proposal preparation demonstration site

The following is the text of a recent e-mail blast from NSF's Jean Feldman, regarding the launch of the proposal demonstration preparation site.

Dear Colleagues:


We are pleased to announce that the National Science Foundation (NSF) has launched the proposal preparation demonstration site. The new demo site offers proposers the opportunity to create proposals in with the role of a Principal Investigator (PI) prior to preparing and submitting proposals in the actual Proposal Submission System. We invite you to try the proposal preparation features on the new demo site, such as: 

·       Initiating Research proposals (other proposal types will be added to the demo site as they are enabled in the actual system):

  • Single submissions from one organization
  • Collaborative proposals with subawards
  • Separately submitted collaborative proposals from multiple organizations 

·       Adding co-PIs, Senior Personnel, and Other Authorized Users (OAUs)

·       Uploading required and optional proposal documents

·       Creating budgets

·       Checking proposal compliance 

·       Adding subawards

·       Linking collaborative proposals

·       Enabling Sponsored Project Officer (SPO)/Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) access


What You Need to Know About the New Demo Site


  • All users must sign in to with an NSF ID or primary email address to access the demo site. 
    • Users without an NSF account (i.e., NSF ID) will first need to register for one to use the demo site. 
    • Users who already have an NSF ID must not register for another NSF ID for demo site use. As a reminder, each individual user of NSF systems (e.g., FastLane and should not have more than one NSF ID, per the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide Chapter I.G.3.
  • A red "Proposal Preparation Demo Site" banner is at the top of each demo site page to indicate the user is using the demo site.
  • Each user will be given the PI role for demo site purposes only. No other user roles (e.g., SPO and AOR) are available on the demo site or are needed to use the demo site.
  • The demo site does not support proposal submission to NSF and will not trigger any system-generated email notifications. 
  • Proposals created on the demo site will be deleted after six months. Neither NSF staff nor users will be able to access deleted proposal data from the demo site.
  • Demo site proposals will not be available on the actual Proposal Submission System, and proposals cannot be transferred between the demo site and the actual system.
  • For further demo site details, please see the demo site Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) available via the About Proposal Preparation and Submission page left navigation menu. A set of topic-specific video tutorials is also available. 


Accessing the Proposal Preparation Demo Site

To access the demo site, you must have an NSF account (i.e., NSF ID) and be signed in to 


  • If you have an NSF account:
  • If you do not have an NSF account:
    • Open
    • Use the Register tab located on the top right of the screen to create an NSF account.
    • Input the requested account registration information. 

Important Note: Your primary registered email address will be used for NSF account notifications including password resets and can be used to sign in to Please ensure that you have ongoing access to your primary registered email (e.g., a personal email address), even if you change organizations. Refer to the About Account Management page for additional registration guidance.

Retirement of FastLane Demo Site

The FastLane demo site has been retired, however, we encourage you to try the new proposal preparation demo site. In accordance with Important Notice No. 147: Implementation Update, NSF is taking proactive steps to incrementally move the preparation and submission of all proposals from FastLane to

Enhancements Coming Soon to

Effective in late November 2020, NSF will:

  • Enable the following proposal types on and on the new proposal preparation demo site:
    • Rapid Response Research (RAPID)
    • EArly-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER)
    • Research Advanced by Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering (RAISE)
  • Remove the font type and font size compliance checks and associated warning messages per feedback from the research community.

Stay tuned for additional information about these updates in the next couple of weeks.

Questions? If you have IT system-related questions, please contact the NSF Help Desk at 1-800-381-1532 (7:00 AM - 9:00 PM ET; Monday - Friday except federal holidays) or via Policy-related questions should be directed to 

We look forward to seeing you on the new proposal preparation demo site!



Jean Feldman
Head, Policy Office
Division of Institution and Award Support
Office of Budget, Finance & Award Management


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