Scientists Foresee Few Effects Of NSF Review Changes

GOOD NEWS: NSF's Paul Herer found the positive reaction to his agency's new review criteria somewhat surprising. Scientists who review National Science Foundation grant applications soon will have a new system by which to judge them. Beginning October 1, the current four merit-review criteria will be eliminated, and reviewers will be asked to assess research proposals based on the proposals' "intellectual merit and property" and their "broader impacts," such as potential effect on societal nee

Thomas Durso
May 25, 1997


GOOD NEWS: NSF's Paul Herer found the positive reaction to his agency's new review criteria somewhat surprising.
Scientists who review National Science Foundation grant applications soon will have a new system by which to judge them. Beginning October 1, the current four merit-review criteria will be eliminated, and reviewers will be asked to assess research proposals based on the proposals' "intellectual merit and property" and their "broader impacts," such as potential effect on societal needs. The National Science Board (NSB), NSF's governing body, approved the changes in late March. They are the first such revisions since 1981.

While researchers say the revisions probably will have little impact on the type of science NSF funds, they generally cheer the changes, saying they clarify NSF's review criteria. In addition, some hope the changes could lead to greater support of innovative research that does more to advance scientific knowledge than is achieved...

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