NSF Peer Review: Panelist Perspective. QEM Biology Workshop; 10/21/05 Dr. Mildred Huff Ofosu Asst. Vice President; Sponsored Programs & Research; Morgan State University. My Experience. Academic Preparation Post-doc experience Have reviewed for USEd, NIH, NSF and EPA
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NSF Peer Review: Panelist Perspective QEM Biology Workshop; 10/21/05 Dr. Mildred Huff Ofosu Asst. Vice President; Sponsored Programs & Research; Morgan State University
My Experience • Academic Preparation • Post-doc experience • Have reviewed for USEd, NIH, NSF and EPA • Involvement in collaborations/partnerships • Allowed program officers/administrators to know me and my capabilities • Made oral and poster presentations • Specialized programs such as ICRDS and EA Programs
National Science Foundation Peer Review Criteria Requirements • Complete Conflict of Interest Form • Confidential Form • Use FastLane • Interactive Panel System • Follow NSF’s explicit instructions Remember: Same criteria are applied to all institutions
Two ‘Merit Review Criteria’ • What is the Intellectual Merit of the proposed activity? • How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields? • How well qualified is the proposer (individual or team) to conduct the project? (If appropriate, comment on the quality of prior work.)
Two ‘Merit Review Criteria’ • What is the Intellectual Merit of the proposed activity? • To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative and original concepts? • How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity? • Is there sufficient access to the necessary resources?
Example of Intellectual Merit • Student participants will be working at the cutting edge in their fields and will contribute to significant, original, and novel findings. Phase University is recognized as a center of field research in ecology, evolution, and population biology. Contributions by the REU program are illustrated by 20% student publication rate and graduate program matriculations of 75%.
Example of Intellectual Merit • The long-term future of scientific research is critically dependent on training the next generation of young research scientists. • The combination of individual mentors at State College and Fiber Institute, along with the outstanding facilities at each site, should provide the participating students with a rich research experience.
Two ‘Merit Review Criteria’ • What are the Broader Impacts of the proposed activity? • How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training and learning? • How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity disability, geography, etc.)
Two ‘Merit Review Criteria’ • What are the Broader Impacts of the proposed activity? • To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships? • Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding? • What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society?
Example of Broader Impact • The team plans to recruit undergraduate students from colleges and universities, particularly from two-year colleges with limited capacity to offer research experience to students. • Students will be recruited using website, scientific conferences, and direct mail advertising. On campus, departmental advisors, and faculty members teaching core life sciences courses and the New Research Program office will be contacted. Students will begin fulltime research lab investigations focusing on Microbiology.
Rating Score • Excellent: Outstanding proposal in all respects; deserves highest priority for support • Very Good: High quality proposal in nearly all respects; should be supported if at all possible • Good: A quality proposal, worthy of support • Fair: Proposal lacking in one or more critical aspects; key issues need to be addressed • Poor: Has serious deficiencies
Key Words • Student involvement • Recruitment plans • Enrichment activities • Mentoring • Outline of activities • Evaluation of activities
What do peer reviewers expect? • Evidence that guidelines are followed for all sections in the proposal • Budget is coinciding with objectives and project plan • Budget justification • Well structured evaluation plan
What does NSF expect from peer reviewers? • To be an expert in an academic discipline • To reveal if there is a conflict of interest • To be objective and unbiased • Comment on whether merit review criteria were followed by writers • Comment on proposal’s strengths and weaknesses
Helpful Hints • Carefully read guidelines; the re-read • Be sure material is well-written • Do not use acronyms • Do not use small font • Write clearly so that reviewer will not have to hunt for the material
Contact Information • email@example.com • firstname.lastname@example.org • 443-885-4505