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NSF 11-015

Dear Colleague Letter: New Division Director and Updates to NSF Policy

From: Matthew S. Platz, Director, NSF Division of Chemistry

Subject: NSF Division of Chemistry, New Division Director and Important Updates to NSF Policy

On September 27, 2010 it was my privilege to begin serving our community as Director of the Division of Chemistry. I had two strong, initial impressions. First, I was immediately struck by the strong work ethic and commitment of the Program Directors (PD’s). Chemistry is blessed with PD’s who work long hours on our behalf and think deeply about the optimum distribution of resources. Secondly, I have big shoes to fill. The previous Director, Dr. Luis Echegoyen, launched a visionary realignment of Chemistry Division programs and made great progress in growing our budget, in absolute terms, and relative to our sister sciences. The challenge now is to continue this momentum, to manage transition issues related to the realignment and to continue to sell the beauty and importance of chemistry.

I am a physical organic chemist and my laboratory at Ohio State has been continuously supported by the NSF since 1979. Like you I have been a reviewer and a panelist. I appreciate how long it takes to prepare and to review a competitive proposal at a time in which every minute is precious. Yet, the NSF must have your input if we are to identify and support the best science. Thus, I hope you will find a way to say “yes” when asked to serve and even consider spending a year or two at the NSF giving back to the community.

What’s new for PI’s?

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG), NSF 11-1, was issued on October 1, 2010 and is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 18, 2011. Significant changes include implementation of the National Science Board’s recommendations regarding cost sharing and clarification of NSF’s long standing data policy. With regard to the latter, all proposals must describe plans for data management and sharing of the products of research, or assert the absence of the need for such plans. A link to data management requirements and plans relevant to the Division of Chemistry is available on the NSF website at:

Please make sure to stop by and see me the next time you visit the NSF. I look forward to exchanging information and understanding your perspective.