Web Date: March 7, 2011
NSF Seeks Input On Merit Review
The National Science Foundation, through a National Science Board task force, is looking for feedback on a pair of merit review criteria it uses to evaluate grant proposals. The National Science Board Task Force on Merit Review is specifically examining the intellectual merit and broader impacts criteria.
Reviewers of grant proposals use the intellectual merit criterion to assess the importance of a proposed project to advance knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields. And they use the broader impacts criterion to determine how well a proposed project advances discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning, and how the results will be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding.
The review criteria as currently defined have been in place for over a decade and it’s time for a periodic evaluation, according to a letter from NSB Chairman Ray M. Bowen to NSF stakeholders.
The task force “has been charged to consider all options when developing their final recommendations, from keeping the criteria just as they are to completely rewriting them, or anything in between,” writes NSB Chairman Ray M. Bowen in the letter. To that end, he notes, the task force is gathering input from a variety of stakeholder groups. A report with recommendations is expected later this year.
Comments must be submitted by March 15 via www.nsf.gov/funding/meritreviewform.cfm.
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