Mail review instructions
Merit mail review
The “Proposal Review” feature of NSF’s FastLane system is required by the Directorate for Technology, Innovation and Partnerships for all Mail Review Functions. The Proposal Review feature has several important components:
Step-by-Step instructions for proposal review selection
- Go to www.fastlane.nsf.gov.
- Select “Proposal Review” from the dark blue toolbar at the top of the screen.
- Enter the proposal number, reviewer’s last name, and PIN number and click “Log In”. The PIN number (6 digits) was included in the electronic letter received from the Program Director after participation as a mail reviewer was confirmed.
** Please Note!** This PIN number will only allow you to log in to the system one time. Please log into the system when you are prepared to complete your review. If you need to log into the system a second time, please contact NSF staff and request another PIN number.
- The “Proposal Review” screen will appear. By clicking the “Edit” button, all reviewer contact information can be updated or corrected. The Proposal Information is displayed to the right and is not editable. Reviewers can also update demographic information on this screen as well.
- Scroll to the very bottom of the screen.
- The “Prepare Review” link will allow the reviewer to rate the proposal and enter review text, as well as identify any potential Conflict of Interest and supply other Suggested Reviewers (please include email address).
Please note that the Proposal Evaluation Criteria listed on this page is general for NSF. See specific and additional SBIR/STTR Program Review Criteria here.
- Scroll to the bottom of the first page and click the “Continue” button to reach the ‘Proposal Review’ screen where the Principal Investigator’s name, proposal number, submitting institution, and other data will be displayed.
- Under ‘Rating Section’ please click “I am rating this proposal.” and then click the overall rating box that is most appropriate. This can be done after entering the review text if desired. Please do not select multiple ratings for SBIR/STTR proposals.
- In the box titled “What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity?” please enter your review comments to address this question.
- In the box titled “What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity?” please enter your review comments to address this question.
- In box titled “Summary Statement” enter a brief summary of the proposal.
- Back on the main Proposal Review page, the “View Proposal” link allows the reviewer to view parts of the proposal or the entire proposal, as well as to download and print the documents if desired. You must be able to view PDF documents via Adobe to view.
- The “Download/Save Proposal” link will allow reviewers to download and save a copy of the proposal to your computer. Please remember that you may not share, copy, quote, or otherwise use or disclose material from this proposal. Destroy all proposal documents after your participation in the review process is complete.
- The “Create CD at NSF and Mail” link permits the reviewer to request that NSF provide the proposal on CD via regular mail. This is strongly discouraged for mail reviews given the turnaround time involved. Please remember that you may not share, copy, quote, or otherwise use or disclose material from this proposal. Destroy all proposal documents (including CDs) after your participation in the review process is complete.
Technical Problems with FastLane?
Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call the FastLane Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188 Monday through Friday between 7:00 am and 9:00 pm Eastern Time.