On Nov. 15, the NSF reversed their previous decision to restrict biological researchers to only one proposal submission per year to the biology directorate’s three core tracks.
This decision is a reversal from an August 2018 decision which was heavily opposed by the research community that implemented new restrictions to limit submission and resubmission of proposals. The original decision limited annual submissions as PI or co-PI to only one proposal to each MCB, IOS and DEB core program, and two proposals to DBI infrastructure programs.
As a response to “community concerns” the biology directorate’s acting head, Joanne Tornow, said that the NSF will continue to monitor the effects of the changes made and adjust accordingly.
The original decision was made to prevent the directorate’s system with being overloaded by proposals, as well as encourage closer collaboration between researchers. However, the community response seemed to suggest that these changes would discourage collaboration, leading to the reversal.
According to Tunrow, the directorate is looking to “establish a subcommittee to assist in developing the evidence base for any future policy changes that may be needed.”