research.gov, the multipurpose website NSF established in 2008? The reasons are numerous including the fact that FastLane was developed in 1994, in an age when the features and functionality that we take for granted today did not exist.  FastLane itself was a ground breaking site, and it worked hard to stay ahead of its users’ needs.   Many of the modifications made over the years grew from users’ changing expectations as to how the site should function and appear.  FastLane has kept up with these expectations, but its system architecture is outdated, expensive, and difficult to update.

    NSF needed a new “house” for its modernized grants processing system, one that has flexible system architecture, with the ability to meet users’ changing needs, while handling emerging government requirements.  NSF is gradually moving its FastLane functions to Research.gov, allowing time to incorporate user feedback and lessons learned.  Eventually, Research.gov will replace FastLane as NSF’s end-to-end award management system. 

  6. What services are currently available on Research.gov?

    Research.gov provides integrated access to information and services in one location.  Currently, the following services are available on Research.gov:

    Public Services: The following services are available to members of the public and grantees

    Reporting Services: The following reporting services are available to grantees 

    Application Services: The following application services are available to grantees 

    Access Services: The following access services are available to grantees

    •          InCommon
    •          Single Sign On with FastLane

Account and Login Questions

  1. Can I use my FastLane login and password to use Research.gov?

    Yes. To login to Research.gov, select “NSF User” from the left-hand login menu on the home page and click "Go." Use your last name, and the same NSF ID and password that you used for FastLane. If you already had access to financial services on FastLane, there is no need to register or request permission to access the financial services from Research.gov.

  2. I can’t remember my NSF ID. What do I do?

    Your NSF ID will be the same nine-digit ID you used on FastLane. Click on “Forgot My NSF ID” and complete the NSF ID Lookup form.

  3. I can’t remember my password. What do I do?

    Your password will be the same one you used on FastLane. If you have forgotten your password, contact the appropriate person in your Sponsored Projects Office who has password reset authority to reset your password for you.

  4. What do I do if I’m working in Research.gov and need to access other functions that are still on FastLane?

    Once you login, you can seamlessly access FastLane from the left navigation bar in Research.gov. For more information about Single Sign On, click here

  5. How do I log in to Research.gov?

    There are four types of Research.gov accounts which provide role-based access to specific Research.gov services and features. This role-based access allows applicants, grantees, NSF staff and members of the general public to personalize their Research.gov experience:

    • NSF User: This account is for applicants and grantees to access grants management services from NSF and its partner agencies using their FastLane login and password. Access to services will be determined based on their FastLane role and permissions.
    • NSF Visitor: This account is free and available for anyone to sign up and personalize his or her Research.gov experience. NSF Visitors can also use their Yahoo user ID and password to access their NSF Visitor Account.
    • InCommon Federation User: This account is for applicants and grantees from InCommon member organizations, who have requested InCommon Federation partnership with Research.gov. Applicants and grantees with an InCommon Federation account can access grant management services from NSF using their organization-issued user ID and password.
    • NSF Staff: This account is for NSF staff only, who can use their NSF LAN ID and password to access the Research.gov/Desktop and the tools and resources they need to support their program work.

    • More information about logging into Research.gov can be found here.
  6. What are the benefits of an NSF Visitor Account?

    A free NSF Visitor Account allows you to:

  7. If I already have a FastLane account do I need to sign up for a Visitor Account?

    If you already have a FastLane account you do not need to sign up for a Visitor Account. You have access to all the same features as a Visitor Account.

  8. How do I register for an NSF Staff Account?

    NSF Staff can log in using their NSF ID and password to access the NSF Research.gov Desktop. Note: you must either be on the NSF internal network or connected remotely via Access NSF to log in.

  9. How do I register for an NSF User Account?
    If you and your organization are already registered in NSF's FastLane system, you are automatically registered in Research.gov and can log in with your FastLane ID and password.
    If your organization is already registered in FastLane and you are not, you will need to be registered as a user. Notify your organization's Institution Administrator to add you as a FastLane user (to look up your organization’s Institution Administrator, please click here).
    If your organization is not registered in FastLane, the Institution Administrator can register here. The Institution Administrator should register him or herself as the FastLane Contact. The institution registration information will be available on Research.gov the next day.

About Grants.gov and Research.gov

  1. What is Grants.gov?
    Grants.gov is a single access point for grantees to find and apply for all types of federal grants.
  2. How does Research.gov relate to Grants.gov?

    Research.gov provides a comprehensive menu of services focused on the needs of research organizations, from proposal status to project and financial reporting. Research.gov provides grantees with greater access to federal research agencies' grants management services and streamlined functionality. Grants.gov will continue to offer “Find and Apply” services.


For technical questions or immediate assistance, please contact the NSF Help Desk:
7 AM - 9 PM Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except for federal holidays):

  • Email the Help Desk at: rgov@nsf.gov 
  • Call the Help Desk 1-800-381-1532
  • To hear the recording on System Availability, call 1-800-437-7408
  • To give feedback or comments, see the feedback page