The National Science Foundation is leading the effort to establish a Research.gov web portal. Research.gov is a collaborative partnership of federal, research-oriented, grant-making agencies with a shared vision of increasing customer service for applicants and awardees, while streamlining and standardizing processes amongst partner agencies.
Research.gov will be a one-stop web site that will provide a menu of services in a single portal for research institutions and grantees to conduct electronic grants business with federal agencies and to find information about agency policies and upcoming events. The portal will also help federal agencies share grants management best practices as part of the Grants Management Line of Business. The portal is intended to focus on the needs of grantees, provide maximum flexibility to account for differing agency strategies, and allow the best tools to be offered from any research agency.
NSF plans to deploy the portal and initial set of services in fiscal year 2008. Presentations on Research.gov are available at NSF: November 2006 Powerpoint and Spring 2007 NSF Update (starting on page 57). The latter includes a sample image of features and tools the portal might offer.
Services planned for the portal include a tool for grant applicants to check a list of all proposals submitted to Research.gov partner agencies, a tool to submit federal financial reports, a project-reporting tool, and tools to request funds disbursement and payments. The portal would also link to Grants.gov to find grant opportunities and apply for funding, iEdison to report inventions, NSF FastLane, as well as other services and systems.
According to NSF, federal research agencies will sign up to offer services to grantees through these tools, and NSF will recover operations costs through a fee-for-service arrangement. NSF has already successfully conducted an Application Status pilot with the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES), which allows principal investigators to check the status of their USDA CSREES and NSF proposals at one site.