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Get ready for a variety of changes to how NSF handles the Merit Review criteria in your grant proposals. In early 2012, the National Science Board (NSB) released a wide array of recommendations for altering the NSF’s Merit Review. In many respects, the new revisions will be helpful for PIs and institutions, particularly with better clarity and guidance.

The NSB’s report was the product of extensive interviewing and surveying on topics relating to Merit Review. The Board formed a Task Force on Merit Review, finding at its basis that the two Merit Review criteria — Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts — are truly on-target for meeting the NSF’s goals. The Task Force also found, however, that significant revisions were necessary to better define the meaning of the Merit Review criteria and clarify how you should apply them to your research projects. The NSB’s report also addresses many of the hot-button questions that institutions and PIs have had about Merit Review.


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