DEB Numbers: Community Satisfaction Survey Results

You may recall that way back in the first half of 2013 we invited the community by email and also via this blog to participate in a survey to gauge satisfaction with the preliminary proposal process in DEB and IOS.

The full results of the survey have now been published in BioScience. Our thanks to you for responding to our call to participate in great numbers and to the various discussants, readers, and reviewers who helped throughout the process.

We understand how strongly many people feel about these issues and appreciate your engagement as individuals with diverse experiences and perspectives. For every possible change we do or do not make, real lives are being impacted and that matters to us; and when 9 of 10 proposals are declined there will always be more individuals who “lose” than “win” even if the collective face of either group doesn’t change at all. We are ultimately people, trying to do our best to balance trade-offs with very real individual and collective consequences amidst constraints that extend well beyond any one of us. We are considering the responses very carefully, continuing to monitor outcomes, make adjustments, and evaluate the results of these changes with all available data.

Major Messages:

Respondents were most satisfied with the preliminary proposal requirement and mostly dissatisfied with the switch to a single annual deadline.

The respondents indicated that they see the DEB and IOS changes as a potential threat to the success of several different groups, especially to the ability of early career faculty to obtain funding. After the first complete review cycle, there were no immediate and obvious changes to the representation of these groups in the award portfolio.

General consensus was seen in responses between DEB and IOS and across various demographic divisions.

You can check the results out for yourself here: (Web) (PDF)

Note: you may hit a paywall if searching for the article directly from the web. These links should get you there directly.


Leslie J. Rissler and John Adamec. Gauging Satisfaction with the New Proposal Process in DEB and IOS at the NSF. BioScience (September 2014) 64 (9): 837-843 first published online August 13, 2014 doi:10.1093/biosci/biu116




2 thoughts on “DEB Numbers: Community Satisfaction Survey Results

  1. Pingback: Maybe you like preproposals after all | Sociobiology

  2. Pingback: Friday links: dump the Canadian CCV, unreclaiming zoology, billion dollar grant, and more | Dynamic Ecology

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