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. Continue reading

DEB Spring 2014 Preliminary Proposal Results

Some of you have already heard about your DEB preliminary proposal(s). Invitations for full proposals have been going out first, one cluster at a time, followed by declines, again by cluster. DEB does this to maximize preparation time for the invited PIs and to make sure individuals in the same cluster and outcome grouping receive notice at roughly the same time. These decisions are being announced in line with or ahead of the review calendar discussed here and here.

Each PI will receive a context statement describing the review process and results in the reviewing cluster. Here we provide a compilation of the same context information for all four clusters in DEB. Continue reading

Review Service in DEB, Part 3: Finding you for Review

This is part 3 of a discussion of reviewer service in DEB. In parts 1 and 2 we talked about the roles of panelists and ad hoc reviewers and how contacting us to volunteer as a reviewer doesn’t often work. With that as background we can provide some insight into actual reviewer selection and assignment in DEB. Continue reading

Reviewer Service in DEB, Part 2: Missed Connections

In the prior post we described the roles of panelists and ad hoc reviewers in the DEB merit review process and how others have highlighted the value of taking part in this process. We left off with an observation that has popped up in several comment threads on those other discussions: “I volunteered but no one ever called.” This post addresses why that happens. Continue reading

Review Service in DEB, Part 1: Panelist vs Ad hoc Reviewer

It’s been said before elsewhere that serving on an NSF panel is an eye-opening experience, not just because you gain perspective on the work that goes into a panel but that as a reviewer you can learn so much about grant-writing which you can apply to your own pursuit of funding. But panels aren’t the only review opportunity in DEB. Continue reading

Discussion: DEB Review Calendar (Part 2 of 2)

In our prior post, we explored the sequence of steps in the review process that necessitates the long lead times between proposal receipt and when PIs hear back about recommendations.  In this follow-on piece, we look at another aspect:

Why are the program dues dates on that particular date? Why not my preferred date? Continue reading

Discussion: DEB Review Calendar (Part 1 of 2)

Many of you are probably wondering – what are the steps that my proposal goes through as it gets reviewed?  What does a typical year in DEB look like to a proposal?  Some of you may have attended an outreach presentation by a Program Officer in which there was a slide showing the preliminary proposal/full proposal cycle. The slide image looked something like this:


This is the review schedule for DEB Core Programs. There’s quite a lot of white space in there, – enough to make you wonder why review takes as long as it does.  This post (part 1 of 2) aims to address a very basic but common question we receive about the review process. Continue reading