It’s panel season here at NSF…

Which means the lobby and elevators are jammed first thing in the morning. But it also means that community members are coming together to perform the lynchpin function in the merit review process–in my opinion this peer review has been critical to the empirical success of the NSF since it’s founding in the early 1950’s.

Which brings me to the point of this blogpost: I think that where appropriate from the standpoint of expertise, more deans, provosts and even university presidents should participate in NSF panels. I think this would help them hone the qualities of “scientific taste” that they need for recruitment, retention and even promotion and tenure processes. I know, that during my sixteen year tenure in a decanal position at George Mason, serving on many NSF panels helped me a great deal in building out a high-performing faculty team at my academic unit. Of course, there will be conflicts of interest for proposals from one’s home institution and administrators would have to recuse themselves from those discussions and decisions.

NSF Panel Review Season

Not really a season, but actually the several weeks long crush before the actual panel review here at NSF Headquarters in Arlington. Extraordinarily intense because so much is on the line.

This year, for the second time running, I’m using a pdf annotation app on the iPad to keep things moving along. Saves a lot of trees.