Note - Effective March 26th, 2018, NSF made changes to the process for registering for accounts. ORS will no longer create user accounts in Research.gov / Fastlane. Users needing new accounts will need to create their own accounts and request their role within the system. ORS will then approve and manage their roles. When a user with an existing account initially logs in after March 26th, 2018, their information will be migrated to the new account management system. This will require them to verify their information and allow the migration to occur.

To create a new NSF account, please complete the following steps:

  • Go to the NSF ID Lookup page to ensure you do not have an existing NSF ID. If you do not, please continue to follow the steps below.
  • Go to Research.gov
  • Click the "Register" link in the top right hand corner of the screen.
  • Complete the required fields and click submit.
  • Check the primary email account that you entered for two emails - one containing NSF ID and the other containing your temporary password.
  • Go back to Research.gov and sign in with your NSF ID and temporary password.
  • Follow the instructions to change your temporary password.
  • Further instructions can be found at this link and a helpful video can be viewed at this link.

Once you have logged in, you will be able to request a Principal Investigator role through the following steps:

  • Click the "My Profile" link on the top right of the screen.
  • Select the "Add a New Role" option from the left navigation bar.
  • Click "Add Investigator Role" to request a PI role.
  • Select the option "Yes, prepare and manage proposals with an organization."
  • On the Find Organization page, enter UIC's DUNS Number (098987217) and click "Search."
  • Verify UIC is displayed, then click "Next."
  • Add Information as necessary, then click "Next."
  • Choose Role (only the PI role should show) and click "Next."
  • Verify your entered information, then click "Submit."
  • ORS will then receive your role request for approval.
  • Further instructions can be found at this link.

When logging in to Research.gov or Fastlane after March 26th, 2018, you will be required to migrate your existing account. You will be prompted to verify your current information, including your email address and phone number. If you have multiple NSF accounts that need to be reconciled, NSF will reach out to you directly. Further information on the migration process can be found at this link.

Additional information from NSF on these new processes can be found at this link, and a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's) can be found at this link.       


If you need to reset a password, please do the following:

  • Go to the www.research.gov.
  • Click "Log In" then "Forgot Password"
  • Enter your NSF ID# and click "Send Temporary Password."
  • You will be able to reset your password using the temporary password sent to your email address on file.

Passwords must be between 8 and 20 characters and use three of the four categories below:

  • Upper-case letter
  • Lower-case letter
  • Number
  • One of these special characters # & % ! @ ( )

In addition, the last six passwords cannot be reused, and accounts will be locked for five minutes after the tenth unsuccessful password attempt.