We strongly support some of the suggestions that Chris Somerville made
regarding funding of NSF proposals. (1) The idea of lengthening the grants
to five years is excellent. The security of five years of funding is a
great benefit for us. We can make strategic decisions about the direction
of our research and about the students and staff we take on knowing that
the work and the personnel will be supported. This is especially important
for more risky and long term projects. Extending funding to five year
periods should also reduce administrative burdens and costs associated with
grant writing and reviewing. DeLill Nasser and others caution that
lengthening grant awards will impact funding rates; therefore,
implementation should be done slowly to minimize the impact or, better yet,
coordinated with increased funding. (2) Reducing the time for the review
process would also be a great benefit. Extensive use of electronic mail
instead of the post office or Federal Express for submitting and reviewing
grants should help.
We are still opposed to ending duplicate proposals, but since the new rules
have not been published in the Federal Register, we assume that they are
only guidelines at this point and not official regulations.
This open discussion of important issues on the BBoard is refreshing and
informative. We wish to encourage further sharing of information and
opinions/ideas in this forum.
Nigel Crawford, Robert Schmidt, Marty Yanofsky