See also: “Revised IOS Solicitation (NSF 17-508): preliminary proposals due one day earlier” (10/31/16)
Filling out the COA template
The Collaborators and Other Affiliations (COA) template, an Excel file sent by email and available for download here, is required for all IOS preliminary and full proposals. The COA template helps us to manage the review of the proposal.
To get started, open the COA template and save it to your computer. The first worksheet (or tab, for Mac users) in the file provides instructions (you may have to click a left arrow or scroll to the left to see the first worksheet). The second worksheet (“Personnel”) is where project personnel should be listed. The third worksheet (“Collab & Other Affiliations”) is where collaborators and other affiliations should be listed.
In the third worksheet, Column A requires the proposal number which is generated by FastLane upon submission and thus cannot be filled out until the proposal is submitted (Fig. 1; additional instructions below). The name and institutional location of your collaborator, co-author, advisor, advisee, or family member should be entered in columns B-D. The name of the first individual listed on the personnel page of your proposal should be entered in columns E-F. In each cell in column G, use the drop-down menu to pick the best descriptor of the relationship between the person identified in columns B-D and the person identified in columns E-F. Family relationships take precedence over scientific relationships so an individual who is both a spouse and collaborator should be listed as a spouse.
Do this for each individual listed on the personnel page of the proposal.
Additional worksheets allow you to indicate “suggested” and “not preferred” reviewers. You can read more about this in an earlier IOS blog post focused on the use of the COA template for proposal submission.
Sending NSF the COA template: Upload into Fastlane AND Email
The current PAPPG NSF 16-1 (effective for preliminary and full proposals submitted or due before 30 January, 2017) requires that researchers submitting to the IOS Core Programs Solicitation (NSF 17-508) upload a list of collaborators and other affiliations in the “Single Copy Documents” section in FastLane. (For proposals submitted or due on or after 30 January, 2017, the guidelines in PAPPG 17-1 apply.)
So you do not have to create two documents, you may upload the COA template into the “Single Copy Documents” section.
After you submit the proposal you will be assigned a FastLane proposal number. Once you have this proposal number, enter it in the spreadsheet in column A and then send the COA template by email to IOScoispreadsheet@nsf.gov before the proposal deadline (5 pm local time for the Principal Investigator’s Sponsored Projects/Research Office on the due date).
We have heard that some PIs are having problems uploading the COA template to the “Single Copy Documents” section in FastLane. If you experience difficulties, we suggest the following:
- When you save your completed COA template, be sure the active worksheet (tab) is the “Collab & Other Affiliations” worksheet (i.e., click on this worksheet or on an empty cell in the worksheet before saving).
- Upload the COA template to “Single Copy Documents.” It will be converted to a .pdf file.
- Check the .pdf conversion to confirm the “Collab & Other Affiliations” information displays correctly.
If this doesn’t work, you can use your own software to convert the “Collab & Other Affiliations” worksheet in your Excel file to a .pdf file, then upload the .pdf file to “Single Copy Documents:”
Recommendation for Windows users:
- With the COA template open to the worksheet (tab) “Collab & Other Affiliations,” use the Save As function. Choose PDF in the ‘Save as Type’ drop-down menu. Under ‘Options,’ choose ‘Active sheet(s)’. Then click on Save. Upload the resulting PDF to “Single Copy Documents” in FastLane.
- You can also use the Export function in Excel. With the COA template open to the worksheet “Collab & Other Affiliations,” use the Export function. Choose ‘Create PDF/XPS document,’ then the ‘Save as PDF’ option. Then click on Publish. Upload the resulting PDF to “Single Copy Documents” in FastLane.
Recommendation for MAC users:
- With the COA template open to the worksheet (tab) “Collab & Other Affiliations,” use the Print function. Choose ‘Portrait’ as the orientation. Select ‘Print Active sheets,’ select the button for ‘Scale to Fit,’ then click on Save as PDF. Enter the file name and choose Save. Upload the resulting PDF to “Single Copy Documents” in FastLane.
As always, please contact an IOS Program Director if you have additional questions!