Office of Research, UC Riverside
Sponsored Programs Administration

Electronic Research Administration

NSF and Grants.gov

  • NSF grant applications using Grants.gov must be prepared and submitted in accordance with the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide: A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Grants.gov, and can be accessed at: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/docs/grantsgovguide.pdf.
  • NSF now has an indicator/icon on the listing of Funding Opportunities, which means Grants.gov application submission is required. It will be displayed on the Funding Opportunities list next to the due date. http://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_list.jsp?org=NSF&ord=date.
  • This instruction document was created to assist applicants in the preparation and submission of applications to the NSF. It is intended as the primary document for use in preparation of applications using Grants.gov. Keep in mind that NSF solicitations may establish additional requirements.
  • NSF is using specific grant mechanisms to phase-in the requirement for electronic submission using Grants.gov. Access the NSF timeline at: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/docs/grantsgovadvisory06.pdf.
  • Subscribe to Grants.gov electronic newsletter Succeed. This electronic newsletter will notify you of the latest updates and tips. The newsletter is available at: http://www.grants.gov/resources/newsletter.jsp.
  • PIs must first be registered as a NSF FastLane user [contact your department's contract and grant officer] prior to submitting a grant application to Grants.gov. They can then Access FastLane to view the status of the application that was submitted to Grants.gov.
  • When creating PDF files, NSF has published guidance on creating PDF files acceptable for submission to FastLane. This same guidance must be followed for all attachments submitted with the NSF application through Grants.gov. https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/documents/pdf_create/pdfcreate_05a.jsp. Failure to adhere to NSF rules for PDF files may result in your application not being inserted into NSF's FastLane and the application missing the opportunity's deadline or target date!
  • Do not use Adobe Acrobat PDF Writer, as it does not produce acceptable PDF files, except under very limited circumstances. This can lead to NSF program officers/reviewers seeing garbled and/or incomplete versions of a file. FastLane recommends using one of the supported formats identified in the Acceptable File Formats section on FastLane at https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/documents/pdf_create/pdfcreate_04.jsp?page=. Applicants without Adobe Acrobat should use the PDF Conversion Utility found within FastLane to convert non-PDF documents to PDF format.
  • NSF's Grants.gov submission deadline is 5PM local (Riverside) time on the day of the deadline.
  • Use of the FastLane's Proposal File Update module to change or correct a previously submitted application must be in conformance with NSF policies for submission of such updates. These policies are available in Chapter III, Section 7.3 of the NSF Grants.gov Instruction Guide at: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/docs/grantsgovguide.pdf.
  • NSF Reference Documents:

» NSF Grant Proposal Guide

» Grants.gov User Guide

» NSF Grants.gov Application Guide