NSF Project Reports Have Transitioned to Research.gov
On March 18, 2013, the National Science Foundation (NSF) transitioned all project reporting from FastLane to Research.gov. This means that Principal Investigators (PIs) and Co-PIs will now use Research.gov to meet all NSF project reporting requirements, including submission of final, annual and interim project reports and the Project Outcomes Report. Additionally, the new Project Reporting Dashboard makes it easier for PIs, Co-PIs, and Sponsored Project Office (SPO) staff to see which reports are due or overdue, and provides access to all reports submitted to NSF.
NSF Implementation Resources:
- Research.gov Progress Report Getting Started Guide – a short guide to logging in and navigating the RPPR progress report module on Research.gov.
- Research.gov RPPR Screenshots and Instructions – a more detailed guide to submitting a progress report in the RPPR format on Research.gov.
- Research.gov Project Reports website – provides additional documents, templates and other resources to assist in report preparation and submission.
How do I get started?
- Login to Research.gov using your FastLane user ID and password. For more information, see How Do I Login?
- You will see any required reports on your Project Report Dashboard.
- Click on the project outcomes, final or annual project report link to see a list of awards.
- From there, you can create, edit, and submit reports for each award.
How do I navigate to Project Reports once logged in to Research.gov?
Once logged into Research.gov, you can navigate to Project Reports by performing one of the following options:
- Click the Project Reports link in the left navigation.
- In the Project Reporting Dashboard, click on the Annual, Final and Interim reports or Project Outcomes Report link.
Why did the National Science Foundation (NSF) institute a new project reporting system?
NSF changed the way project reports are submitted in response to the Research Performance Progress Report (RPPR) requirement for federal research awards. The RPPR is the result of a government-wide effort to create greater consistency in the administration of federal research awards by streamlining and standardizing reporting formats. This means that PIs and co-PIs will use Research.gov to meet all NSF project reporting requirements, including submission of annual, final, interim and project outcomes reports. The project reporting service in Research.gov meets the federal government’s requirement that research agencies implement the RPPR.
What are the benefits of the new project report system on Research.gov?
The implementation of the RPPR format at NSF resulted in benefits to NSF grantees and staff, including:
- A consolidated project reporting dashboard that includes annual, final, interim, and project outcomes report
- A citation search
- A more structured collection of the project reports data for enhanced NSF use
- The adoption of a federal-wide data dictionary to increase consistency of implementation across agencies
- A rich text editor so text can be formatted more easily
How do I get my Principal Investigator (PI) password so I can access the Project Reports System application to complete my report?
If you are a PI at a registered NSF awardee institution, contact your organization’s Sponsored Project Office. NSF does not issue passwords directly to PIs. Please note that you do not need a different logon and password to complete reports, If you have a current FastLane ID and password. Your FastLane ID and password grants you access to Research.gov.
What award types require submission of reports?
Annual project reports are required for all standard and continuing grants and cooperative agreements. Final and project outcome reports are required for all standard and continuing grants, cooperative agreements, and fellowships. All submitted annual and final reports must be approved by an NSF Program Officer to meet the submission requirement. Project Outcome Reports are not reviewed or approved by NSF.
When can a PI submit an annual or final project report?
Unless otherwise specified in the award, annual project reports should be submitted at least 90 days prior to the end of the current budget period to allow adequate time for the Program Officer to review and approve the report. The report is considered due during the 90 day period. The report becomes overdue the day after the 90 day period ends. Unless otherwise specified in the award, the final project report should be submitted within 90 days following expiration of the grant. The report is considered due during the 90 day period. The report becomes overdue the day after the 90 day period ends.
For additional information on project reporting, see the Award Administration Guide, Chapter II.E.
How is an interim project report submission different from other report submissions?
Interim project reports may be submitted at any time before submission of the final project report. There is no restriction on the submission frequency or on the reporting period; however, interim project reports cannot be used as a substitute for any other type of report.
How can I create an Interim Project Report?
To create an interim project report go to the Project Report Dashboard and from the Reports Due, Reports Due in < 12 Months or All Awards tabs, click on the Award ID then click on the ‘Create IPR’ link in the Available Actions box on the top right of the screen.
What happens if a PI or co-PI is overdue on submission of any required project reports?
An overdue project report impedes processing of funding actions for the PI and any co-PIs identified on an award. Furthermore, overdue project reports will impede processing for all post-award actions for the PI and co-PIs. For additional information on project reporting see the Award Administration Guide, Chapter II.E.
What is the impact on the award project reporting requirement if a time extension or additional time has been granted?
Any additional time added to the award will extend the total reporting requirement. If the additional time extends the last reporting period by more than 12 months, then a new project reporting period will be added.
The expiration date on my award is incorrect. How can I get it corrected?
If you have received an extension and your award expiration date does not reflect the extension, contact your NSF Program Officer.
How will I know if NSF has received my annual or final project report?
After you submit your report to NSF, you will receive an email acknowledging the receipt of your report. The project reports dashboard also displays a Status of “Under Review” on the screens for the associated report. Once the report is approved, the Status of “Approved” will be displayed on the screens.
How will I know NSF received my interim project report?
After you submit your report to NSF, you will receive an email acknowledging the receipt of your report. The project reports dashboard also displays a Status of “Submitted” on the screens for the associated report. Once the report is reviewed by NSF, the Status of “Received” will be displayed on the screens.
How do I print a copy of my submitted report?
To print your submitted report, do the following:
- View the list of project reports.
- Select a report to view.
- Click view report.
- Click the print icon towards the top of the report to print the page.
I submitted my report, but I need to make corrections. How do I do this?
You can recall an annual or final project report as long as the Program Officer hasn’t “approved” the report, or in the case of an interim report, as long as the Program Officer hasn’t “received” it. If you need to recall a project report, first view the list of project reports on the Project Report Dashboard, then select the Recall option for the specific award, then click to verify that you want to recall the report. The system will email the PI, co-PI, and Program Officer with a notification that the report was recalled. It will also display the recalled report having an action of create/edit.
How can I view reporting requirements for an award that has been transferred to a new organization?
When an award is transferred to a new organization, the remaining reporting requirements are transferred to the new awardee organization. PIs can view the remaining reporting requirements under the new award number and previously approved reports under the old award number.
Why does searching for journals/publications using Thomson Web of Science time out?
The Thomson Web of Science citation search has parameters that enforce a search time limit. The more specific your search criteria are, the more accurate and faster the results will be. For example, try searching by entering last name, first name, or a date range.
When I search for publications by author (e.g., “Smither”), I get results but I don’t see any “Smither” in my results. Is my search not retrieving the correct results?
The Thomson Web of Science citation search only includes the primary author in the search results. In this case, it is likely that someone other than Smither was the primary author on the publications that are listed in the search results.
How do I upload a file?
PDF upload is only available to submit images, charts, and other complex graphics. Main report narrative should not be included in attached PDFs. Only files in PDF format are allowed to be uploaded to your project report. To upload a file, do the following:
- Click the browse button to search for a file.
- Select the file to upload.
- Click the upload file button.
Upon successful PDF upload, Research.gov will display the section of the report from which you initiated the upload with information regarding the file that you uploaded.
Why is there a file size limit when I upload a PDF?
Research.gov limits PDF file size to 5MB for the Products and Accomplishments section and 10MB for the Special Requirements section. Note that the Special requirements tab appears only under awards with predetermined special requirements. Additionally, Research.gov requires that you enter information into each section of the report, and prohibits uploading files in place of entering text.
Why didn’t Research.gov prompt me to enter demographic information for a project participant?
NSF no longer allows PI/co-PIs to enter demographic information on behalf of project participants. Instead, all participants identified on the report will receive an email requesting them to provide their own demographic information directly to NSF. The email will contain a link to the appropriate site where each participant can enter his or her own demographic information. Submission of this information is voluntary only, and has no impact on your award. The change in how NSF collects this information was made to comply with Federal-wide privacy standards and to better protect the privacy of participants.
I’ve added participants in my project report; however they have indicated that they have not received the demographic survey. What do I need to do to get the survey sent to them?
The Participant demographic emails are sent upon submission of the report. If the project report is submitted and the participant has not received the demographic email, please reach out to the Research.gov Help Desk at email@example.com or 1-800-381-1532 7 AM - 9 PM Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except for federal holidays).
Why am I not able to assign an Other Authorized User (OAU)?
At this time, OAUs are not given access to Research.gov. Only PIs and co-PIs may work on and submit Project Reports in Research.gov.
In the calculations used to determine due and overdue, what makes the visual indicator change color?
- When the report is greater than 90 days from the due date, the report will be displayed with a green visual indicator.
- Once the report is 90 days from the due date, it will be displayed with a horizontal visual indicator – which, every 30 days, will gradually adjust from yellow to red until the overdue date is reached.
Additionally, when the report reaches the overdue date, the visual indicator changes to a warning triangle.
After I completed one of the required sections (e.g., Accomplishments) of my report, the progress indicator graphic is not showing that section as complete. What should I do?
The progress indicator fills from the bottom up so it will continue to fill up until all of the required sections are 100% complete. Once you complete the required questions in the Accomplishments section, the status will be updated to Complete.
Can I search my reports by Due within X number Days or All Project Reports for this year (like I used to in FastLane)?
PIs may sort the various reports by the Days Until Overdue and/or Overdue Date columns, as well as the Award Number and Status columns, in order to find his or her reports. Sponsored Project Offices have a separate search capability, where they can search and locate awards.
My PO returned my report. How do I view his or her comments?
From the applicable list view in the Project Report Dashboard , click on the Create/Edit link, and click on the ‘Review the Comments’ link in the box at the top of the page. The ‘Review the Comments’ link will only be available for reports returned with comments.
I started to work on my report and the participants section shows that it has already been started. How is this possible?
PIs and co-PIs are considered project participants as well, so much of their information is automatically pre-populated. Therefore, this section already has a status of started. However, It is important to view and review every pre-populated user to ensure all required fields have entries. This section will not be considered complete until all the required fields for each participant have been filled in.
I am required to report on the participant’s Person Months Worked. Should this be the amount of work specified in my NSF project budget?
No, the “Person Months Worked” field should be populated with the amount of months worked on the project. You should enter the total effort into this field, irrespective of the funding source or budget. This information is there for Program Officers to use so that they can gauge participation level. It also enables NSF to create statistics showing counts of individuals involved on reports and their general levels of effort.
How do I submit project reports on Research.gov?
Information from NSF on how to login to Research.gov and submit project reports. This page provides links to guides, frequently asked questions and a webinar. Please note, you will need your existing NSF login information (last name, NSF ID and password) to login to Reseach.gov.
Who do I contact if I have questions or experience problems using Research.gov?
For additional assistance, contact the Research.gov Help Desk – 7 AM to 9 PM – EST, Monday through Friday at 1-800-381-1532 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org .