As alluded to in previous posts, we are continuing to collect a variety of data and reactions to the preliminary proposal system. We have now received approval to directly solicit your views via a survey. Program Directors in the Division of Environmental Biology at the National Science Foundation (NSF) are asking Principal Investigators (PIs) (current, past, or future) to take this survey (http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DEB_IOS_program_feedback) to provide feedback on our new proposal review process.
Please spread the word about this survey. We will be sending emails to PIs asking that they participate in the survey, but we need our readers to share this information as well. We need your help to reach those whose current email addresses may not be in our records and to encourage everyone who receives the invite to click the link and complete the survey. We are requesting potential respondents to complete the survey by Wednesday, May 1, 2013.
This survey is an important mechanism that NSF is using to obtain quantitative feedback about the new review process. Our target audience is investigators who have had funding from DEB or IOS or who are likely to submit a proposal to DEB and/or IOS in the next 1-2 years. We will use the results of the survey, which is anonymous, to assess the level of satisfaction with various aspects of the new review process. All answers are confidential, and will have no bearing on your future interactions with the NSF. The survey should require 10-20 minutes to complete.
Thank you for taking the time to respond to the survey and encouraging your colleagues to do so too.
Thanks for this opportunity. One thing I suggested, which I’ll repeat here, is to include more postdocs and early career investigators on panels. It would help reduce reviewer burden, and be an excellent opportunity for us to learn more about the process and how successful proposals are structured. I have heard from several senior scholars that sitting on panels is one of the best things you can do to learn what makes a proposal a good one; I volunteered but have never been asked. If panels had one or two postdocs each, this shouldn’t balance the power away from established, experienced scholars. Given that the early career folks are most at risk with the new funding scheme, I think it’s more important that it would have been in the past for us to be included in the process.
One thing I forgot to mention in the survey is that it has been very unclear to me how panelists are guided to navigate the new review process. As one example, anecdotes on some blogs have suggested that with the shorter format, people are paying attention to WHO the investigator is, rather than the strength of the proposal, which is a bit alarming to someone like me who’s just starting out.
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Just a reminder that you have through Wednesday to complete the survey. Thank you for the great showing so far.