NSF Update: Automated Compliance Checks now effective August 1, 2016

Please note that this implementation was rescheduled due to a power outage which caused all servers to shut down. The new automated proposal submission compliance checks will be available on August 1.

On August 1, 2016, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will release updates to FastLane that may impact the way you work.

NSF continues to focus on the automated compliance checks of proposals in order to decrease the burden on both the research community and NSF staff.  Effective August 1, 2016, all proposals will be subject to a new series of automated compliance validation checks to ensure proposals comply with requirements outlined in Chapter II.C.2. of the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG).

The new set of automated compliance checks will trigger error messages for each of the following rules:

o   Biographical Sketch(es) and Current and Pending Support files are required  for each Senior Personnel associated with a proposal; and

o   Biographical Sketch(es) can only be uploaded as a file, must not exceed two pages and can no longer be entered as text.

Note About Proposal File Update (PFU): Proposers should be aware should that if a proposal was received prior to August 1 and contained only one Biographical Sketch and/or Current & Pending Support file (rather than individual files for each senior personnel), a PFU addressing any section of the proposal will result in the proposal not being accepted if it does not comply with these new compliance checks.  The checks will be run on all sections of the proposal regardless of which section was updated during the PFU.

Note About Grants.gov:

Proposers should also be aware that Grants.gov will allow a proposal to be submitted, even if it does not comply with these proposal preparation requirements. Should NSF receive a proposal from Grants.gov that is not compliant, it will be returned without review.

Please note that the new set of compliance checks are in addition to the compliance checks that currently exist in FastLane. You can view a complete list of FastLane auto-compliance checks, including these checks, by clicking here . The list specifies which checks are run depending on funding opportunity type (GPG, Program Description, Program Announcement, or Program Solicitation) and type of proposal (Research, RAPID, EAGER, Ideas Lab, Conference, Equipment, International Travel, Facility/Center, or Fellowship). It also specifies whether the check triggers a “warning” or error” message for non-compliant proposals.

We encourage you to share this information with your colleagues. For system-related questions, please contact the NSF Help Desk at 1-800-381-1532 or Rgov@nsf.gov. Policy-related questions should be directed to policy@nsf.gov.