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Compliance Checks Coming to NSF FastLane Update on 1/30/2017

NSF has posted an advisory announcing a release of updates to FastLane on January 30, 2017. These changes to FastLane will support the NSF policy updates that will be effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 30, 2017.

These changes are reflected in the revised NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (NSF 17-1) (see our previous post for details about the revised NSF PAPPG). Changes in the January 30 FastLane update will also include new and enhanced automated compliance checks on proposals. Please be aware of these upcoming NSF changes as they may impact your proposal development and submission process.

Read the full advisory here:

Effective January 30, 2017, NSF will implement the following changes in FastLane to support the policy updates in the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 17-1) and to run new and enhanced automated compliance checks on proposals:

Proposal Submission
  • Two new types of proposals will be incorporated into the PAPPG with new required supporting documents and automated proposal compliance checks.
    • Grant Opportunities for Academic Liaison with Industry (GOALI):GOALI is a type of proposal that seeks to stimulate collaboration between academic research institutions and industry. The new GOALI automated compliance checks will require that at least one Co-Principal Investigator (PI) exists on the proposal and the "GOALI-Industrial PI Confirmation Letter" is uploaded at the time of proposal submission. All automated compliance checks applicable to Research proposals will apply to GOALI proposals. GOALI proposals were previously submitted via a program solicitation.
    • Research Advanced by Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering (RAISE):The RAISE proposal type supports bold, interdisciplinary projects. The new RAISE automated compliance checks will require that a "RAISE-Program Officer Concurrence Email" is uploaded at the time of proposal submission, the proposal award budget is less than or equal to $1 million, and the proposal duration is less than or equal to 5 years. All automated compliance checks applicable to Research proposals will apply to RAISE proposals.
  • The Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED) type of proposal will be included on the FastLane dropdown menu. All automated compliance checks applicable to Research proposals will apply to FASED proposals.
Deadline Submission
  • Organizations that are unable to submit a proposal prior to a deadline due to a natural or anthropogenic disaster will be required to submit a new Single Copy Document, "Nature of Natural or Anthropogenic Event," when attempting to submit a late proposal using the "Special Exception to the Deadline Date Policy" box on the NSF Cover Sheet.
Updated References and Terminology
  • The PAPPG (NSF 17-1) has been modified in its entirety, to remove all references to the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) and Award & Administration Guide (AAG). The document will now be referred to solely as the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide and is sequentially numbered from Chapter I-XII. All FastLane and Research.gov references and links to the GPG and AAG will be updated to corresponding references and links in the PAPPG (NSF 17-1).
  • "International Travel" type of proposals will be renamed to "Travel" and will be expanded to include domestic and international travel.
  • "Facility/Center" type of proposals will be renamed to "Center/Research Infrastructure."
Enhanced Automated Compliance Checks
  • In addition to the new compliance checks for the GOALI, RAISE, and FASED types of proposals, FastLane will run enhanced automated compliance checks across several proposal types and will generate errors or warnings when the submission or deadline validation compliance checks are not met.
  • Checks are run during "Check Proposal," "Forward to SPO," and "Submit Proposal." The complete list of FastLane automated compliance checks effective January 30, 2017, is available here.
Note About Proposal File Update (PFU): The automated compliance checks also apply when a PFU is performed on a proposal. The compliance checks will be run on all sections of the proposal, regardless of which section was updated during the PFU. Proposers should be aware that if a proposal was previously submitted successfully, a PFU performed on the proposal will be prevented from submission if the proposal does not comply with the compliance checks in effect at the time. For system-related questions, please contact FastLane User Support at 1-800-673-6188 or fastlane@nsf.gov. Policy-related questions should be directed to policy@nsf.gov.     
Last Updated: 1/19/17