Division of Ocean Sciences - Fall/Winter 2001 Newsletter
NSF 02-055
(Replaces NSF 01-127)

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FastLane Update


Reminder for Collaborative Proposals

When submitting collaborative proposals, ONLY THE LEAD INSTITUTION should submit the project summary, project description, and references cited.

New Process for Printing Collaborative Proposals

Effective August 3, a non-lead organization on a collaborative proposal must assign its proposal a Proposal PIN by using the “Proposal PIN” button on the “Proposal Actions” screen and then give the lead organization the temporary proposal ID and the Proposal PIN. To link the proposals, the lead organization then enters the non-lead organization’s temporary proposal ID and Proposal PIN by using the “Link Collaborative Proposals” option on the FastLane Form Preparation screen.

On October 26, 2001 NSF changed how collaborative proposals are printed. When the lead proposal is printed, the lead and non-lead proposals will be printed as one proposal with each separate section of the lead proposal followed by the corresponding section of the non-lead proposal. For instance, the proposal will have the lead proposal cover sheet first followed by the non-lead cover sheets. Each subsequent section of the lead proposal will be followed by the corresponding section of the non-lead proposal. Within the FastLane Review applications, when the reviewer prints the entire lead proposal, the non-lead proposal will print as well.

FastLane Home Page Gets A New Look

The FastLane home page has changed considerably in recent months. The new FastLane Home Page is easier to use and loads much faster than the old Home Page. A single login for Principal Investigators (PIs) has been created so PIs no longer need to know their proposal and award numbers to log into FastLane. Within this “Proposals, Awards, & Status” login, PIs can check on the status of their proposals and continuing grant increments and prepare their proposals, project reports, supplement requests, revised proposal budgets, and notifications and requests.

In addition, the new Home Page has a single login for panelists to submit reviews, update banking information, update travel information or use the new interactive panel system.

Compliance Check for Uploaded Files

FastLane now checks uploaded files against the following conditions:
GPG Compliance (all submitted files)

  • Warnings: Text in margin, Project description page count,
    Empty pages

  • Blocks: Page sizes other than 8.5" x 11" (orientation ignored)

PDF Compliance (user submitted PDF files only)

  • Warnings: Files created dvips and dvipsk

  • Blocks: PDF files produced from the following products: FrameMaker, GhostScript versions prior to 6.5, Hewlett-Packard Intelligent Scanners, PDFWriter , PhotoShop, Pstill, Canvas/Deneba PDF filter and Dvipdf(m). For more information on the issues related to these products and their use with FastLane go to https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a1/PitstopBlockedPDF.html); files with Adobe encryption or security settings, Type 3 or other unembeddable fonts, PDF version 1.1 or below.

If a file is blocked or receives a warning, context specific help is provided to help the user create a FastLane compliant file.

Starting December 20, 2001, FastLane will be able to fix most of the following blocked file types: Blocked PDF Producers except PDFWriter, old PDF versions, non 8.5" x 11" page sizes, and empty pages. These file types will still be blocked and the reasons provided, but users will be presented with the option to have FastLane fix the problem. If the fix option is requested, FastLane will attempt to fix the file, and then re-submit the file to the compliance checker.

FastLane Proposal and Panel Review Submission

A number of reviewers have expressed concern that their reviews have been lost while entering them into the Proposal and Panel Review system. We recommend that reviewers create and save a copy of the review locally, and then log on to FastLane to copy and paste the text into the appropriate blocks. This will prevent wasted time and frustration if something happens to the internet connection during the session.

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