NSF Updates


Principal Investigators, Business Managers and OPAS administrators are responsible for thoroughly reviewing proposals before submission to NSF. There have been cases where there were problems with files uploaded to FastLane that for various reasons were not identified prior to submission.

The FastLane Proposal File Update system provides the ability to request the replacement of files associated with previously submitted proposals. Proposal sections that can be updated are only those sections where a file was uploaded during proposal preparation - sections where text was entered in the web text box provided cannot be updated. Keep in mind that the Proposal File Update module, however, may not be used for submission of revised budgets. All budgetary revisions must be submitted through use of the FastLane Revised Proposal Budget Module.


A file update request can have multiple file changes associated with it and will be accepted or rejected as one package. NSF will only accept and process one request per proposal at a time. Once a given Proposal File Update request is accepted or rejected by NSF or withdrawn by the organization, the organization is eligible to submit an additional update request, provided the proposal remains eligible for updating.

It is anticipated that it will be a very rare occurrence for more than one file update request to be submitted for a proposal.

Automatic Acceptance

Proposal File Update Requests will be accepted automatically if submitted prior to the deadline date or target date of the program announcement or solicitation indicated on the cover sheet, or if for an unsolicited proposal anytime prior to review or a funding recommendation.

NSF Acceptance

Proposal File Update Requests will require NSF acceptance if submitted after a proposal deadline or target date. If a request is accepted by NSF (either automatically or by an NSF program officer), the proposed files will be immediately integrated with the original proposal, replacing the previous files and becoming part of the official proposal.

Withdrawal of a Request

Organizations may withdraw a Proposal File Update request until the point that NSF accepts or rejects the changes. Accepted, rejected, and withdrawn update requests remain part of the official proposal record.

Eligibility Requirements for Proposal File Update

Proposals available for update must meet the following criteria:

  • They have been submitted to NSF
  • No reviewers have been assigned to the proposal
  • The NSF program office has not reached a funding recommendation on the proposal

File Update Requirements

For File updates to be considered by NSF the following conditions must be met:

  • The eligibility criteria above must be satisfied at the time of submittal
  • The Update Request must contain at least one proposed replacement file
  • A justification for the proposed replacement files must be provided

Update Process

The following steps must be completed by the PI:

  1. Login to FastLane - PI
  2. Access "Proposal File Update Control" Screen – PI
  3. Select the proposal from the “List of Proposals Eligible for Update.”  If the proposal does not appear in the “List of Proposals Eligible for Update,” the PI should contact the NSF Program Officer to activate the Update option for the proposal in question.
  4. Select Create Update, then View/Edit Update
    1. View A Selected File
    2. Replace a File (REQUIRED)
    3. Add/Edit Proposal Update Justification Note (REQUIRED)
  5. Assign a PIN to the Update
  6. View the Update Summary
    1. View Proposed File
    2. View Proposal Update Justification Note
  7. Forward Proposal File Update to SRO (OPAS)

 See FastLane screen prints with embedded guidance.