Changes to NSF’s Grant Proposal Guide

By now, any academic scientist working in National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded fields is well aware of the agency’s “broader impacts” (BI) review criterion. For years, applicants for NSF grants have been required to supplement their discussion of a project’s “intellectual merit” (IM) with a separate discussion of BI in the project summary.

Last week, NSF’s Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET), part of its engineering directorate, issued a notice reminding applicants that starting in 2014 proposals must also include separate BI and IM sections in the project description narrative and in the section describing the results of prior NSF support.

“If any of these requirements (or any other requirement from NSF 13-1 document) are not met, the proposal will not pass the NSF compliance check and will be returned without review,” writes the CBET staff. “We would like to avoid such unfortunate instances for our Division.”

NSF’s Grant Proposal Guide is here. Instructions for preparing the proposal are in Chapter II. Here is the language on the BI criterion from the Grant Proposal Guide:

You can find more discussion of the BI criterion in thesearticles.

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