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Beginning March 18, 2013: FastLane will begin automated compliance checking for all required proposal sections

Beginning March 18, 2013, NSF will enhance the FastLane system to begin automated compliance checking of required sections of proposals. This will bring NSF systems in line with long-standing proposal preparation requirements as outlined in the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (Chapter II.C.2 of the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG)). This enhancement will help reduce the burden of NSF Program Staff who currently must manually check to ensure compliance with the required sections.

The GPG-required sections of a proposal include:
Project Summary *
Budget Justification
Project Description
Current and Pending Support
References Cited
Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources
Biographical Sketch(es)
Data Management Plan *
Budget Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan (if applicable) *
* These proposal sections are already being auto-compliance checked by FastLane.

As part of this enhancement, FastLane will check to ensure whether or not a document is included; it will not check formatting, page length, or content requirements (the one exception is Project Summary, for which page length is checked).

Proposal submission instructions for conferences, symposia or workshops; international travel grants; or program solicitations may deviate from the GPG instructions. If the submission instructions do not require one of the above sections to be provided, proposers will need to insert text or upload a document in that section of the proposal that states, "Not Applicable." Doing so will enable FastLane to accept the proposal. The Policy Office in the Division of Institution and Award Support (DIAS) will be revising solicitations, as necessary, to ensure that submission procedures clearly articulate these requirements. In addition, the FastLane Proposal Preparation screens have been supplemented with new text that reminds Principal Investigators (PIs) of the required proposal sections.

Additionally, proposers providing Biographical Sketches and/or Current and Pending Support information for PIs, co-PI(s) or Senior Personnel in a single PDF file associated with the PI, must insert text or upload a document in that section of the proposal that states, "Not Applicable," for any co-PI or Senior Personnel so that FastLane will accept the proposal.

PIs will receive a warning message if any of the GPG-required sections is missing, however, the PI will still be able to forward the proposal to the organization’s Sponsored Project Office (SPO). If the SPO attempts to submit a proposal that is missing any of the GPG required sections, they will receive an error message identifying the missing section(s), and FastLane will prevent submission to NSF. After obtaining all required sections, the SPO may submit the proposal to NSF in accordance with the established deadline date policy.

Beginning March 18, 2013, FastLane will begin automated compliance checking for all required proposal sections. Guidance on the required sections is available in Grant Proposal Guide (GPG), Chapter II.C.2. FastLane will not accept your proposal if a required section is missing.