Our Decision Timeline or “When will I hear back?”


With our Fall 2017 panels wrapped up, Program Officers are now reviewing panel recommendations and considering their portfolios in order to make final award and decline recommendations. For those unfamiliar with the process, recommendations from Program Officers are sent through administrative review and, lastly, agreed upon or “concurred” by the Division Director.

Decisions will be released a bit later this year than in previous years because of the end of the preliminary proposal review system and the move to ‘no deadline’ and a new solicitation will not be released until early summer 2018. Additionally, there is the added complication of a continuing resolution budget as we explained in a post from last year,

“At present, NSF is operating under a temporary budget measure, called a Continuing Resolution (or CR) … We won’t have significant funds available to cover new grants until a longer-term funding measure is enacted.”

So, while we have a prioritized list of award recommendations, we do not yet have the funds needed to take action on those recommendations. Moreover, we do not know how much funding we will actually have available. Therefore, we will institute a prioritized notification system, which will be implemented as follows:

If your proposal fell into the definite decline group, then you will be getting an official notice from DEB and the proposal status will be updated in FastLane. If your proposal fell into the definite award group you will be getting a call or email from your Program Officer, along with some information about the materials you should get ready (e.g., submitting budget revisions or abstract language). If your proposal fell into the ‘hope to fund’ category, you will also be notified, and your Program Officer will be letting you know what the prospect is for your particular proposal.

As a result, investigators should start to hear back from NSF early in the new year. If you still have not heard anything by the end of January 2018, drop the Program Officer managing your proposal an email to schedule a call. But please remember that for collaborative proposals, the lead PI is the point of contact.