NSF Sans Peer Review

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

Bob Grant
Bob Grant

Bob Grant is Editor in Chief of The Scientist, where he started in 2007 as a Staff Writer.

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Nov 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,...

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