On January 14th, 2013, new guidelines went into effect for NSF (National Science Foundation) grants submissions. The new Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide contains several changes. For the full guidelines follow this link: Guide. Educators and non-profits should review these changes carefully before submitting their NSF proposals.
One of the notable changes is in the merit review principles. The revised guide now includes three principles (previously two). The first principle addresses the NSF’s emphasis on high quality projects that have the ability to advance knowledge; the second principle is an emphasis on projects contributing to achieving societal goals. The third principle includes the following language: “Meaningful assessment and evaluation of NSF funded projects should be based on appropriate metrics…” (Chapter III, pg 1).
This is an important addition to the merit review principles, underscoring what we as evaluators focus on, namely that evaluation constitutes an essential component of research. This additional principle clearly demonstrates NSF’s commitment to research and proposals that address the potential outcomes and successes of the research.
For more information see the NSF published Dear Colleague Letter (October, 2012) that outlines all of the significant changes. Also, RIT Researcher News has published a summary that is another great resource for understanding all of the changes.