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On March 26, 2018, the National Science Foundation (NSF) introduced a new centralized and streamlined account registration process in Research.gov for the research community that provides each new user with a single profile and unique identifier (i.e., NSF ID) for signing in to FastLane and Research.gov for proposal and award activities.

New Functionality

The new account management functionality:

  • Allows users to create and self-manage accounts, including personal information and role requests;
  • Eliminates the need for organizational Administrators to create accounts and maintain profile information for their users, allowing Administrators to focus on managing roles for their organizations through a dashboard with functions to approve, disapprove, assign, and remove roles; and
  • Replaces the existing FastLane and Research.gov account management functions.

Existing NSF Accounts

Existing NSF account holders, including Grants.gov and Application Submission Web Service (ASWS) users, are being migrated to the new account management system through a simple, one-time operation when initially signing in to FastLane or Research.gov. Account holders are required to verify information to transfer it to the new system. Each user will have one NSF ID per the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (NSF 18-1), Chapter I.G.4.

Helpful Links

Notes About Grants.gov and ASWS

  • Effective March 26, 2018, the Principal Investigator (PI), all co-PIs, and the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) listed on a Grants.gov proposal must all be registered with NSF prior to proposal submission. NSF IDs for the PI, all co-PIs, and the AOR listed need to be included in the proposal submission.
  • When a proposal is submitted to NSF on or after March 26, 2018, through Grants.gov and ASWS, the NSF system will cross-check the DUNS number and organization name with NSF records.
    • If there is no match to the DUNS number and/or organization name, the proposal will be rejected and the PI/AOR listed on the proposal submission will receive an email notifying that the proposal submission was not accepted by NSF.
    • Previously, for proposals submitted via Grants.gov or ASWS, the NSF system registered organizations and allowed proposal submission in cases where there was a mismatch of the DUNS number and/or organization name with NSF records; however, this is no longer possible effective March 26, 2018.

New NSF Registration Requirements for Organizations

  • Organizations new to NSF will also register via the account management system in Research.gov.
  • New organizations can register directly with NSF through Research.gov at: https://www.research.gov/accountmgmt/#/registration.
  • Effective March 26, 2018, before a new organization can register with NSF, it must first be registered in the System for Award Management (SAM; https://www.sam.gov) and have a data universal numbering system (DUNS) number. 
  • Organizations not already registered with NSF should be aware that completion of the SAM registration process could take up to two weeks.
  • Note that the vast majority of universities are already registered with NSF via FastLane.

Planned Releases

The new centralized account management functionality was released first to the Administrator, PI, AOR, Sponsored Project Officer (SPO), Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Coordinating Official and Financial Official, and Award Cash Management Service (ACM$) groups. NSF plans to eventually expand the new functionality in the future to additional groups including proposal reviewers, GRFP applicants, and NSF staff.

Training Resources

New account management training resources such as job aids, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), and instructional videos are available on the Research.gov About Account Management page.

For IT system-related questions, please contact the NSF Help Desk at 1-800-381-1532 or rgov@nsf.gov. Policy-related questions should be directed to policy@nsf.gov.

If you would like to stay up-to-date on upcoming events or future enhancements to Research.gov and FastLane, subscribe to our System Updates NSF listserv. This listserv is available to both the research community and to NSF staff. To subscribe, simply send an email to system_updates-subscribe-request@listserv.nsf.gov and you will be automatically enrolled.