In August, the BIO directorate released new solicitations to its proposal submission process to eliminate deadlines and limit the number of proposals that could be submitted to a given division annually by a PI or co-PI. As BIO was receiving far more worthy proposals than it has money to support, this submission cap was established with a view to ensuring that BIO’s merit review process would not be overwhelmed with the move to no deadlines.
In the ensuing three months, the community expressed serious concern that this new policy would hinder collaboration as well as limit funding prospects for new investigators. BIO places a high value on collaboration and on fostering careers of new investigators; thus, we held internal discussions to consider ways to address these concerns. In addition, relatively few proposals have been submitted to BIO since the release of the solicitations.
Having listened to community concern and tracked the current low rate of submission, and following extensive internal consultation, BIO is lifting all PI or co-PI restrictions on proposal submission for FY 2019, effective immediately.
BIO recognizes that it is important to track the effects of the no-deadline policy on proposal submission patterns, to ensure that a high-quality review process is sustained. Therefore, we are seeking approval from the Biological Sciences Advisory Committee to establish a subcommittee to assist in developing the evidence base for any future policy changes that may be needed.
Solicitations for proposals will be amended and released over the next few weeks to reflect these changes.
Here is a list of the top five most-viewed blog posts of 2017 in descending order. From the shift in no-deadlines to highlighting innovative broader impact activities, this blog features exciting science, news, and opportunities generated or supported by MCB. See what you’ve been missing!
Rolling MCB proposal submissions to be implemented in 2018.
Published Oct 5 under “Funding and Service.”
Above and beyond basic science: Dr. Raj designing a science communication tool called Slideboards at UPenn, and Dr. Neiman and Dr. Schoerning creating a Science Booster Club at UIowa.
Published May 12 under “Broader Impacts.”
Dr. Skop of UW-Madison emphasizes work/life balance, and incorporating your passion into your science.
Published Dec. 12 under “Broader Impacts.”
From NSF grantee, then panelist/reviewer, to the inside scoop: meet Dr. Weinreich as he embarks on his new role at NSF.
Published June 2 under “Getting to Know MCB.”
The 2017 MCB call for grant proposals: program synopsis.
Published Aug. 18 under “Funding and Service.”
MCB’s current solicitation (NSF 17-589) deadline is Nov. 20, 2017.
In response to popular feedback, and in the interest of our community, MCB will be following in GEO’s footsteps to eliminate deadlines for future proposals. We will release a new solicitation in mid-2018 which will detail the procedure and funding priorities for proposals submitted with “no deadline.” Funding for the proposals submitted under the no-deadline solicitation will begin during the 2019 fiscal year.
Eliminating proposal deadlines offers three key advantages. First, no-deadlines allows PIs to be more strategic in building collaborations; second, no-deadline reduces the time crush on institutions; and third, no-deadlines enables NSF-BIO to work more collaboratively across the directorate to fund science that crosses levels of biological organization. NSF anticipates that this change will result in more complex, interdisciplinary projects that have the potential to dramatically advance biological science.
More information about the change will be released through FAQs, webinars, presentations, and this blog as it arrives. Read more in the Dear Colleague Letter (NSF 18-11).