NSF Division of Chemistry Panelist Travel Information and Instructions


NSF will follow the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) operating status announcements and procedures for emergency dismissal and closure for the federal government in the Washington, D. C. area. Please review the OPM website: http://www.opm.gov/status/ or contact the managing program director if you have any questions about panel operating status.


If you are selected to serve on a panel for the Division of Chemistry (CHE), you will be authorized to travel on behalf of NSF, a Federal Government agency. You will receive an email notification with travel guidelines and instructions. This notification is to be used as a substitute for traditional government travel orders. Please take a copy of the email to the airport and to your hotel to ensure that you receive government rates.


NSF provides travel arrangements to and from the panel at no cost. Note: It is a federal travel regulation that ALL travel arrangements are made through NSF's travel agent CI Travel. CI Travel can be accessed through FastLane or by phone at 1-855-896-7941 or eMail: nsf@ciazumano.com.

Do not purchase your airline ticket because you will not be reimbursed. Provide CI TRAVEL with the NSF Panel ID provided to you above. NSF will pay for a roundtrip plane or rail ticket between your home or workplace and the Washington area. You must book or change non-refundable tickets through CI TRAVEL only; NSF will not reimburse you for any ticket, fee, or penalty if you purchase or change the ticket through any other means.
Please complete the following steps to make your travel and reimbursement arrangements:

  • Go to FastLane at https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov.
  • Click on "Panelist Functions" located toward the top middle of the screen.
  • Log in with your credentials.
  • Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on "Travel and Reimbursement."
  • Complete "Participant Registration Questions."
  • Complete "Personal Contact and Banking Information."
    • Enter Social Security Information (if applicable). If you do not have a Social Security Number, please contact FastLane User Support at 1-800-673-6188.

Book your travel arrangements

    • If you are traveling by air or train: Book your travel through CI TRAVEL using the FastLane "Travel Arrangement link". Use the "Email Reservation Request Form".
    • After receiving your itinerary from CI TRAVEL via email, you must respond to Concur before CI TRAVEL issues your electronic ticket. CI TRAVEL will email your e-ticket 3-5 days before your travel date. Alternatively, contact CI TRAVEL by phone at 1-855-896-7941 if you have any problems or do not receive an itinerary within 5-7 days, please contact CI TRAVEL with your panel ID number.
    • If you are driving a personally owned vehicle (POV):

Use of a Personal Vehicle

If a participant uses a personal vehicle instead of an airline or train, and if the roundtrip mileage is over 300 miles, the total reimbursement is limited to the average cost of the government-contracted airfare. https://cpsearch.fas.gsa.gov/cpsearch/search.do. GSA mileage rate is available here: https://www.gsa.gov/travel/plan-book/transportation-airfare-pov-etc/privately-owned-vehicle-pov-mileage-reimbursement-rates

Rental Vehicle

Please note that rental vehicles are not authorized or reimbursable. If a rental vehicle is obtained as the primary form of transportation, it will be considered a personal vehicle in which the mileage may be claimed. Additionally, local ground transportation (including parking) will not be reimbursed for any participant (including local participants).

Arranging Lodging

  • Panelists are responsible for making their own lodging/hotel reservations. You can make these arrangements when you make your travel arrangements with CI TRAVEL. Alternatively, you can contact Hotel Lobbyists for assistance in making your hotel reservation by calling 202-641-5580 or emailing brett@hotel-lobbyists.com.
  • You will need to provide your travel dates and a credit card number with an expiration date to guarantee your reservation.
  • Please confirm your reservation with your credit card as soon as possible. Rooms will be within the per diem rate for the District of Columbia area (including Virginia and Maryland). For per diem rates, see https://www.gsa.gov/travel/plan-book/per-diem-rates.
  • Please check the hotel's cancellation policy.

The GSA Office of Government-wide Policy (OGP) has ruled that anyone traveling on Federal support is prohibited from reimbursing for lodging utilizing Airbnb or similar room-share services.

Hotels near NSF's Alexandria location

Holiday Inn Alexandria - Carlyle
2460 Eisenhower Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22314
TEL: 703-960-2000
Reservations: 1-800-972-3159

Residence Inn Alexandria Old Town South at Carlyle
2345 Mill Road
Alexandria, VA 22314
TEL: 703-549-1155
Reservations: 1-888-245-2616

400 Courthouse Square
Alexandria, VA 22314
TEL: 703-253-8600
Reservations: 888-837-4210

Courtyard Alexandria Old Town/Southwest
2700 Eisenhower Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22314
TEL: 703-329-2323
Reservations: 1-888-236-2427

Residence Inn Alexandria Old Town/Duke Street
1456 Duke Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22314
TEL: 703-548-5474
Reservations: 1-888-236-2427

Springhill Suites Alexandria Old Town/Southwest
2950 Eisenhower Avenue
Alexandria, VA 22314
TEL: 703-317-0013
Reservations: 1-888-236-2427

Hilton Alexandria Old Town
1767 King Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
TEL: 703-837-0440

Embassy Suites Alexandria Old Town
1900 Diagonal Road
Alexandria, VA 22314
TEL: 703-684-5900

Hilton Garden Inn Alexandria Old Town
1620 Prince Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
TEL: 703-302-8300

*These are not the only hotels in the area but rather those that have been working closely with NSF as we transition to our new location in Alexandria. You are not restricted to staying at only these hotels. ASK for the government rate, regardless of where you stay as this is often a cheaper rate.

**Several of these hotels are located near the King St Metro. King St. is one stop away from NSF (Eisenhower Metro stop) on the Yellow Line.

Reimbursement Information

After the panel, NSF will provide reimbursement by direct deposit to your personal bank account. Direct deposit information is provided via FastLane by completing the steps below. Reimbursement will cover your expenses (lodging, meals, taxi, etc.)

Note: Federal government employees are not entitled to reimbursement by NSF.

You must go to FastLane and submit information required for reimbursement. Information entered in FastLane is transferred to NSF's accounting system. Go to https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov and click on "Panelist Functions", Login and select "Travel and Reimbursement System".

You must register as a participant for the meeting. For each meeting, you must complete the following three steps:

  1. Answer the registration questions. The answers to these questions help determine the meeting travel and day rates and also determine which functions of the Travel and Reimbursement System will be open to you for that meeting.
  2. Confirm your Social Security Number (only if you answered Yes to the registration question, "Do you have a U.S. Social Security Number?").
  3. Submit your personal and banking information

Once the panel is complete, reimbursement is initiated by the program office. Reimbursements are directly deposited via electronic funds transfer into your bank account.

Foreign travelers receive reimbursement via a paper check mailed by the US treasury. Currently, the Federal government cannot process international electronic transactions. However, if a non-US Citizen has a US bank, then reimbursement will take place via electronic funds transfer.

Compensation Information for Panelist

For situations 1-4, please be advised that NSF is required to issue IRS Form 1099, "Miscellaneous Income," to participants for Federal tax filing purposes when annual total compensation exceeds $600.

  1. For participants who are not Federal Government employees and are US citizens or US permanent residents and reside outside the Washington, DC metropolitan area, the allowances for flat rate payments are as follows:
    • $480 for each meeting day and
    • $280 for each travel day

    Note: The flat rate payment covers lodging, meals, parking, local transportation and mileage incurred during the entirety of the trip, and incidental expenses. You do not need to submit receipts to NSF.

  2. For participants who are not Federal Government employees and are US citizens or US permanent residents and reside in the Washington-Metropolitan area, which includes 1) Maryland counties of Prince Georges and Montgomery; 2) Virginia counties of Arlington, Loudoun and Fairfax; and 3) cities of Washington, DC, Alexandria, Falls Church, and Fairfax – the allowance for the flat rate payment is as follows:
    • $280 for each meeting day

    Note: The flat rate payment for local participants covers costs associated with driving your personal vehicle or use of the METRO, MARC, or AMTRAK, local mileage expenses, parking, and meals.

  3. Participants who participate remotely by telephone or video conference receive the flat rate of $200 for each meeting day. Note: this rate applies whether remote participants are local or non-local.
  4. Federal employees and non-US Citizens/non-resident alien (green card holder) are not permitted to receive flat rate compensation from NSF. Instead, NSF will prepare Travel Orders for such panelists who travel to NSF for on-site participation. These panelists are required to submit receipts for all expenses over $75 (hotel, ground travel) on the day of the panel in order to be reimbursed. If receipts are unavailable at the time of the panel, panelists must notify the administrative staff person and submit receipts to NSF within 2 business days following the panel.
  5. Federal employees and foreign participants that are not U.S. citizens and not resident aliens (green card holders) will not receive flat-rate reimbursement. You will instead be reimbursed for transportation expenses and per diem. Per diem rates are computed using the Washington, D.C. area rate, found at https://www.gsa.gov/travel/plan-book/per-diem-rates. A list of detailed expenses and receipts is required for reimbursement.

Visitors Access to NSF

Physically Visiting NSF: NSF is located at 2415 Eisenhower Avenue, Alexandria, Virginia 22314. Information about visiting NSF can be found at the NSF website here: https://www.nsf.gov/about/visit/.

Panelist Badges and real ID Act: Panelists should report to the Visitor's Center at the south entrance (located across the street from the Eisenhower Ave Metro Stop) and show a valid photo ID in order to obtain a visitor's badge. The new NSF building will also require panelists to pass through a metal detector and submit their belongings for an x-ray screening. Please plan accordingly to accommodate this additional process.

The Real ID Act has invalidated some state/territorial driver's licenses and other state-issued photos IDs because they do not comply with the minimum security standards for the production and issuance of IDs set by the Real ID Act. Federal agencies, including the NSF, are prohibited from accepting state/territorial identification cards that are non-compliant with the Real ID Act. If you are concerned about the compliance of your ID, please bring an alternative ID (e.g. PASSPORT).

You can check the status of your state/territory at https://www.dhs.gov/current-status-states-territories. If you are from a non-compliant state/territory, you must bring an alternative ID! Alternative Valid IDs include: Passports, PIV card from any government agency, US Military ID card, or US Permanent Resident Card.

Arranging Electronic Access While at NSF: Please email your administrative contact at least two weeks before the panel if you wish to use an NSF laptop during the merit review panel. Laptops will only be made available to those who have requested one beforehand. NSF will provide wireless access. You will receive instruction upon arrival.

Accommodations for Life Circumstances

The NSF Nursing Mothers Program is a permanent part of the Career/Life Balance programs under the Compensation & Benefits Branch (CBB) in the Division of Human Resource Management (HRM). The program provides services that address many of the concerns that future and current nursing mothers have, as well as provides the emotional support and worksite assistance nursing mothers need to make the return to work less stressful.

Nursing Mothers Suite
Available starting August 28
Location: C4040
Hours of Operation: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

One Medela Symphony hospital-grade breast pump will be available for use. Be sure to remember to bring your attachment kit for use of the professional breast pump. Nursing mothers can also feel free to bring their own personal breast pump.

The Health Unit staff can let a non-PIV card holder into the lactation rooms if needed.  However, they need to arrange for a PIV-Card holder/NSF employee to escort them to the Health Unit/Lactation Rooms and then back to their designated work/meeting area when they are finished pumping.

The Division of Chemistry REQUIRES all panelists to use the Panelist Function component of NSF's FastLane system.