As promised, I am writing about the conferences as I attend them (this is the first one!). I came back from the NSF regional grants conference and wanted to share a few things. It is not on stimulus though, so, if this is what you are looking for, you can skip the rest.
Has Grants.gov ever contributed to a gray hair of yours? If not, then, you’re one of the lucky ones. Grants.gov is based on a really good idea that is to combine all grant agencies under one roof and to provide a common interface for all grant functions. In practice, it serves well for searching a variety of funding opportunities. the proposal submission and tracking functions, on the other hand, has been known to cause some headaches (or, a few gray hairs).
NSF’s remedy for this is Research.gov. This was basically described as “Fastlane on steroids”. It will be very much like Fastlane and will eventually have all the same functions and more. However, Research.gov will provide information not only for NSF but for other participating agencies as well. For instance, you would be able to see all your submitted proposals and their status through Research.gov. You will be able to access all reviews, submit annual reports, etc. regardless of the agency, through the same system.
Besides NSF, current partner agencies are NASA, DoD (including AFOSR, DTRA, ARO) and USDA/CSREES. This list is expected to grow. You can find more info here.
There is a beta site. One of the first functions -grants application status- will be up and running soon. The NSF Fastlane ID and password will be used to access Research.gov and if Fastlane un/pw is changed, this will be automatically reflected in Research.gov.
I hope this will provide a common web portal for many funding agencies and will be as easy and quick as Fastlane.