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Evaluation of the NSF DEB and IOS Switch to Preliminary Proposal Review

In 2012, the Divisions of Environmental Biology (DEB) and Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS) in the Biological Sciences Directorate (BIO) at the National Science Foundation (NSF) introduced three changes to the submission of proposals to core programs. These included: a limit on the number of proposals that Principal Investigators (PIs) can submit per cycle, a new requirement for a preliminary proposal as a pilot effort, and a switch to an annual submission deadline.

After the conclusion of the 3-year preliminary proposal review process pilot, an outside organization, Abt Associates, was contracted to analyze administrative data pertaining to the three fiscal years prior to implementation of preliminary proposals and the subsequent three-year pilot. Members of the community were surveyed and NSF staff were interviewed as part of the Abt review.

The results of the Abt evaluation can be viewed here: Abt Report March 2017.

We welcome your comments via email at abtreport@nsf.gov