Skip directly to content - Proposal Preparation Site FAQs

1. What is the Proposal Preparation and Submission Site and what will be key benefits of using the new system?

The Proposal Preparation and Submission Site will provide the ability to create, submit, track, and update proposals associated with active NSF funding opportunities (initially for Full, Research, non-collaborative proposals only). This furthers an NSF goal of providing quick access to proposal information and grants management services in one location in The goals of this system are to provide a modernized, intuitive environment for proposal preparation and submission, reduce administrative burden via real-time compliance checking; provide online help tips and notes; and incorporate a proposal wizard that walks users through the proposal setup process. 

2. What types of proposals will be enabled?

Only Full, Research, non-collaborative proposal functionality is currently enabled. Future releases will support additional proposal and submission types such as collaborative proposals (i.e. separately submitted collaborative proposals or proposals that include the use of sub-awards), Conference, RAISE, RAPID, EAGER, CAREER, and others. 

3. What features are available in the release?

The following document provides these details: September 2018 Release Timeline.pdf

4. Will I still be able to use FastLane to prepare proposals?

Yes. FastLane will continue to be available, and users will have the option to use either or FastLane to prepare and submit proposals. If you prepare a proposal in, you will not be able access or edit it in FastLane and vice versa. The proposal also must be submitted within the system that was used to create and prepare the proposal. is being developed incrementally. Features will expand with the goal of eventually transitioning all proposal preparation and submission functionality from FastLane to

5. How can I access the new system in

If you are in and have not logged in, you can also click on the "Prepare New or Existing Proposals" link under the “Prepare & Submit Proposals” category. Selecting this link will direct you to the login page. After logging in, you will be directed to the proposal preparation landing page.

If you have already logged in to, click on the "New! Prepare Proposals (Limited Proposal Types)" link under the Prepare & Submit Proposals category. This will direct you to the proposal preparation landing page.

6. Will there be a demonstration site available?

A demonstration site is planned; however, it is not available yet. 

7. Can other user roles (i.e., SPO, AOR, etc.,) initiate proposals?

Only a PI can initiate a proposal. The capability for other user roles to initiate proposals will be considered for future enhancements.

8. Can InCommon access login credentials be used by an organization for a user to access proposal preparation in

Yes, InCommon access login credentials can be used.

9. What file types are allowable for upload in required proposal sections?

Proposal sections must be uploaded in PDF format with the exception of the Collaborators and Other Affiliations (COA) document, which requires an .xlsx format. Complete information on COA is available at

10. Can users upload a PDF document that does not adhere to Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) formatting requirements? 

No. PDF documents are compliance checked upon upload according to the policies and procedures outlined in the PAPPG. See the PAPPG, Chapter II for complete proposal preparation instructions. Draft work must be completed offline.

For more information on document formatting including compliance checking during upload and common questions, please refer to: Proposal Preparation Document Upload FAQs

11. Will be other fonts supported besides Times New Roman and Symbol in future based on the allowable fonts in the PAPPG?

Yes, in the future, there are plans to support other fonts in the PAPPG.

12. How does a PI or co-PI provide the SPO/AOR access to a proposal?

A PI or co-PI can share a proposal with the SPO/AOR even if required proposal data or sections are not complete. On the Proposal Forms page, click on Proposal Access for SPO/AOR. You can choose to proceed to provide access even if error(s)/warning(s) display. Continue past any error(s)/warning(s) and select the type of access to provide the SPO/AOR: No access, View only access, Edit access, or Edit access with Allow proposal submission (AOR only).

13. Where are the Academic and Summer months on the Budget?

Proposers need to provide only the total number of calendar months of support being requested per project year in the Budget section of the proposal. The PDF output when printing a proposal currently continues to match the FastLane print output but may be updated in the future to also remove academic and summer months.

14. Where can I find additional information about the Proposal and Submission Site?

The About page in contains additional information under the Proposal Preparation and Submission category at: About Proposal Preparation and Submission Site.