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NSF Sans Peer Review

The US science funding agency unveils a new grant program that does away with external peer review.

By | November 10, 2011

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS, CEJISS

A new grant funding program announced by the National Science Foundation on Wednesday (November 9) will seek to support innovative, interdisciplinary research projects. And it will choose winners without the traditional external peer review process. Instead, scientists applying to a grant through the Creative Research Awards for Transformative Interdisciplinary Ventures (CREATIV) initiative will only have to demonstrate their work's merit to NSF program managers.

In order to even submit a CREATIV grant, which will award up to $1 million over 5 years, researchers must get written approval from at least two NSF program managers. The agency will then determine whether the proposal is worthy of funding in only 2-3 months, half the time it takes to learn the fate of a regular, peer-reviewed NSF grant proposal. Richard Behnke, co-chair of the NSF committee that designed CREATIV, told ScienceInsider that though the new program eschews traditional external peer-review, CREATIV grants will represent less than 2 percent of the agency's overall research budget. "For the great majority of proposals, we will continue the traditional merit-review process," he said. "The gold standard remains in place."

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Comments

November 11, 2011

The article leaves the reader with the erroneous impression that this is a totally new thing.  Unh-unh.  While it's true that this new program offers rather hefty grant awards (a million over five years!), it's definitely NOT the first time NSF had a program that made awards without the benefit of external peer review.  The prior programs (for example, the "Small Grants for Exploratory Research" or SGER program) have been around since the mid-1980's (i.e., at least a quarter of a century).  However, the SGER grants (and other pervious award mechanisms that utilized review solely by NSF scientific staff) were limited to smaller amounts of funding. 

November 11, 2011

(Note bene: If this duplicates another post, please accept my apologies.  I've had some problems with the software)

 The article leaves the reader with the erroneous impression that this is a totally new thing.  Unh-unh.  While it's true that this new program offers rather hefty grant awards (a million over five years!), it's definitely NOT the first time NSF had a program that made awards without the use of external peer review.  The prior programs (for example, the "Small Grants for Exploratory Research" or SGER program) have been around since the mid-1980's (i.e., at least a quarter of a century).  However, the SGER grants (and other previous award mechanisms that utilized review solely by NSF scientific staff) were limited to smaller amounts of funding. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

November 11, 2011

The article leaves the reader with the erroneous impression that this is a totally new thing.  Unh-unh.  While it's true that this new program offers rather hefty grant awards (a million over five years!), it's definitely NOT the first time NSF had a program that made awards without the benefit of external peer review.  The prior programs (for example, the "Small Grants for Exploratory Research" or SGER program) have been around since the mid-1980's (i.e., at least a quarter of a century).  However, the SGER grants (and other pervious award mechanisms that utilized review solely by NSF scientific staff) were limited to smaller amounts of funding. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

November 11, 2011

(Note bene: If this duplicates another post, please accept my apologies.  I've had some problems with the software)

 The article leaves the reader with the erroneous impression that this is a totally new thing.  Unh-unh.  While it's true that this new program offers rather hefty grant awards (a million over five years!), it's definitely NOT the first time NSF had a program that made awards without the use of external peer review.  The prior programs (for example, the "Small Grants for Exploratory Research" or SGER program) have been around since the mid-1980's (i.e., at least a quarter of a century).  However, the SGER grants (and other previous award mechanisms that utilized review solely by NSF scientific staff) were limited to smaller amounts of funding. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

November 11, 2011

The article leaves the reader with the erroneous impression that this is a totally new thing.  Unh-unh.  While it's true that this new program offers rather hefty grant awards (a million over five years!), it's definitely NOT the first time NSF had a program that made awards without the benefit of external peer review.  The prior programs (for example, the "Small Grants for Exploratory Research" or SGER program) have been around since the mid-1980's (i.e., at least a quarter of a century).  However, the SGER grants (and other pervious award mechanisms that utilized review solely by NSF scientific staff) were limited to smaller amounts of funding. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

November 11, 2011

(Note bene: If this duplicates another post, please accept my apologies.  I've had some problems with the software)

 The article leaves the reader with the erroneous impression that this is a totally new thing.  Unh-unh.  While it's true that this new program offers rather hefty grant awards (a million over five years!), it's definitely NOT the first time NSF had a program that made awards without the use of external peer review.  The prior programs (for example, the "Small Grants for Exploratory Research" or SGER program) have been around since the mid-1980's (i.e., at least a quarter of a century).  However, the SGER grants (and other previous award mechanisms that utilized review solely by NSF scientific staff) were limited to smaller amounts of funding. 

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