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National Science Foundation


CBET 11-003
Dear Colleague Letter: The Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems (CBET) Single Annual Proposal Submission Window per Program

DATE: May 24, 2011

For the upcoming annual proposal cycle (see dates below), each NSF CBET program will have a single window, rather than two, per fiscal year for receiving unsolicited proposal. CBET will stagger its windows schedule for the four program clusters in order to balance the workload. The schedule for submitting unsolicited proposals to CBET is the following:

August 15, 2011 - September 15, 2011

Biomedical Engineering and Engineering Healthcare Cluster:

  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Biophotonics
  • Biosensing
  • General and Age Related Disabilities Engineering

Chemical, Biochemical, and Biotechnology Systems Cluster:

  • Biotechnology, Biochemical, and Biomass Engineering
  • Catalysis and Biocatalysis
  • Interfacial Processes and Thermodynamics
  • Chemical and Biological Separations
  • Process and Reaction Engineering

January 15, 2012 - February 17, 2012

Environmental Engineering and Sustainability Cluster:

  • Energy for Sustainability
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Health and Safety of Nanotechnology
  • Environmental Sustainability

Transport and Thermal Fluids Cluster:

  • Combustion, Fire, and Plasma Systems
  • Fluid Dynamics
  • Particulate and Multiphase Processes
  • Thermal Transport Processes

CAREER proposals are still to be submitted separately by the deadline specified in the CAREER solicitation.

IDR proposals are to be received during the unsolicited window for the primary program to which they are submitted.

Note that proposals must be received via NSF's FastLane system by 5:00 p.m. proposer's local time for the date that a window closes. Late proposals are subject to return without review.

The move to a single window per fiscal year for CBET unsolicited proposals is being made for several reasons that relate to the large number of unsolicited proposals submitted each year, which has nearly doubled in the past five years, at a time when the NSF budget is actually decreasing for FY 2011. Moving to one window is expected to decrease the number of proposals submitted each fiscal year - - because, with this change, it will not be possible to resubmit revised proposals in the same fiscal year in which they were originally submitted. We expect that the reduction in proposal numbers and the longer time between submission windows will produce several benefits including, but not limited to: a reduction in the load on our reviewer community, improved quality of proposals and reviews, improved funding rate, and enhanced opportunity for interactions between NSF staff and our community.

John McGrath
Division Director, CBET
Directorate for Engineering (ENG)
National Science Foundation

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