Preliminary Proposal Evaluation Survey Reminder


Check your inbox.

Check your spam folder.

Complete the survey!

End the reminder messages.


Background (if the above doesn’t make sense to you).

This is about the Preliminary Proposal system in use in both NSF BIO’s Division of Environmental Biology and Division of Integrative Organismal Systems.

We are in the midst of an external evaluation of the effects of this system on the merit review process.

We posted an initial notification letter about stakeholder surveys. And, copies of this letter were sent out to everyone in the sample ahead of the formal invitations.

The formal survey invitations with the active survey links were sent out by mid-September from the evaluator, Abt Associates.

Reminder emails are also coming out and will continue to do so at regular interviews while the survey remains open and incomplete.

If you have been receiving these messages, please complete the survey. If your colleagues have been receiving these messages and have not completed the survey, encourage them to do so.

If you received an invitation to take the survey,

  • Please take the 10 or so minutes to register your responses via the link in the email.
  • Remember that these are single-use individualized links.
  • Your response matters. This isn’t a census: your invitation is part of a stratified random sample selected for inference to the population.

Thank you for your participation!

How to win over panels and influence program officers: advice for effective written reviews.

For a while now we’ve been pondering how to approach a delicate subject: writing reviews. This subject is something of a minefield of tensions, conflicts, opinions, and opportunities to offend, alienate, and otherwise ruffle feathers by implying, “you’re doing it wrong.” So we feel it is important to explain here why we are tackling this topic and mention some of the approaches that didn’t fly.

We receive requests from less experienced reviewers who want advice outside the trial-by-fire of an actual panel to hone their review-writing skills. And we also hear from PIs who are disappointed in the utility or quality of the reviews they have received. 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