Division of Ocean Sciences - Spring 2001 Newsletter

FastLane Update


FastLane now supports file uploads in a variety of formats including Word, WordPerfect, PostScript and TeX (DVI files and MikTeX 1.20e compatible TeX sources, see https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/TeX.html). The PI should continue to use standard fonts to avoid font substitutions and will need to proofread and accept the uploaded files. PDF files will continue to be accepted if properly created (e.g., ensuring that all fonts are embedded, the files are in Acrobat 3, 4, and 5 compatible format and that PDFWriter was not used to create the file). For more information on supported document types go to https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a1/A1AcceptableFileExtensions.html.

New Check Box for Proposals That Contain High Resolution Color Graphics

For cost and technical reasons, the Foundation cannot, at this time, reproduce proposals containing color. PIs wishing to include very high resolution graphics or other graphics in their project descriptions, where exact color representations are required for proper interpretation by the reviewer, must submit 15 paper copies of the entire proposal (including one signed copy of the proposal Cover Sheet) to the following address:

Announcement/Solicitation No ________
National Science Foundation PPU
4201 Wilson Boulevard Room P60
Arlington, Virginia 22230

It is important to note that this submission is in addition to, not in lieu of, the electronic submission of the proposal via FastLane. NSF has added a check box on the electronic cover sheet to indicate that the proposal contains color graphics which are needed for review. By checking this box, the PI indicates that he/she intends to send NSF the requisite number of hard copies. This check box can be found in the “Remainder of Cover Sheet” section under “Other Information.”

UNOLS Ship Time Request Forms

In the past, OCE requested ship time request forms for all proposals whether ship time was required or not. This is no longer necessary. Only proposals requiring ship time now need to include a request form in their proposal. The electronic UNOLS Ship Time request form is available at www.unols.org.

Scanned Documents

PIs should be careful when scanning letters of support, price quotes, etc., for inclusion in the Supplemental Documents section of the proposal. We are finding that people are scanning at very high resolutions and saving their files as bitmap (.bmp). In some instances, we have found that 3 to 5 page documents can be up to 30-50 MB, which is unnecessary. When scanning documents the output size must be 8 1/2 “ by 11” and files should be saved as jpeg (.jpg). Although most of the files we have received can be viewed electronically and do not look unusual on the screen, this is because Acrobat Reader automatically scales the page so that it is viewed full screen. When the page size specified on the bottom of the Reader screen is less than 8 1/2 “ by 11” , it can cause printing problems at NSF.Users should also avoid the “Save as PDF” functionality in HP Intelligent Scanning Software (included with many of the popular Hewlett-Packard ScanJet scanners). This software produces incompatible PDF files.

Password Reset

An automated password reset function is now available in FastLane for users who forget their passwords (see “Password Reset” on login pages). Once the user is authenticated through information presently in our database, a one-time password is generated, stored in one-way encrypted format in FastLane, and sent by e-mail to the address on record. As with virtually all FastLane functions, the password reset function is available all the time. Therefore, users no longer need to wait to contact the FastLane Help Desk or their Sponsored Research Office.

Award Letters Available Online to SROs and PIs

PIs and Sponsored Research Offices can view and print award letters as soon as an award has been made. This is available in the list of PI/Co-PI functions on the FastLane webpage.

Annual Project Reports

For all multi-year grants (including both standard and continuing grants), the PI must submit an annual project report to the cognizant Program Officer at least 90 days before the end of the current budget period. Note: Please remember to check that the reporting period start and end dates are correct before you click on the “Annual Project Report” button to begin preparing your report.

Please contact the OCE FastLane representative, Kandace Binkley, with any questions you may have. She can be reached by phone at 703-292-8582 or by email at ocefl@nsf.gov.


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