I'm currently preparing to submit my NSF mathematics postdoctoral fellowship application, with deadline tomorrow on October 17. You must be a U.S. citizen (or permanent resident, etc.) to apply. There is a line on the application to indicate this:

CITIZENSHIP (check one) __ US Citizen or National ___ Permanent Resident ___Foreign National(give country: )

In what I believe to be the relevant part of the application (the page Application Form), there is a field which reads:

I. Citizenship status: Do not wish to provide

without any way to modify this.

There is an advisory listed on the NSF Fastlane main page, dated Oct. 1, which reads:

The Mathematical Sciences Postdoctoral Research Fellowships solicitation (NSF 16-558) requires proposers to indicate U.S. citizenship status; however, the ability to update this information is no longer functional. Proposals that are not compliant with solicitation requirements may be returned without review. Please email [email protected] or contact the FastLane Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188.

This is rather cryptic. It seems to say that me not being able to update citizenship status on the application is in fact what everybody is experiencing. On the other hand, it also seems to indicate that nevertheless it is important to indicate U.S. citizenship status, and that my application may be rejected immediately without this information.

I'd naturally prefer not to have my application rejected for technicalities. Is anyone else going through the same issue right now? If so, what is the right way to address it? Is there a way to update citizenship status? Or is this matter inconsequential?

  • 1
    The main reason I'm bringing it up in this forum is because, potentially, this is an issue which affects virtually everyone else doing the NSF application. So it seems appropriate to try to get some community-type answer for this. (Yes, I've left a tight window to clear up this problem, but the issue didn't become apparent until I was reviewing the full PDF of my application checking for any potential problems.)
    – mdr
    Oct 16, 2018 at 13:23
  • 2
    Yeah, so I did go ahead and call them. So I'll go ahead and answer my own question in case it helps anybody else with the same issue: so the office staff can manually update citizenship status on your behalf on their end. Basically I had to send them an email with a statement to that effect. I guess for me the confusing part is that it wasn't clear that the point of the advisory was to say that we're supposed to call them as the means of updating our citizenship status. (Why they can't fix their system to allow users to do this themselves is another matter...)
    – mdr
    Oct 16, 2018 at 15:17
  • @mdr Please post that as an answer so it's more obvious to everyone. I suspect they aren't pushing a fix live because they don't want to break things any worse right before things are due. Oct 16, 2018 at 18:08
  • @NajibIdrissi For the record, NSF GFRP applications are due up until the 26th, depending on the field. Only the first fields (physics?) are due starting tomorrow Oct 16, 2018 at 18:13
  • 2
    It's 2021, and they still haven't fixed this issue. Sep 25, 2021 at 16:25

2 Answers 2


This may be too late, but I ran into the same issue when applying for an NSF PRFB biology postdoc fellowship. They sent an email saying to provide your country of citizenship on like K (usually reserved for foreign nationals). I sent an email to follow up that all's good, and they said I did it correctly. Hope this helps someone!

Here's a screenshot of the NSF application: enter image description here


The office staff can update this information for you. If you call the number listed in the advisory (quoted in the question) they can walk you through this.

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