Tis the time of year for full proposal panels in NSF's IOS and DEB and there's a few new twists for those in DEB, including the panel summary. If you were fortunate enough to have a full proposal in panel this round, you may be slightly surprised at the feedback you get. There's a longer explanation at the DEB blog, but I was initially surprised by the new template, which looks like this:
There's a fair bit of information here that was previously not really included in the panel summary, which focused almost exclusively on the strengths and weaknesses of the IM and BI sections. So what do that mean to you as a grant writer? Two things in particular:
1) There is now a heavier emphasis on evaluating prior support. Were you productive? Did you actually do more than training for your broader impacts? These will now be specifically commented on. Make sure you choose to highlight the recent grant (you only need to write about ONE) where you can flex your publication and BI muscles a bit.
2) The data management plan is becoming more of a focus. Don't be surprised if this ends up as a field in the reviewing score sheet soon. Those who have been mailing it in for this section (and there are plenty) are going to have increasing difficulty convincing reviewers they can deal with the project data. I don't think the postdoc mentoring plan is far off from showing up here either, BTW.
Whereas these new sections of focus don't have the same weight as the others, DEB is certainly shining a light on sections that were often glossed over before. Be prepared if you get a shot at a full proposal next year, because you don't want to waste those opportunities.