FastLane Help


Proposals prepared for submission to the National Science Foundation may be submitted through FastLane, the electronic system through which NSF conducts most of its business over the Internet.  Typically, you can either work in FastLane (composing text directly in the system) or you can compose text in Word and upload your files.  When your proposal is ready to send to NSF, it must be submitted by the Sponsored Programs Office.  NSF proposals may alternatively be submitted through

In order to prepare a proposal using FastLane, you must first 1) become a registered user of the system, and 2) give the Sponsored Programs Office access to your proposal:

1)  Becoming a Registered User of FastLane

Your first step in preparing a proposal for NSF should be to become a registered user of FastLane.  The Sponsored Programs Office can set you up a user of the system if you send the following information via e-mail to

  • Your First Name and Last Name
  • Your E-Mail Address
  • Your Highest Degree
  • The Year You Earned Your Highest Degree

Once you send this information to the Sponsored Programs Office, we will set you up as a user of FastLane (the process can be done in minutes) and send you a temporary password for accessing the system.  You will then have to go into FastLane (using this temporary password) and change your password:

Changing Your Password in FastLane

    • Go to the FastLane website
    • Click on "Proposals, Awards, and Status" (upper left corner of page)
    • Login to FastLane using your temporary password (right side of page)
    • Click on "Change Password" (lower left corner of page)
    • Enter your new password

2)  Giving the Sponsored Programs Office Access to Your Proposal

Nobody, including the Sponsored Programs Office, can view, edit, or submit your grant proposal without your permission.  In order for the Sponsored Programs Office to assist you with your proposal (and, eventually, to submit it to NSF on your behalf), you will need to give us permission to view, edit, and submit your proposal.  In FastLane, this process is known as 'giving SRO (Sponsored Research Office) access:

  1. Go to the FastLane website
  2. Click on "Proposals, Awards, and Status" (upper left corner of the page)
  3. Login to FastLane (right side of page)
  4. Click on "Proposal Functions" (middle of page)
  5. Click on "Proposal Preparation" (middle of page)
  6. Click on "Prepare Proposal" (upper middle of page)
  7. Click on "Allow SRO Access" (middle right on page)
  8. Click on "Allow SRO to View, Edit, and Submit Proposal



Though electronic, proposal submission systems are not instantaneous.  On heavy deadline days, response time to receive all notifications may take hours (sometimes the next day).  It is unwise to wait until the last minute to submit your proposal.  Also, NSF is in the process of phasing out Fastlane for proposal submission.  Unless you are already familiar with Fastlane and want to use it as long as possible, it might be most efficient to submit your proposal to NSF through