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NSF Quick Reference Sheet


1. Obtain an NSF Fastlane Password through departmental business office via email.

NSF requires the following information:

  • Name

  • Highest degree, Year conferred

  • Present Institution and Department

  • Complete Purdue address of staff member

  • Social security number

  • Email address

  • Business phone number, business fax number

2. Computer used to prepare proposal must have

  • Netscape Navigator 3.01 or above or Microsoft Explorer 4.01 or above

  • Adobe Acrobat Reader 3.0 or above

  • PDF filer converter ( Acrobat Distiller is available through PU, contact departmental business office for more information)

  • Internet Explorer 4.01 or above

3. Work with departmental business office to prepare

  • Proposal budget and justification

  • Proposal Transmittal Checksheet

  • Obtain necessary cost-sharing approvals including release-time

  • Subcontract data

  • Summer salary for faculty members on academic-year appointments is limited to no more than two-ninths of their regular academic-year salary. This includes summer salary received from all NSF-funded grants.

  • Research proposal should include a 1% cost sharing contribution from University central reserves.

4. Access Fastlane's Homepage at http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/ to prepare proposal.

  • PI should scroll down page to Proposals, Awards, and Status

  • Type in Last Name, Social Security Number, and Password and click on Login button.

  • Will get screen entitled “Principal Investigator (PI)/Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) Management”

  • Click on “Proposal Functions” button and then the “Proposal Preparation”

  • Click on “Prepare Proposal” then click on “Create Blank Proposal”

  • Select the forms to be filled out and then click the “Go” button

  • For Cover Sheet w/ Certification Page use the following information in completing.

- Employer ID: 356002041 for PU, Organizational Code 0018259000

- Enter Program Announcement # and closing date. If not in response to specific program enter NSF 02-2(GPG)

- If renewal proposal enter previous award number

- Enter Pre-proposal #, if applicable

- Enter DUNS #: 07-205-1394 for PU

- Check appropriate boxes for human subjects, vertebrate animals, etc.

- Complete all required forms on Fastlane.

- Information about PI/Project Directors

- List of suggested reviewers (optional)

- Project Summary

- Table of Contents

- Project Description including results from Prior NSF Support (15 page limit unless deviation granted by NSF)

- References

- Biographical Sketches (limited to 2 pages per individual)

- Summary Proposal Budget (Budget Justification limited to 3 pages)

- Current and Pending Support

- Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources (optional)

  • Check the proposal and all forms ensuring that all information is correct.

  • Print the proposal.

  • Save your proposal as a template.

  • Sometimes NSF Fastlane system is down or not working properly. Please report any such problems to SPS. Sometimes the system is slow and patience is required in using it.

  • When graphics are used it will be more difficult to Upload a PDF file into Fastlane. The FastLane will ask if color graphics are a part of the proposal and if the question is answered yes, it will provide further instructions. Paper copies may still have to be submitted for these proposals.

  • When the accuracy of information and proper format is verified, submit the proposal to Sponsored Program Services by clicking the “Submit to SRO” button.

5. Have the original proposal delivered to SPS along with the completed Proposal Transmittal Checksheet, necessary Form 32, cost sharing information, letters of collaboration and internal budget and worksheets. Principal Investigators are encouraged to deliver the proposal to SPS at least two weeks before the due date to the agency. This will enable appropriate reviews within SPS and avoid any issues with last minute technical problems with the electronic submission.

NSF Fastlane Homepage


NSF PDF Instructions


NSF New Upload Instructions