Proposal Forms Kit


This Proposal Forms Kit supplements the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG), the NSF Guide that provides guidance for the preparation of unsolicited proposals to NSF. An unsolicited proposal is prepared by a Principal Investigator and submitted by an organization on its own initiative and not in response to a formal written solicitation from NSF. Contact with appropriate NSF program personnel is encouraged to help determine if preparation of a formal proposal is appropriate.

The Kit contains the forms necessary for preparation of unsolicited proposals. While these forms are generally applicable, some NSF programs use specific program announcements which may require additional forms for submission of proposals to NSF or which may modify the general guidance in the GPG.

Please give careful attention to the requirements established in the GPG and the instructions provided on each form. Proposals that do not meet such requirements may be returned without further consideration by NSF. Of particular importance are the page limitations, format and content requirements that are identified on the forms and/or established throughout the GPG. Proposers should ensure that, where required, the submitted documents are signed and dated. A properly prepared proposal will facilitate the administrative processing and merit review that must occur before an award can be made.



A=Use of format required
B=Use of format optional

The NSF Proposal Forms Kit includes one copy of each of the following forms:


Each form is self-explanatory or provides specific completion instructions; additional information is located in the GPG as follows:

Follow the instructions in the GPG regarding completion of the following sections of the proposal:


NSF Proposal Forms Kit - Paper copy forms provided in the Proposal Forms Kit may be used. Additional copies of this Kit, in paper and electronic medium, are available as indicated in Section G below.

Computer-generated facsimiles - Computer-generated facsimiles may be substituted for any of the forms contained in the Kit. The categories or information requested, however, should not be rearranged or altered.

Photocopies - Forms may be reproduced but must be clear and readable. NSF two-sided forms may be copied and submitted either on one two-sided sheet of paper or on single separate sheets of paper.

FastLane - The NSF FastLane system uses Internet/Web technology to facilitate the way NSF does business with the research, education, and related communities. The NSF FastLane system is available for proposal preparation, submission, status check, project reporting and post-award administrative activities. Its functions may be accessed by using Web browsers that support file upload and forms capabilities (e.g., Netscape Navigator 3.0+ or Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01+.)

Access to proposal and post-award functions is limited to staff from FastLane registered organizations and is secured through the use of Personal Identification Numbers (PINs). To register an organization, authorized organizational representatives must complete the registration form that can be accessed through the Registration Information hyperlink on the FastLane Web site.(see note 1) Once an organization is registered, PINs for individual staff are available from the organization's sponsored projects office.


Many NSF programs accept proposals any time. Other programs, however, establish target dates or deadlines for submission of proposals to allow time for their consideration by review panels which meet periodically. These target dates and deadlines are published in specific program announcements, which can be obtained from the NSF Clearinghouse at: or electronically through the NSF Web site at: "". Lists of deadlines and target dates also are available electronically on the NSF Web site.

Unless otherwise specified in a program announcement, proposals must be received by the specified date. A proposal received after a deadline, however, may be acceptable if it carries a legible proof-of-mailing date assigned by the carrier and the proof-of-mailing date is not later than one week prior to the deadline date. If the deadline date falls on a weekend, it will be extended to the following Monday; if the date falls on a holiday, it will be extended to the following work day. The deadline date will be waived only in extenuating circumstances. Inquiry about submission may also be made to the appropriate program. For information about receipt of proposals submitted electronically, see Section F.


For standard unsolicited proposals, electronic proposal submission via the NSF FastLane system is the preferred method and is strongly encouraged.(see note 2) Some NSF programs may require electronic submission of all or part of a proposal, including unsolicited proposals. Please check the FastLane Web site prior to proposal submission for a listing of programs and program announcements that require submission via FastLane. Unless otherwise specified by a program or in a program announcement, proposals may continue to be submitted in paper form.

A proposal needs to be submitted only once to NSF, even if review by multiple programs is envisioned by the proposer. The submission of duplicate or substantially similar proposals concurrently for review by more than one program without prior NSF approval may result in the return of the redundant proposals. (See Section GPG IV.B. for further information on proposal return.)

The following are specific instructions regarding the submission and receipt of electronic and paper proposals to NSF:

1. Electronic submission. A proposal is considered complete when the proposal, including the Project Description, has been submitted to NSF. If the Project Description is included in the electronic submission, unless otherwise specified in a program announcement, the receipt date will be the date the sponsored projects office transmits the proposal to NSF. The signed proposal Cover Sheet (NSF Form 1207) must be forwarded to the following address and received by NSF within five working days following proposal submission.(see note 3)

National Science Foundation
DIS-FastLane Cover Sheet
4201 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22230

A proposal may not be processed until the complete proposal (including signed Cover Sheet) has been received by NSF.

2. Paper submission. The delivery address must clearly identify the NSF Announcement Number under which the proposal is being submitted, if applicable. If the proposal is not submitted in response to a specific announcement, proposers should enter the NSF Program(s), using Appendix A of this document as a guide, to which the proposal should be directed. NSF will determine which program(s) will evaluate each proposal.

Unless stated otherwise in a program announcement, proposals should not be addressed or sent directly to the cognizant Program Officer. If copies of the proposal are mailed or delivered in more than one package, the number of packages and the NSF Announcement number, if applicable, should be marked on the outside of each package. Proposals must be sent prepaid, not collect. Proposals sent by special messenger or courier should be delivered to the below address, weekdays, except Federal holidays, between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. ET. Please contact the NSF Mail Room, (703) 306-0657, with any questions regarding the mailing or delivery of proposals.

Proposals must be addressed exactly as follows:

Announcement/Solicitation No _________________
NSF PROGRAM _______________________________________

3. Acknowledgment of proposal receipt. The acknowledgment of the receipt of the proposal will reference both the NSF proposal number and the cognizant NSF program to which the proposal has been assigned. Communications about the proposal should be addressed to the cognizant Program Officer with reference to the proposal number. Proposers are encouraged to use the NSF FastLane system described in GPG Section I.C. to verify the status of their submission to NSF.


Additional copies of the Proposal Forms Kit (NSF 99-3) or the GPG (NSF 99-2), which contains the Proposal Forms Kit, may be ordered from:

NSF Clearinghouse
P.O. Box 218
Jessup, MD 20794-0218

Telephone: 301-947-2722

The GPG or the Proposal Forms Kit may be obtained by accessing documents NSF 99-2 or NSF 99-3 electronically on the NSF Web site at: "".

OMB 3145-0058
PT 34, 18, 04, 22, 42
KW 0600000, 0400000, 1010000
0502031, 0502023, 0502042

NSF 99-2
(Replaces NSF 98-2)

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