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NSF 17-067

Dear Colleague Letter: Removal of Deadlines for the Following Programs in the Division of Earth Sciences (EAR): Tectonics, Petrology and Geochemistry, Geophysics, and EarthScope

March 17, 2017

Dear Colleague:

The Division of Earth Sciences (EAR) will eliminate all future target dates for the following programs: Tectonics, Petrology and Geochemistry, Geophysics, and EarthScope. Although summer deadlines for these programs have been traditionally earlier, submission of new proposals should be submitted only after July 24, 2017. This date was selected to mitigate delays that might be associated with relocation of the NSF staff and services to a new headquarters building in Alexandria. The Program Solicitations for each of the programs listed above will be updated to reflect these changes. It should be noted that EAR intends to sunset the EarthScope Science program at the end of fiscal year 2018 and, therefore, proposals will not be accepted by this program after February 10, 2018.

This decision was made to broaden EAR's Merit Review pilot and to align practices in these Programs with other EAR Programs that have already successfully implemented this change in the recent past (Instrumentation and Facilities, Sedimentary Geology and Paleobiology, Geobiology and Low-Temperature Geochemistry, Geomorphology and Land Use Dynamics, and Hydrology). We plan to assess the impact of this Merit Review pilot to make sure that it contributes to our goal of improving success rates in the Division while reducing the burden on investigators, reviewers, and submitting institutions.

We will continue to use a combination of ad hoc reviews and panel input to assess the intellectual merit and broader impacts of submitted proposals. Supplements, EAGERs, and RAPIDs will continue to be entertained anytime following communication with the appropriate Program Director as indicated in the Proposal and Awards Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG).

We remind our community that proposals that have been declined need to be substantially revised to be considered again by the programs. Submissions that have not been changed significantly will be returned without review as outlined in the NSF's PAPPG.


Dr. Scott Borg
Acting Assistant Director
Directorate for Geosciences
National Science Foundation