On 14 July 2011, AIBS provided comments to the National Science Board (NSB) and National Science Foundation (NSF) about recently proposed changes to the NSF merit review criteria.

After soliciting input on the criteria that are used to evaluate grant proposals submitted to NSF, the NSB recommended retaining the existing criteria of intellectual merit and broader impacts. Although the intellectual merit criterion was largely unchanged, the broader impacts criterion was rewritten and new guiding principles for reviewers and applicants were added.

AIBS expressed strong support for NSB’s decision to retain and revise the existing merit review criteria. Moreover, AIBS praised the agency’s decision to narrow the scope of the broader impacts criterion to make clear that each applicant is not expected to address all aspects of broader impacts (e.g. education, training, broadening participation, economic competitiveness, and so forth). Instead, applicants are encouraged to focus on one or more national goals.

The comments also encouraged NSB to add several national goals to the list of areas that NSF projects should collectively address.

To read the AIBS comments, visit www.aibs.org/position-statements/20110714nsfmerit_review.html.

To learn more about the revised merit review criteria, visit www.nsf.gov/nsb/publications/2011/06_mrtf.jsp.


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