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Instructions for panelists

The panelist system

The “Panelist System Selection” feature of NSF’s FastLane system is required by the Directorate of Engineering for all Panelist Functions. The Panelist Functions feature has four (4) very important components.

  • Panel Review System: Allows panelists to view/download proposals, request printed copies of proposals, request proposals on CD and prepare/submit reviews.
  • Interactive Panel System: Allows panelists to interact with the Program Director and the other assigned panelist during the panel meeting. Panelists are able to discuss, review and rate proposals collectively.
  • Travel and Reimbursement: Allows panelists to’ register for the panel, enter/update personal information, provide social security number and enter/update financial institution information for reimbursement or payment. Your financial institution data is required to process panel participation payments and reimbursements. NSF will protect and will not display your SSN on any materials. You must enter your individual banking information. NSF is not permitted to reimburse your employer or an institution for your participation.
  • Reviewer and Demographic Information: Allows panelists to update name, contact information, race, ethnicity, gender, citizenship status and alert NSF to any disability or special need for accommodation.

Step-by-Step instructions for panelist system selection

  1. Go to
  2. Select “Panelist Functions” from the dark blue toolbar at the top of the screen.
  3. Enter the panel ID number (starts with a “P” and can be up to 10-digits), reviewer’s last name, and temporary password and click “Log In”. The temporary password was included in the electronic letter received from the Program Officer after participation on the panel was confirmed.
  4. The “Panelist System Selection” screen will appear. By clicking the “Edit” button, all reviewer contact information can be updated or corrected. The Panel Information is displayed to the right and is not editable. Panelists can also update demographic information and change their FastLane password on this screen as well.
  5. Scroll to the very bottom of the screen. The “Travel and Reimbursement” link contains two steps: Participant Registration Questions and Personal Banking/Contact Information. Completing these steps is required for all panelists, for each panel.
    • Select the “Participant Registration Questions” link and answer all of the questions listed.
    • Select the “Personal Banking/Contact Information” link and input social security number, permanent address, contact number(s) and financial institution information. After successfully registering for the panel, a confirmation screen will appear. When finished reviewing the information, click the ‘HOME’ link at the top of the page to return to the “Panelist System Selection” main page.
  6. The “Panel Review System” link provides access to the proposals assigned for review. There are four tabs on the top menu, described below.
    • Prepare reviews: Click to highlight the proposal to be reviewed then click the appropriate action button (either Prepare Review or Resubmit). Once the reviews are completed, please remember to click “Submit All” to submit the reviews to NSF via FastLane.
    • View proposals: Click the “View/Download Proposals” tab and then highlight the proposal to be viewed or downloaded. Click the appropriate action button (either View Proposal or Download/Save Proposal).
    • Proposal Print Request: Click the “Proposal Print Request” tab and highlight the proposals which are being requested as hard-copies from NSF. Click the appropriate action button (either Print Proposal at NSF and Mail, Select All, or Select Primary Proposal). Note that it could take up to one week to receive the printed proposals from NSF. 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.
    • Proposals on CD Request: Click the “Proposals on CD Request” tab the the appropriate action button (either Create CD at NSF and Mail and Return to Panelist System Selection). Note that it could take up to one week to receive the CD by mail from NSF. 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.
  7. The “Interactive Panel System” will be primarily used during the panel meeting to facilitate collaboration between reviewers and to collect the Panel Summary for each proposal under review. There are three screens available via the top menu bar.
    • Panel Status and My Status screens are primarily for the display of information and provide access (by clicking each proposal number) to other submitted reviews. Typically panelists will not be able to read other reviews until their own review is submitted on an assigned proposal.
    • My Work is the screen where panelists will work during the panel meeting to submit Panel Summaries.
    • Online Help is available from all screens by clicking on the “Help” button in the upper left corner.

Technical Problems with FastLane?

Send an e-mail to or call the FastLane Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188 Monday through Friday between 7:00 am and 9:00 pm Eastern Time.