June 14, 2011

NSF and NSB Seek Comments on Merit Review Criteria Revisions

The National Science Foundation and National Science Board are seeking comments by July 14 on draft revisions to the two NSF merit review criteria, Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts, and the principles upon which the criteria are based.

Over the past year, the NSB has been conducting a review of the NSF merit review criteria. In May, the NSB Task Force on Merit Review proposed maintaining the two criteria, but revising the text to clarify the intent of the criteria and how they are to be used during the review process. In addition to the proposed revision to the criteria, the Task Force identified a set of important underlying principles.

NSF and NSB are now interested in getting feedback and have issued a joint Dear Colleague Letter with the text of the draft revised criteria and the principles and the request for email comments by July 14.

NSF plans to develop guidance for principal investigators, reviewers, and NSF staff on the use of these criteria after the drafts are finalized. Comments will help NSF to develop the guidance and other supporting documents such as FAQs.