Recently, NSF has changed the process for proposal submission for the core panels in the Directorate for Biological Sciences. Wondering if this might be important to you? Please answer the following questions:
- do you study some aspect of biology (defined as anything from the molecular to ecosystem levels)?,
- do you intend to submit a proposal to NSF someday?
- If you answered yes to these questions, then the probability is high that this pertains to you (though the details of what I say below may differ depending upon the Division you tend to apply to).
Anyway, we’ve covered the basics of this shift here before, but this week the DEB (Division of Environmental Biology) at NSF conducted a webinar on the changes and a few additional pieces of info were added.
Some important additional pieces of info
1)The following solicitations are NOT impacted by the preproposal rules:
Assembling the Tree of Life, CAREER, Dynamics of Coupled Nautral and Human Systems, Dimensions of Biodiversity, Ecology of Infectious Disease, OPUS, RCN, and the DDIGs.
What does that mean? 1) Those solicitations are operating under their own rules, so read their solicitations for details of how to submit and 2) submitting to them won’t count against your 2 preproposals per year limit.
2) Timeline (for DEB, supposedly IOS – Integrative Organismal Systems – will be similar):
Preproposals: due Jan 9, Preproposal review panel meetings March-April, Invite/Not invite decision by May 1(ish).
Full proposals (for those invited): Due Aug 2, Panel Review Oct/Nov, Award/Decline decision by December. In theory this will give you close to a month to revise your preproposal.
3) The webinar provides info on what should be in a preproposal, what the panel will be asked to assess, and what the basis for invite/not invite will be. I recommend perusing through the last few slides (see links below). There is a lot of emphasis (in my opinion) on how bold, compelling, general the research will be. If this is how the panels will be instructed, I think this is a good thing – but again that’s just my opinion.
4) There is also info on trends in funding rates, proposal submissions, and numbers of reviewers that were being required for all the proposals. If you’ve been submitting to NSF you know things have been grim, but there’s something about seeing the numbers that make you realize that regardless of whether you think this is the best change, things really had to change.
If you’d like to see the webinar here are some links for you (I tried the ‘streaming’ one and it worked fine, there is an executable that will be downloaded to your computer to run it)
Streaming recording link: https://mmancusa.webex.com/mmancusa/ldr.php?AT=pb&SP=MC&rID=43949312&rKey=2ad726bf2f77bd13
Download recording link: https://mmancusa.webex.com/mmancusa/lsr.php?AT=dw&SP=MC&rID=43949312&rKey=1fe4937906efe109