Skip Navigation Links
About UsExpand About Us
Grant ProgramsExpand Grant Programs
EvaluationExpand Evaluation
Active GrantsExpand Active Grants
Memorial AwardsExpand Memorial Awards
Grant HistoryExpand Grant History
NewsletterExpand Newsletter
Skip Navigation Links
 Skip Navigation LinksHome > Evaluation > NSF-BSF Joint Programs  
Evaluation NSF-BSF Joint Programs
   Skip Navigation Links    

Evaluation in the NSF:

Applications to the NSF-BSF programs are evaluated by the NSF. The process is merit based, and may include scientific panel discussions, ad-hock reviews, or both. The decision as to how to review the proposals in a specific program is up to that NSF division and is not fixed across the foundation. Israeli participation in the process may be in the form of panel members, or ad-hock reviews, but is not mandatory.

Although the NSF process is merit based, a significant difference exists between the way NSF granting decisions are made, and the practice at the BSF and the ISF. In the latter, panel ranking is followed, mostly with no exceptions. At the NSF, the panel serves in an advisory capacity only, and final granting decisions are made by the NSF staff. In making these decisions, the NSF staff may introduce additional considerations, such as the present level of funding of the US applicant, the present level of funding to this area of research (in an effort to distribute the funds to as many areas of research as possible), the ability to draw funds for a specific application from another NSF unit, etc.

A second difference from the Israeli practices is the weight that the expected “broad Impact” of the project plays in the decision making. At least formally, at the NSF it carries the same weight as that of the scientific merit of the proposal. A complete description of the NSF evaluation process can be found here. All applicants to these programs are advised to read it carefully.

Decisions and Notifications:

Granting decisions are made by the relevant NSF divisions in several stages:

  1. The NSF program director approaches the U.S. PI with a request for a modified budget. This may be an indication that the application is favorably considered for approval, but nothing more. At this time U.S. and Israeli applicants whose applications were not approved, are notified by the NSF and BSF respectively.
  2. The U.S. PI is notified that his application has been recommended for a grant. At this time his university often allows him to start using the grant money. It is at this point that we notify the Israeli PI that the application has been approved for a grant.
  3. The NSF issues a contract to the institution of the U.S. PI. Only when both sides have signed the contract, it becomes official and the grant goes into effect.

When the grants are approved, the Israeli applicants receive an email with a link to the appropriate page on the website. If a grant is awarded, the applicants will be able to see the number of years and the overall budget information. Grantees will then have to submit their amended budget for the first year on-line.

The BSF does not forward to the Israeli applicants the reviews collected by the NSF and the summary of the panel’s evaluation. However, those are made available to the U.S. applicant, and he can forward him to his Israeli partner.

As in the regular BSF program, grant approval is usually conditional, pending budget modifications or further details regarding the workplan.

Skip Navigation Links
Site Map