NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
Office of the Director
ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA 22230

Notice No. 121
July 10, 1997

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO
PRESIDENTS OF UNIVERSITIES
AND COLLEGES AND HEADS OF
OTHER NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION
GRANTEE ORGANIZATIONS

Subject: New Criteria for NSF Proposals

The National Science Board has approved new criteria for reviewing proposals to the National Science Foundation, effective October 1, 1997. The criteria, and how reviewers are to address them, are shown in the attached reviewer instructions and new review form.

Note that reviewers will be asked to address a given proposal's strengths and weaknesses as they relate to any or all of the considerations listed under each criterion, and to provide an overall rating and a brief summary statement that includes comments on the relative importance of the two criteria to their rating.

NSF programs will manage the review of incoming proposals as follows:

1. Proposals submitted in response to program announcements or solicitations which specifically list either the current or new review criteria will be reviewed in accordance with the terms of the particular announcement or solicitation, no matter when received.

2. All other proposals, including those received in response to program announcements, solicitations or "standing announcements" that make reference to the standard merit review criteria in the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG), will be reviewed using the current criteria if received before October 1, 1997, and using the new criteria if received on or after that date. The relevant receipt date is the date that the proposal is officially logged in by NSF's Proposal Processing Unit.

Effective immediately, NSF program announcements and solicitations that specify review criteria will incorporate the new Foundation-wide criteria. The GPG will be reissued effective October 1, 1997, and is expected to be available on the NSF Home Page (http://www.nsf.gov/) by mid-August.

Additional background information about this change, including the Board's resolution and the report on which it is based, can be found at (http://www.nsf.gov/nsb/documents/).

Questions about the general terms of this announcement may be directed to campus sponsored projects offices or equivalent business offices, and questions about the handling of a specific proposal may be directed to the NSF program responsible for managing its review.

Let me express my appreciation for your cooperation as the Foundation implements this important change.

Neal Lane
Director

Attachments

Instructions for Proposal Review
Proposal Review Form