Thursday, August 09, 2007

SGERs being replaced ?

The new NSF news feeds are great. I get to hear all kinds of interesting tidbits about the NSF, including some recent chatter on encouraging "transformative research". One direct consequence of this chatter is this (emphasis mine):

[NSF Director] Bement yesterday proposed a three-pronged strategy before the task force on transformative research. It was unanimously adopted by the task force on Tuesday and then unanimously adopted by the Board on Wednesday. Bement's plan for will:

1. Infuse support of potentially transformative research throughout NSF and all of its programs;

2. Learn how to facilitate potentially transformative research; and

3. Lead the community through opportunities for potentially tranformative research proposal submissions.

[...]

To lead the community, Bement will embark on a three-year trial, during which NSF will replace small grants for exploratory research with a two-tiered "early-concept" award mechanism. Tier I will call for limited funding grants that are internally reviewed. Tier II will entail larger grants requiring additional levels of review. Further, NSF will create a working group to recommend implementation details; a mechanism to monitor and track impact and lessons-learned; and a method to advertise the new approach to the community.

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