Many (most?) of you likely have gotten an email from NSF asking you to take part in an upcoming survey. This is a legitimate request. The email from NSF shouldn’t have an actual link to the survey; it’s just a notice that you will receive an invitation. The actual invitation should follow today; it will be from NSF’s contractor, Insight Policy Research, and contain a link to the online survey.
This is an NSF-wide survey of investigators and reviewers. The survey is intended to help NSF to learn more about the impact of its merit review process on proposers and reviewers. This is something that NSF has done at intervals since 1976. The last time this was done was roughly a decade ago and we’ve referenced the resultant report, called the IPAMM and published in 2007, on this blog several times. Please help us out by taking some time (est. 30 minutes) to complete the survey.
Nearly all individuals who have submitted proposals to and/or reviewed for NSF in the past few years are being invited to participate in the survey. NSF is hoping for substantial response rates so that results are representative of all of the academic disciplines that receive awards from NSF, of a broad spectrum of research and educational organizations, and of many different demographic groups
If survey participants have specific questions about the survey, the invitation email includes an email address for Insight’s Help Desk, email@example.com .
Note: This survey is separate from the planned assessment of the DEB and IOS preliminary proposal system. We are still working on obtaining a contractor to conduct our targeted assessment. However, please take both opportunities to provide input to NSF to ensure that the agency-wide survey captures the opinions of our communities as well as our later targeted review is expected to do.