(NSF FastLane)

Effective April 30, 2018, proposers can now prepare and submit full, research non-collaborative proposals in . The initial release of this new capability is running in parallel with existing proposal preparation and submission capabilities in FastLane. As a result, proposers can choose to prepare and submit full, research non-collaborative proposals in or in FastLane.

The capability to submit other types of proposals (e.g., RAPID, EAGER, Conference) will be added to in the future. Please note, proposals initiated in the new system will not be available in FastLane and proposals prepared in FastLane will not be available in the new system. This new system is being developed incrementally and as capabilities are migrated from FastLane to, the system features will expand until it eventually replaces FastLane for all aspects of proposal preparation and submission. A specific date for completion of this transition process has not yet been determined

Step 1: Getting Registered

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has made changes to the way the research community registers for NSF accounts and maintains account and user profile information in FastLane and Effective March 26, 2018, NSF introduced a new centralized and streamlined account registration process in for the research community that provides each new user with a single profile and unique identifier (i.e., NSF ID) for signing in to FastLane and for proposal and award activities.

For the complete NSF guidance on Account Management, please see the Management Page

The new account management functionality:

  • Allows users to create and self-manage accounts, including personal information and role requests;
  • Eliminates the need for organizational Administrators to create accounts and maintain profile information for their users, allowing Administrators to focus on managing roles for their organizations through a dashboard with functions to approve, disapprove, assign, and remove roles; and
  • Replaces the existing FastLane and account management functions

All Fastlane accounts now must be assigned roles. All Principal and Co-Principal Investigators will add Investigator role.

For Existing NSF Principal Investigator Accounts (created before March 26, 2018)

Existing NSF account holders will need to be migrated to the new account management system through a simple, one-time operation when initially signing in to FastLane or Account holders will be required to verify the account’s primary email address and phone number to transfer it to the new system. Each user will have one NSF ID per the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (NSF 18-1), Chapter I.G.4(link is external).

Users with existing NSF accounts can access the NSF ID Lookup Page for their NSF ID. Forgotten passwords for established NSF accounts may be retrieved here.

Existing users can log in here.

For New Principal Investigator Accounts:

To register a new PI account, go to, and click on “register” in the top right corner. Fill out all the information (ORCID is not required), and hit submit. You will be sent an email with a temporary password. Sign into, and enter in the temporary password.  Once you sign in, you will be prompted to change your password. Please review password complexity requirements before creating a new password.

Once the password has been changed, you will need to add a role for yourself.

To select a principal investigator role, Select “Add Investigator Role” under “Prepare Proposals and Manage Awards”. Select “Yes, prepare and manage proposals with an organization” and “Submit”. Enter in the UMaine DUNS number (186875787). Verify that the organization selected is “University of Maine ”, if so, click “Next”, and fill out the contact details there. Choose Role as PI/co-PI. Click on next. Review the information, and if it is correct, click on submit.

Step 2: Search for Funding Opportunity

To browse all NSF funding opportunities on the website, click here.  After logging in, you will then click on Prepare Proposal under the Prepare & Submit Proposal tab. The “New! Prepare Proposals” button will allow you to submit in the new portal. Select funding opportunities are not yet available in the system. If you do not see the funding opportunity you are applying to, check in Fastlane, or the “Prepare Proposals in Fastlane” button under the Prepare & Submit Proposals tab.

Step 3: Preparing your proposal

Once you have found the funding opportunity you are looking to apply to, you will select and click next to continue to prepare your proposal. As noted above, if your funding opportunity is not found in the portal, you will then click “Prepare Proposals in Fastlane”, which will take you to the Fastlane portal.

When preparing your proposal in either or Fastlane, it is the PI’s responsibility to fill in all forms requested. Once all forms have been completed, the PI will notify ORA so that the proposal review for compliance with both sponsor and University policy will begin.

The RFP for the funding opportunity you are applying to, will provide guidance above and beyond what is requested in the NSF PAPPG 18-1.

Step 4: Submission

Once ORA has completed their final review of all forms and checked for any compliance errors, the proposal will be forwarded to the AOR internally by the ORA staff member. When the AOR has approved the submission, ORA will then submit the proposal.