Proposal Review Process
Proposals are typically reviewed
by at least three experts. Panel review is
most-common and is sometimes supplemented with mail review. After carefully
examining a proposal, the Program Officer identifies experts and solicits their
reviews electronically. Reviewers' advice is used in the Program Officer's
decision to recommend funding or declination of a proposal. When
the process is completed, the Principal Investigators (PIs) receive electronic
copies of the reviews from the Program Officer, but the identities of the
reviewers are not disclosed.
Suggestions for Reviewers
- When you receive a review request, please respond as quickly as possible. If
you cannot provide a timely review, if you have a conflict of interest, or if you do
not feel qualified to review the proposal, please decline to review over FastLane or
by emailing the Program Officer. Even if you are unable to review the proposal, we
welcome your suggestions for other qualified reviewers.
- Reviews are written as advice to the Program Officer and should reflect your
professional opinion of the proposal. The PI will receive an anonymous copy of
your review. Constructive criticisms and suggestions can be especially helpful
for strengthening the project.
- Please consider both the NSF merit review criteria as well as any program-specific
- Program Officers look for creativity, a well-developed strategy for achieving
project objectives, and impact. Please comment on these, as appropriate.
- If the PI has had prior support from NSF, please comment on the work that has
previously been supported using both merit review criteria.
- If a proposal requests instrumentation, please comment on the appropriateness of
- Please comment on the adequacy of resources and expertise available to the project.