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Proposal Submission Information NSF

National Science Foundation (NSF) News

All NSF proposals must be submitted through FastLane.  FastLane is the onlien website through which NSF conducts its grant-related work: proposal submissions, proposal reviews, list of award documents, report submissions, requests for budget changes, etc.

To use the FastLane system, you must first be registered by the appropriate representative of your organization.  If you have not been registered in FastLane, or if you are unsure, please contact ORSP at ext. 2944.  ORSP staff can also assist you with changes to your profile, as well as resetting your password.

NSF proposals follow the most recent Grant Proposal Guidelines (GPG) , available on the NSF website as a foundation for content and format.  However, any requirements or limitations specifically listed in the solicitation take precedence over the GPG, so read the solicitation carefully.

Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts

Effective January 1, 2002, NSF's proposal preparation instructions were revised to require that the Project Summary clearly address in separate statements (within the one page summary): (1) the intellectual merit of the proposed activity; and (2) the broader impacts resulting from the proposed activity. This change should be carefully considered by PIs when preparing proposals for submission to NSF. See the Project Summary Section of the Grant Proposal Guide (opens new window) for further instructions.

Effective October 1 2002, proposals that do not address the two merit review criteria in separate statements in the project summary will be returned without review.

The two National Science Board approved merit review criteria are listed below (see the Grant Proposal Guide Chapter III.A for further information). The criteria include considerations that help define them. These considerations are suggestions and not all will apply to any given proposal. While proposers must address both merit review criteria, reviewers will be asked to address only those considerations that are relevant to the proposal being considered and for which he/she is qualified to make judgments.

What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity?

    How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields? How well qualified is the proposer (individual or team) to conduct the project? (If appropriate, the reviewer will comment on the quality of the prior work.) To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative and original concepts? How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity? Is there sufficient access to resources?

What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity?

    How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning? How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.)? To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships? Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding? What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society?

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