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International Research Fellowship Program at National Science Foundation

The objective of the International Research Fellowship Program (IRFP) is to introduce scientists and engineers in the early stages of their careers to international collaborative research opportunities, thereby furthering their research capacity and global perspective and forging long-term relationships with scientists, technologists and engineers abroad. These awards are available in any field of science and engineering research and education supported by NSF.

NOTE: PLEASE READ COMPLETE PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENT BEFORE BEGINNING APPLICATION PROCESS!

1. Document Preparation Guidelines:

1. Prepare all documents according to guidelines in the Program Solicitation and the NSF Proposal and Awards Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPP).
2. Prepare all documents on a word processor with one of the approved typefaces identified below, a black font color, and a font size of 10 points or larger.
3. NSF approved typefaces:
1. Windows users:
1. Arial
2. Helvetica
3. Palatino Linotype
4. Georgia
2. Macintosh users:
1. Arial
2. Helvetica
3. Palatino
4. Georgia
3. Tex users:
1. Computer Modern
4. A symbol font may be used to insert Greek letters or special characters but the font size requirement still applies.
5. All documents must have a 1 inch margin top, bottom, and sides.

2. Program Information.

Either access web site: www.nsf.gov and select FastLane or, access FastLane website directly: www.fastlane.nsf.gov

Select Postdoctoral Fellowships.

Select GO next to I am an Applicant.

Select GO next to International Research Fellowship Program.

Select GO next to How to Apply. Print out the instructions.

Click three times on the Back arrow on your Browser, until you are back to the NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowships screen.

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3. Register as an Individual Researcher.


On the Postdoctoral Research Fellowships screen scroll down and select the GO next to Individual Registration.

After reading the statement, select Continue.

On the New Individual Registration Request screen, type in your personal information. All fields preceded with an asterisk are required. Select Submit to REGISTER.

Your password is activated after you select the Approve button on the next screen.

Select Go Back.
4. Begin Your Proposal.


Either select GO next to PI-Co-PI Login Page on the NSF Postdoctoral Research Fellowships screen or access the FastLane homepage www.fastlane.nsf.gov

In the upper left corner of the screen, select Proposals, Awards & Status.

Type in your Last Name, NSF ID and Password. Click on the Login button.

On the What Do You Want To Work On? screen, select Proposal Functions.

On the Proposal Functions screen, select Proposal Preparation.

On the Principal Investigator (PI) Information screen, scroll down and check your information. Your organization must be you as an individual researcher. Your organization code will begin with a ‘P’. To update your information, select the Edit PI Information button. When complete, select the Save Changes to save.

To begin your proposal, select Prepare Proposal.

On the Proposal Actions screen, scroll to and select Create Blank Proposal.

The Forms Preparation screen appears showing the temporary proposal number at the top of the screen. Have this number ready to give the FastLane Help Desk when calling for assistance.

You must start first with the Cover Sheet

5. Prepare Cover Sheet.

Selec GO next to Cover Sheet.

Select GO next to Program Announcement. From the list of Program Announcements, select NSF 06-582. Then click on Select. The next screen will show both the Program Announcement and the NSF Unit of Consideration which is 1. OISE-Global Scientists and Engineers.

Select GO next to Remainder of Cover Sheet.

Click on OK.

The Form Preparation screen appears.

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6. Prepare Project Summary (1-page limit)

Select GO next to Project Summary.

The Project Summary cannot be more than 1 page. You must include a heading with your name, project title, host(s) name and intitution(s). NOTE: It is a requirement of the NSF that the Project Summary include separate, clearly identified paragraphs to address Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts. Any proposal that does not conform to this, will be returned without review. Provide paragraphs that describe the proposed research project, the hypothesis, technical approach and expected results. Describe why you want to go to a particular site and why you want to work with your host. See Section VI.A. in Program Announcement for complete description of Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts.

Either copy and paste the text of your Project Summary into the text box or select Transfer File. If you choose "Transfer File", select Browse. Find the word processing file and double click on it so it fills the box next to the Browse button. Select Upload File.

The program will convert your word processing file into a PDF file. When complete, you will be asked to proofread the new file. (NOTE: This process may take a few minutes. PLEASE BE PATIENT! THE SCREEN WILL CHANGE WHEN IT IS DONE UPLOADING!!!)

After the file is transferred, a screen will appear asking that you proofread the document. When you are finished proofreading, click on the X in the upper right corner to close the window. Select Accept if the file is OK, or select Cancel if you do not like the looks of the uploaded file. Scroll down the screen and select Go Back to return to the Forms Preparation screen.

7. Prepare Table of Contents.

The Table of Contents is automatically generated. It should be used to confirm the number of pages on documents such as the Project Description and the Biographical Sketch. Select Go Back or click on the Back arrow on your browser to return to the Forms Preparation screen

8. Prepare Project Description. (7 page limit)


The Project Description must not exceed seven single-spaced pages. If necessary, an additional three pages may be used for forms, graphs, and images. These additional pages must be uploaded under Supplementary Docs.

The Project Description must contain the following six items:
1. Detailed project description. You must include any request for a re-entry component within the seven-page limit.
2. Detailed justification for conducting the research abroad.
3. Identification of the collaborating host(s).
4. Clear relationship between your proposed research and the current research efforts at the host institution.
5. Description of facilities and any other evidence of the suitability of the foreign collaborator(s) and site(s).
6. Explanation of your long-term career goals and the role of this postdoctoral experience in achieving them, including future plans for collaborative activities.

Select GO next to Project Description. Upload your document by first selecting Browse to find the file. Double click on the file so it fills the box next to the Browse button. Then select Upload.

Proofread. After viewing the file, click on the X in the upper right corner. Select OK to accept or Cancel to begin again.

Scroll down the screen and select Go Back to return to the Forms Preparation screen.

9. Prepare References Cited.


Select Go next to References Cited.

Enter text or select Transfer File. Select Browse to find the document. Double click on the file so it fills the box next to the Browse button. Select Upload to upload the file.

When the process is complete, proofread the file. After viewing the file, click on the X in the upper right corner. Select Accept if the file looks correct or select Cancel to begin the process again.

Scroll down the screen and select Go Back to return to the Forms Preparation screen.

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10. Prepare Applicant’s Biographical Sketch (Curriculum Vitae) and list of publications with full title and complete references.


Do not send reprints or abstracts. At the top of the document, include your name and current affiliation. You may substitute your curriculum vitae or resume as this biographical sketch. This document, plus your two letters of reference, is what the reviewers will use to evaluate you. Be sure to include all that you believe they need to know in order to evaluate your abilities and potential.

Select GO next to Biographical Sketches. (No page limit!)

Select GO next to your name.

Enter text or select Transfer File. Select Browse to find the document. Double click on the file so it fills the box next to the Browse button.

Select the Upload button to upload the file. When the process is complete, proofread the file. After viewing the file, click on the X in the upper right corner.

Select Accept if the file looks correct or select Cancel to begin the process again.

Scroll down the screen and select Go Back to return to the Forms Preparation screen.

11. Upload Supplementary Docs.


This application allows more than one document to be uploaded. Repeat procedure described in this section to upload the following documents.
1. Host/Sponsoring Scientist Letter of Invitation (See details in Section 11.)
2. Host/Sponsoring Scientist curriculum vitae (CV) (Two page limit!)
3. Budget breakdown and budget justification.
4. Timeline (if not already uploaded)

Select GO beside Supplemental Docs. Select Transfer File. Select Browse to find the document. Double click on the file so it fills the box next to the Browse button. Select Upload to upload the file. When the process is complete, proofread the file. After viewing the file, click on the X in the upper right corner. Select Accept if the file looks correct or select Cancel to begin the process again. Scroll down the screen and select Go Back to return to the Forms Preparation screen.
12. Host Scientist’s /Sponsoring Scientist(s) Letter of Invitation and curriculum vitae (CV).


The Host/Sponsoring Scientist must send you his/her Letter of Invitation and CV. You then add each to the application.

The host scientist letter of invitation is from the prospective host scientist(s) or engineer(s) both for foreign tenure and any re-entry component. It should describe and offer a research environment and mentoring opportunity that cannot be obtained without fellowship support. The letter(s) must describe the proposed interaction between the applicant’s research plan and ongoing research efforts at the foreign site. The host’s CV must be in English and limited to two pages.

Select GO next to Supplemental Docs. You can upload more than one document within this function.

Select Transfer File. Select Browseto find the document. Double click on the file so it fills the box next to the Browse button. Select Upload to upload the file.

When the process is complete, proofread the file. After viewing the file, click on the X in the upper right corner. Select Accept if the file looks correct or select Cancel to begin the process again.

Scroll down the screen and select Go Back to return to the Forms Preparation screen.
13. Add/Delete Letters of Reference Writers.


You must have two letters of reference and rating sheets. You do NOT enter these letters and rating sheets. You add the names of your references. Each letter writer accesses FastLane and submits the letter and rating sheet. NOTE: A complete set of instructions on how to do this can be found near the end of this document. Please send that set of instructions to your reference writers. One reference MUST be from your Ph.D. advisor. Do not request references from the proposed foreign host or host institution. You are responsible for assuring that your references use FastLane to submit their letters by the application deadline. No proposals will be reviewed until both letters have been received.

Select GO next to Add/Delete Letter of Reference Writers.

Select Add Reference.

Type in the information about the writer, including first name, last name, phone number, e-mail and password. The fields preceded by an asterisk are required fields.

Assign a separate unique password to each reference writer.

Select Add Reference to save the reference information.

The next screen will ask if you want an e-mail sent to this person with the Temporary proposal Number and the password.

Select either Yes or No.

If you select No, contact the Reference writer directly and provide him/her with the Temporary Proposal Number and the Password.

Select Go Back to return to the Forms Preparation screen.

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14. Application Form.


This form contains your basic information, such as name, address, etc.

Select GO next to Application Form.

Fill in the form.

Click on OK to save.
15. Application Form B.


This form lists foreign language skills (English is not considered a foreign language for this program), dependent information and international experience.

Select GO next to Application Form B.

Fill in the Form.

Click on the OK button to save.
16. PI/Co-PI Information.


The PI/Co-PI Information is automatically generated from your information on the PI information screen. Return there to update your PI information.
17. Submit the Completed Application.


When all of the parts of the proposal are complete, print out the entire proposal. There are 2 ways to print out the entire proposal or parts of it.
1. On the Form Preparation screen, select Print under Navigation on the right side of the screen, select Print entire proposal, print.
2. On the Proposal Actions screen, highlight the proposal and select Print, select Print Entire Proposal, print.

When satisfied that all documents are within the page limits and print out well, return to the Proposal Actions screen. Select Submit.

(If you do not see the Submit button, click on Organizational Management of FastLane and login. Select Submit Proposal to NSF. Highlight your application in the upper box. Select Submit. Review the Cover Sheet information. Continue scrolling down the screen until you see the question, Submit to NSF? Select Yes.

The next screen shows the question, Do you wish to proceed with submission? Select Continue. If some parts of the proposal have not been saved, they will be listed next along with a GO BACK button. Otherwise, the screen will state, All required forms are saved, you can submit proposal.

Scroll down and read the information under Certification for Authorized Organizational Representative or Individual Applicant. Keep scrolling down and reading until the Sign and Submit button appears. Click on Sign and Submit button.

(If you do not see the Submit button on the Proposal Actions screen, click on Allow SRO Access button. Then select GO next to View, Edit and Submit proposal. Return to the FastLane homepage and select Research Administration. On the login screen type your last name, NSF ID, and password. Click on the log-in button. Select Proposals/Supplements/File Updates/Withdrawals link. Under Documents in Progress tab, find your proposal number and Click on the Submit icon. Review the Cover Sheet Information. Continue scrolling down the screen until you see the question, Submit to NSF? Select Yes.)

The next screen confirms the submission and displays the official NSF proposal number. Use this number for all correspondence with NSF about your application.

The submission process is paperless. DO NOT mail any forms to NSF.

Send an e-mal to the program manager, Susan Parris at sparris@nsf.gov and notify her that you have submitted your proposal. This is imperative to ensure that the program has received your application.

If you do not see the status of this proposal number within one week of the deadline date, contact the program office.

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Instructions to Writers of Letters of Reference:

Have your Letter of Recommendation ready as a file for uploading using FastLane by following instructions below. [If you have questions with NSF FastLane, you may contact intfl@nsf.gov or fastlane@nsf.gov]

Access the FastLane website www.fastlane.nsf.gov.

Select Postdoctoral Fellowships and Other Programs.

Select GO next to I am a Letter of Reference Writer.

Type your Last Name, the Temporary Proposal Number, and your Password. Click on the Create/Submit Letter of Reference button.

The first time you login, you will be asked to change your password. Type in a password you can remember. It must be 6 to 20 characters long. It must have at least one alpha and one numeric character.

Type the new password in both boxes. Click on the Save button.

Step 1: Rating

Select Step 1 Go button.

The screen for "Step 1: Rating" appears.

Complete all sections.

Click on Save button.

Screen appears stating the Rating has been saved.

A table appears showing status of

Step 1: Rating with Green means it was saved

Step 2: Letter with Red means it was not uploaded

Step 3: Reference with Red means it was Not Submitted.

Step 2: The letter

Select Step 2: Go button.

The upload screen for the "Step 2 Letter "appears.

Select Browse.

Find the file and double click on it so it fills the box next to the Browse button.

Select Upload.

After the file has been uploaded, proofread.

Select Accept.

Screen appears stating that the Letter has been Uploaded

A table shows with submission status:

Step 1: Rating as Green means it was Saved

Step 2: Letter as Green means it was Saved

Step 3: Reference letter with Red means it was Not Submitted.

Select OK to continue.

Step 3: The Reference

Select Step 3: Go.

Type name into signature box.

Select Submit.

Screen appears, "Reference has been submitted"

Table appears with submission status:

Step 1: Rating with Green means it was Submitted

Step 2: Letter with Green means it was Submitted

Step 3: Reference with Green means it was Submitted.

Click on OK to continue.

Return to Reference

Reference Status box will have "Green submitted" under status for all three steps.

Step 4: Exit application

Leave application by selecting Go Back in the lower left part of the screen.
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