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NSF 17-086

Dear Colleague Letter: Removal of deadlines for the Marine Geology and Geophysics Program in the Division of Ocean Sciences in the Directorate for Geosciences

May 23, 2017

Dear Colleague:

The Marine Geology and Geophysics Program (MGG) in the Division of Ocean Sciences will, as of May 1, 2017, eliminate target dates and accept proposals for consideration at any time, as is presently done in several other programs in NSF’s Directorate for Geosciences. This action is being taken to enable greater flexibility for the community and reduce the burden on investigators, reviewers, and submitting institutions. New proposals will be accepted any time after July 1, 2017. Proposals requesting ship time should allow for at least 18 months of lead time for those projects requiring Academic Research Fleet Global- or Ocean-Class vessels and at least 12 months for all other ship requests.

The Marine Geology and Geophysics Program will continue to maintain a high-quality merit review system using ad hoc mail reviews and panels, as appropriate. For those unfamiliar with how no-submission deadline processes work, FAQs and other relevant information can be found on the NSF Division of Ocean Sciences webpage.

By accepting proposals at any time, investigators will have more time to prepare proposals and build strong collaborations; think more creatively without the pressure of a deadline; and propose more complex, interdisciplinary projects that have the potential to dramatically advance science. As has been shown in other NSF Programs and Divisions where a no deadline submission process has been instituted, eliminating deadlines can reduce the burden on institutions and the community by spreading out the request period over the course of the year, as opposed to having submissions limited to two short time windows.

With this change, MGG will continue its present practice in which a proposal (or reasonable facsimile of that proposal/topic by the same investigator) is ineligible for resubmission until a minimum of one year has passed since its initial submission. This moratorium allows investigators the time required to digest the results of the merit review and revise/restructure/etc. their proposal accordingly. 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 Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG).

Only proposals submitted to the Marine Geology and Geophysics Core Program in the Division of Ocean Sciences are affected by this change. All other submissions to other Programs and funding opportunities in the Division of Ocean Sciences (including GeoPRISMS and Paleo Perspectives on Climate Change) will continue to follow the deadlines outlined in their respective solicitations and webpages. We plan to assess the impact of this merit review pilot over the next few cycles to evaluate its contribution to the goals outlined above.

Sincerely,
Scott Borg
Acting AD