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FastLane guide

2. Form Preparation

At the top of the Form Preparation page will be the text Forms for Temp Proposal # - this number will be used as a reference throughout the preparation process. When your FastLane Contact/SPO finally submits your proposal to NSF, your proposal will be assigned an official NSF proposal number, the first two digits of which will match the fiscal year in which the proposal was submitted (e.g. proposals submitted between October 1, 2017 and September 30, 2018 will be numbered 18xxxxx). This official proposal number should be used in all further communications with NSF.

Cover Sheet

Click on the “GO” button to the left of “Cover Sheet”.

Cover sheet selection Selecting a cover sheet

The Cover Sheet has been divided into 4 sections. NOTE: To save your data, be sure to click the “OK” button at the bottom of the screen prior to navigating away from the Cover Sheet. If you receive any error messages when you click “OK”, you must clear all errors and re-click “OK” to save the data.

To complete the Cover Sheet you must complete all 4 sections. The first Cover Sheet “GO” Button is “Awardee Organization/Primary Place of Performance Selection”

Cover sheet component page

Awardee Organization

The Awardee Organization information is pre-populated from the PI information. Click on the “Add/Change Primary Place of Performance” button to make necessary updates.

Institution for this proposal

  • STTR proposals should click “Add/Change Primary Place of Performance” and enter data for the mandatory sub-awardee research institution.
  • SBIR proposers may select a sub-awardee research organization (if applicable) for the Primary Place of Performance, or should select “Same as Awardee Organization”.

When inputting an address for the “Primary Place of Performance”, you must include the nine-digit zip code.

(Proposers are advised to use the United States Postal Service website to look up their nine-digit zip code at

After the Primary Place of Performance is identified, click “Save Primary Place of Performance”.

Save primary place of performance button

After saving, click “Go Back” on the “Add/Change Primary Place of Performance” and the “Institutions for this Proposal” page to return to the Cover Sheets Components Form.

Save primary place of performance button

The second Cover Sheet “GO” Button is “Program Announcement / Solicitation / Program Description”

Program announcement/solicitation/program descriptions button

The third Cover Sheet “GO” Button is “NSF Unit Consideration”.

NSF unit consideration button

Remainder of the Cover Sheet

The fourth Cover Sheet “GO” Button is “Remainder of the Cover Sheet” Click the “GO” button and provide the required information to complete the cover sheet.

Remainder of the cover sheet button

“Title of Proposed Project”: The system has already been programmed for each title to begin with SBIR Phase I: or STTR Phase I:
* Please do include two spaces after the colon before typing the project title. * Please do not use acronyms in the proposal title.

Title of proposed project field

“Budget and Duration Information”: Three items are requested.

  • Requested Amount: Enter the requested amount of funds. (SBIR and STTR Phase I budgets cannot exceed $225,000. The requested amount on the Cover Page should match the total funds requested in the budget.)
  • Proposal Duration: Enter the proposed duration of the project in months (between 6 and 12 months).
  • Requested Starting Date: For deadline dates in June, enter the following January 1st. For deadline dates in December, enter the following July 1st.

Budget information fields

“Announcement and Consideration Information”, “Principal Investigator (PI) Information” and “Co-Principal Investigator (Co-PI) Information”: These sections will automatically populate.

Announcements and Consideration fields Principal Investigator fields Announcements and Consideration fields 2

“Previous NSF Award”: Do not check the box.

Preliminary proposals are not accepted by the SBIR/STTR Program.

Preliminary proposals checkbox

“Other Federal Agencies”: Provide a listing of all other Federal agencies to which you have submitted, or plan to submit, this proposal.

Other federal agencies boxes

“Awardee Organization Information”: This section has your Organization Name, Address, and Organization Code (this is a code assigned by NSF to your organization). All of this information should be pre-populated. The company’s Employer Identification Number (EIN) and Taxpayer Identification Number (TIN) must be provided. Under the “Check all that apply to the Awardee Organization (see GPG for Definitions)” you should always check the following two boxes:

  • For Profit
  • Small Business

Check the appropriate box(s) if your company is a Minority or Woman-Owned Business

Awardee Organization Information options

“Primary Place of Performance”: This section will automatically populate.

“Other Information”: Check the appropriate box(s) that are applicable to your proposal.

Other information options

“Type of Proposal”: Select “Research”

Type of Proposal dropdown

“Collaborative Status”: Select “Not a collaborative proposal”. Note: The inclusion of a subaward to a university does not make this a ‘collaborative’ proposal. The SBIR/STTR Program does not accept collaborative proposals. The small business must upload all required budgets and subaward files into their single proposal submission.

Collaborative status selection

“Small Business Innovation Research”: Select the appropriate topic from the drop down box and type in the appropriate subtopic (reference solicitation).

Research topic dropdown

“The Small Business Concern Certifies”: Answer all of the following questions.

Small business concern options

NOTE: If the PI responds “YES” to the question “It has received Phase II awards from the Federal Government”, the company’s Company Commercialization History must be provided in the Supplementary Documents module of the proposal or the entire proposal will be Returned Without Review. The Company Commercialization History must be submitted on the NSF template.

“Company Officer Information (For Business and Financial Matters)”, “Other Information”, “Affiliated Companies”, “Research Institution Investigator” and “Proprietary Notice”: Fill in all requested information.

Company Officer information fields

Proprietary notice field

“Debarment and Suspension Certification” and “Authorized Representative”: Read each section carefully, answer question(s) and provide any additional information (if applicable). Click “OK” and then select “Go Back” to return to the “Form Preparation” screen.

Debarment and Suspension Certification questions

Authorized representative alert: AOR information will be added when proposal is signed electronically by AOR

Add/Delete Non Co-PI Personnel

Click on the “Go” button to the left of “Add/Delete Non Co-PI Senior Personnel”:

Main screen

Click “Add Non Co-PI Senior Person to Proposal” after inputting the First Name, Middle Initial and Last Name of each person. STTR has 1 Co-PI and SBIR has 0 Co-PIs.

For the SBIR/STTR Program, senior personnel are individuals with critical expertise who will be working on the project and are employed >at the proposing company or at a subaward institution. The company should upload a Bio Sketch and Current & Pending Support form (see >relevant sections later in this document) for each person included as Senior Personnel.

Adding non co-pi senior person form

After adding all participants, click “Go Back” until you return to the “Form Preparation” screen.

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