Committee of Visitors Offers Recommendations to NSF's Arctic Sciences Section

According to NSF policy, each program that awards grants and cooperative agreements must be reviewed once every three years by a Committee of Visitors (COV) comprised of qualified external experts. The Committee reviews program portfolio activities and assesses the quality and integrity of the review process and program management related to proposal funding decisions as well as providing comments on how the results of funded research contribute to the advancement of NSF's mission and goals. Directorate advisory committees select members of each COV. Programs in the Directorate for Geosciences were reviewed in 2013.

Arctic Science Section programs were reviewed 16-17 September 2013 by a COV which included Chair Douglas MacAyeal, University of Chicago and members Paul Bierman, University of Vermont; John Farrell, U.S. Arctic Research Commission; Janet Intrieri, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory; Martha McConnell, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN); Liesel Ritchie, University of Colorado Boulder; and Rebecca Woodgate, University of Washington. They reviewed 120 proposal decisions during the review period to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of the merit review process, the selection process of the reviewers, and program management and responsiveness to recommendations from previous COVs. They also reviewed program management for the Arctic System Science, Arctic Observing Network, and Arctic Research Support & Logistics programs.

The FY 2014 COV report on the Arctic Sciences Section includes several recommendations in response to specific questions. To download the full report, go to:

The formal response to these recommendations from NSF is available to download at:

For further information about the COV and to read recommendations from previous years, please go to: