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National Science Foundation

NSF 13-066

Dear Colleague Letter - NSF Notice Regarding Automated Compliance Checking of FastLane Proposal Submissions

February 27, 2013

Beginning March 18, 2013, the NSF will enhance the FastLane System to begin automated compliance checking for all required sections of full proposals. This will bring NSF systems in line with long-standing proposal preparation requirements as outlined in the NSF Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (Chapter II.C.2 of the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG)). Preliminary proposals are not affected by this system enhancement.

The GPG-required sections of a proposal include:

Project Summary*                 Budget Justification

Project Description                Current and Pending Support

References Cited                   Facilities, Equipment and Other Resources

Biographical Sketch(es)          Data Management Plan*

Budget                                   Postdoctoral Mentoring Plan (if applicable)*

*These proposal sections are already being auto compliance checked at the time of proposal submission by FastLane.

FastLane will check to ensure whether or not a document is included; it will not check formatting, page length, or content requirements. (The one exception is the Project Summary, for which page length is checked.)

Proposal submission instructions for conferences, symposia or workshops; international travel grants; or program solicitations may deviate from the GPG instructions. If the submission instructions do not require one of the above sections to be provided, proposers ill need to insert text or upload a document in that section of the
proposal that states, "Not Applicable." Doing so will enable FastLane to accept the proposal.

Additionally, proposers providing Biographical Sketches and/or Current and Pending Support information for Principal Investigators (PIs), co-PI(s) or Senior Personnel in a single PDF file associated with the PI, must
insert text or upload a document in that section of the proposal that states, "Not Applicable," for any co-PI or Senior Personnel so that FastLane will accept the proposal.

PIs will receive a warning message if any of the GPG-required sections is missing, however, the PI will still be able to forward the proposal to the organization's Sponsored Project Office (SPO). If the SPO attempts to submit a proposal that is missing any of the required sections, they will receive an error message identifying the missing section(s), and FastLane will prevent submission to NSF. After obtaining all required sections, the SPO may submit the proposal to NSF in accordance with established deadline date policy.

Proposals submitted through Grants.gov must include all GPG-required sections or include a document stating that the section is "Not Applicable."

We encourage you to share this information with your respective communities so that they are aware of this system enhancement. Additional information is available on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/autocompliance.jsp

Please contact policy@nsf.gov with any further questions.

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