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 system will provide the ability to create, submit, track, and update proposals associated with active NSF funding opportunities (initially for 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 modernized system is to reduce administrative burden via real-time compliance checks; provide inline 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 in February 2018 Preview and April 2018 releases?

Only non-collaborative, full research proposal functionality will be enabled for the February and April 2018 releases.  Support for additional proposal and submission types such as collaborative proposals, Conference , RAISE, RAPID and EAGER, etc. will be rolled out incrementally in future system releases. 

3. Will I be able to submit proposals in the February 2018 Preview release?

No. The purpose of the preview release is to allow users to become familiar with and provide user feedback. Proposal submission will not be enabled. Users should continue to use FastLane for proposal submission during the preview release.

4. What is the purpose of the February 2018 Preview release?

The February 2018 Preview release provides an opportunity for users to test and provide feedback for the new system without the proposal submission functionality being enabled.

5. How can we provide feedback for the February 2018 Preview release?

Feedback can be provided via a structured survey link that will be sent to users.

6. Will a proposal initiated during the February 2018 Preview release be available for submission after the April 2018 release?

No. The Preview release provides users two months to become familiar with the new proposal preparation system. Data entered during the Preview release will not be saved for use during the April 2018 release. 

7. What features will be available in the February 2018 and April 2018 releases?

The following document provides these details:  Preview Initial Release Timeline.pdf

8. 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. is being developed incrementally. Features will expand with the goal of eventually transitioning all proposal preparation and submission functionality from FastLane to

9. How can I access the new system in

You can access the system at here.  Upon successfully logging in, users will be directed to proposal preparation landing page.  

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 users to the login page. After logging in users will be directed to the proposal preparation landing page.

If you have already logged in to, click on the "Prepare Proposals" link under the Prepare & Submit Proposals category. This will direct you to the proposal preparation landing page. 

10. Will there be a demonstration site available with the February 2018 Preview or April 2018 release? 

A demonstration site is planned, however, it will not be available with the February or April 2018 releases.

11. Can other user roles (i.e. SPO, AOR, etc.) initiate proposals in the initial release?

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

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

InCommon login credentials will not be supported in the February 2018 Preview release but are planned for the the April 2018 release.

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

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

14. May 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.

15. How does a PI or co-PI provide SPO/AOR access?

A PI or co-PI can share a proposal with SPO/AOR, even if required proposal data or sections are not complete.  On the Proposal Forms screen, click on Proposal Access for SPO/AOR.  If any error(s)/warning(s) display, choose to proceed to provide access. After continuing past any error(s)/warning(s), the user will select the type of access to provide SPO/AOR: view; view/edit; or view/edit and Submit.

16. Where can I find additional information about the Proposal and Submission site?

The About page in Research,gov contains additional information under the proposal preparation and submission category at: About Proposal Preparation