National Science Foundation (NSF)

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All NSF proposals will be submitted using


Research administrators are no longer able to start proposals for PIs. Detailed instructions and guidance for all actions can be found on the About Proposal Preparation and Submission page. 

Below is an overview of the initial 2-3 steps the PI will need to do:

  1. Start proposal
  2. Give ORSP access
  3. Link collaborative applications, if applicable

1.  How to start a proposal in

Click here for detailed instructions


Click Sign In located at the top right of the screen to enter credentials.

From the My Desktop page, select the Prepare and Submit Proposals (Limited Proposal Types) link under the Prepare & Submit Proposals category.

You will be navigated to the proposal preparation landing page. Select the Prepare Proposal button in the Prepare New Proposal category.

Step 1. Funding Opportunity: Select the Funding Opportunity by searching the available opportunities and clicking the radio button next to the desired funding opportunity number.

Step 2. Where to Apply: Select Where to Apply by choosing the Directorate(s), Division(s), and Program(s) for your proposal using the drop-down menus. This is known as the “Unit of Consideration.” Each drop-down menu will only list the pre-determined, available options for the specified funding opportunity selected in Step 1.

Step 3. Proposal Type: Select Proposal Type by clicking the appropriate radio button. (ex. Research, Rapid, Eager, etc.)

Step 4. Submission Type: Select Submission Type by clicking the appropriate radio button. (ex. Full, Letter of Intent, Preliminary, etc.)

Step 5. Proposal Details: Enter Proposal Details.

Click the appropriate radio button to indicate if you are submitting a single proposal (with or without subawards) or a separately submitted collaborative proposal. If a separately submitted collaborative proposal is selected, there is an additional question about whether the organization is the lead or non-lead organization.

Enter a proposal title.

After this step is completed and the proposal is created, no changes to the Proposal Setup Wizard selections can be made by the proposing organization, except for edits to the proposal title.

Select the Prepare Proposal button to create the proposal based on the selections made in the Proposal Setup Wizard and to continue.

The system creates the new proposal and assigns a proposal Temporary ID Number. The proposal main page opens for you to add proposal sections and perform proposal actions such as adding co-PIs and OAUs and sharing access with Sponsored Projects Office (SPO) and Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR).

2.  How to share a proposal with ORSP

Click here for detailed instructions

After starting the proposal, you will need to click on “Share Proposal with SPO/AOR” on the left side of the page.  Then click on “change proposal access.”

Then you’ll want to click on “Edit access and Allow proposal submission.”

3.  How to link a collaborative proposal

The non-lead organization should work offline with the lead organization (the organization submitting the full proposal) to provide its Temporary ID Number. The lead organization can then click the Link/View Collaborative Proposals button on their in-progress lead proposal form to enter the non-lead proposal's Temporary ID Number to send the link request to the non-lead organization. The link request must be accepted by the non-lead organization. To link separately submitted collaborative proposals:

    • Both the lead and non-lead should each prepare a new proposal
    • The non-lead should coordinate offline to give their proposal's Temporary ID Number to the lead
    • Once in the proposal, the lead can send a request to link
    • The non-lead can accept the link request from within their proposal

From the Proposal Detail Step – as outlined above, click “Separately submitted collaborative proposal”

Answer the question about your role in the project – lead or non-lead.

    • If lead organization – enter title, get temporary ID from non-lead organization, click Link/View Collaborative Proposals, enter Temporary ID Number of non-lead, click send link request.
    • If non-lead organization – enter interim title, as the title will be inherited from the lead organization.  You will be able to accept the collaboration link from the lead organization from within the proposal.    

Highlights of preparing proposals in

  • Fast and easy Proposal Setup Wizard
  • Quickly find funding opportunities, initiate a proposal, and give access to administrative staff
  • Expanded compliance checking (View compliance checks  )
  • Immediate compliance feedback upon proposal section upload
  • PDF uploads are not altered
  • Minimize Return without Reviews due to some formatting issues
  • On-screen references to relevant sections of the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG)
  • Better management of personnel and subawards
  • Improved performance
  • Less system downtime


If you have any questions, please email the Project Planning and Development team in the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.