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NSF 14-117

Dear Colleague Letter: Announcement of Intent to use of Asynchronous Review Mechanism for Proposals submitted to the Physics Division

September 10, 2014

Dear Colleagues:

This message is to inform you that the Physics Division (PHY) will be reviewing proposals using a combination of ad hoc and panel review. The panel review portion may use an asynchronous mechanism the Division piloted in FY2013. The review principles remain the same as those with which you may already be familiar. The only mechanistic difference is that panel members are able to review and provide input to the panel discussion in the weeks prior to the panel meeting rather than limiting the discussion to the narrow range of time dedicated to the face-to-face panel meeting itself. Our experience with the pilot indicates that the extra time that this mechanism allows can lead to a more thorough examination of all the proposals by the full panel and hence more useful input to the NSF and feedback to the Principal Investigators (PIs). In the course of implementation, all normal rules of conflict of interest and confidentiality of information will apply.

It is important to stress that the review will strictly follow the established NSF review criteria of intellectual merit and broader impact. Each of the PHY Program Officers will decide on whether to employ this asynchronous mechanism or to continue their review process as they have in the past. Please visit the NSF merit review website for complete information about the merit review process

If you have any questions about this process, please contact the cognizant Program Officer for the program to which the PI is applying. The names of these individuals are attached to the Program Descriptions for the respective programs on the Physics Division web page at


C. Denise Caldwell
Division Director
Division of Physics