Important! NSF Updates in Fastlane

On September 26, 2016, the National Science Foundation (NSF) will release updates to FastLane that may impact the way you work.

As part of NSF’s efforts to modernize proposal submission and increase competitive fairness in the proposal process, NSF continues to focus on implementing automated proposal compliance checks in FastLane.

Effective September 26, 2016, FastLane will now check to ensure that the combined text of the Project Summary text boxes (or uploaded PDF if the Project Summary contains special characters) does not exceed one page prior to submission, rather than the current check of 4,600 characters. See the Proposal & Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG), Chapter II.C.2b for further information.

The compliance checks will trigger an error message in the following circumstances:

o   Project Summary text exceeds the one-page limit;

o   Project Summary text is entered and the user also uploads a “Project Summary with Special Characters” supplementary document.

Note About Proposal File Update (PFU):

Proposers should be aware that if a proposal was received by NSF prior to September 26, 2016, containing a Project Summary that complies with the previous 4,600-character limit but exceeds the one-page limit, a PFU addressing any section of the proposal will result in the proposal not being accepted if it does not comply with these compliance checks. The checks will be run on all sections of the proposal, regardless of which section was updated during the PFU.

 Note About

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

You are encouraged to share this information with your colleagues.  For system-related questions, please contact the NSF Help Desk at 1-800-381-1532 or  Policy-related questions should be directed to