Division of Ocean Sciences - Fall 2002 Newsletter
NSF 03-014
(Replaces NSF 02-055)

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Implementation of New GPG Requirements on Broader Impacts

In March 1997, the National Science Board approved the use of two merit review criteria for NSF proposals: (1) the intellectual merit of the proposed activity; and (2) the broader impacts resulting from the proposed activity. While investigators routinely address the intellectual merit criterion, treatment of broader impacts has been inconsistent. Each issuance of the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG) since 1997 has continued to strengthen the coverage relating to the importance of broader impacts in the preparation and review of proposals submitted to NSF.

The most recent iteration of the GPG (NSF 03-2), now available at https://www.nsf.gov/pubsys/ods/getpub.cfm?nsf032, clearly states that, effective October 1, 2002, NSF will return without review proposals that do not separately address both merit review criteria within the Project Summary. The GPG also reiterates that broader impacts resulting from the proposed project must be addressed in the Project Description and described as an integral part of the narrative. Examples illustrating activities likely to demonstrate broader impacts are available at: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2003/nsf032/bicexamples.pdf.

To ensure that proposals are treated equitably, FastLane has been enhanced to remind/inform principal investigators of the new proposal preparation requirements. We hope the community will help us avoid returning proposals by ensuring both criteria are addressed in submitted proposals.