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NSF 12-115

Dear Colleague Letter: Changes to the Funding Cycle and Proposal Due Dates for Senior Awards and Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grants in the Biological Anthropology Program (BCS, SBE)

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Programs throughout the National Science Foundation have experienced substantial increases in the number of proposals submitted and a concurrent decline in the percentage of those proposals which can be funded under current budgetary realities. The increase in proposals, and the growing likelihood that a large number of these must be revised and resubmitted under stringent time constraints post merit review and notification, has accentuated the burden on all members of the research community, including principal investigators, external reviewers, and advisory panel members. In response to these pressures, programs within the Foundation are instituting constructive changes in the structure of their submission and review policies and procedures. Those changes for the Biological Anthropology Program are detailed in this letter to the community.

Effective beginning August 2012, the Biological Anthropology Program (Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences, Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences) will convert to an 8-month interval between competitions for both the regular research (Senior) awards and the doctoral dissertation research improvement grants (DDRIG). There will be no alterations to the scope of the programs or to the merit review procedures for each, the requirements for proposals submitted to each remain unchanged, and investigators should anticipate receipt of decisions on proposals within the same timeframe (most typically, within 6 months of the submission deadline/target date). There will be an impact on the deadline/target dates for the two competitions and the purpose of this letter is to convey those changes.

  • The target date for submission of regular research (Senior) proposals for the next funding cycle will be altered in the process of establishing the new format. The original target date for the 2012 fall funding cycle of 20 August 2012 has been changed to 7 December 2012. Subsequent target dates will fall on the first Friday of the month following the 8-month interval: 2 August 2013; 4 April 2014; 5 December 2014.
  • The deadline for submission of dissertation research proposals for the 2012 fall funding cycle remains unchanged: 16 August 2012. The subsequent submission deadlines will reflect the newly instituted 8-month interval and will be the first Friday of the appropriate month: 5 April 2013; 6 December 2013; 1 August 2014. These remain firm deadlines.

Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) program proposals will continue to be due on the NSF-announced full proposal annual deadline for the Directorate (SBE); 24 July 2013 for the next competition. Other funding mechanisms eligible for support through the Biological Anthropology Program which do not have set, recurring due dates for proposal submission are not affected by these program changes.

Members of the community are encouraged to contact the program director with any questions regarding these structural changes: Carolyn L. Ehardt, Program Director, Biological Anthropology Program; 703.292.7850;


Mark L. Weiss
Director, Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences
Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences
National Science Foundation