Monday, April 05, 2010

NSF Review Issues

My understanding is that the turnaround time on NSF decisions should be approximately 6 months.  (See, for instance, their own diagram of the review process.)  So I admit to getting a bit edgy after month 7 has come and gone without hearing anything on a proposal I have in.  I went back at looked at my NSF proposal history, and found a small bright side:  proposals that were accepted seemed to take a longer time for the decision feedback to arrive.  Sadly, this rule did not seem to be universal, and my personal sample size is too small for rigorous conclusions.  Feel free to share your own anecdotal evidence.  Meanwhile, I'll try my best to forget about it until we get to month 8.  

Also, this year, I have been asked (more than once) to review a single proposal "off-panel" (that is, I didn't serve on the panel that the proposal was part of).  I can't recall having been asked to do this before, and wonder if there's a policy change behind it or if it's business-as-usual and I'm only now noticing it.  I certainly don't mind -- I'm more than happy to help the NSF, and even more happy if I can do so without having to travel to DC.  On the other hand, I worry that this approach might cause the same sort of problems that can occur with subreviewers, such as consistency across reviews.  

1 comment:

Emery said...

It would be great if the delay is good news (for you and for me), but it might just be the weather. About 3 weeks ago, I asked my program manager about a pending proposal. Apparently the big snowstorms in DC hit the same time as a number of panels, so they had to be rescheduled, and so the decisions have also been pushed back.