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Seeking Technical and Commercial Experts in Technology Commercialization and Translation

America’s Seed Fund, powered by the National Science Foundation (NSF), is searching for technical and commercial experts from all technology disciplines to review proposals from startups and small businesses. Your different insights and expertise will help NSF program directors evaluate transformative technologies from the nation’s most promising entrepreneurs in their proposals to receive for up to $2 million in NSF funding. Serve as an NSF reviewer

The merit review process enables the NSF to make wise investments in all fields of science and engineering research and education. We depend on the willingness of qualified reviewers like you to share your time and expertise. Your knowledge of the state of the art and experience in translation enables you to provide helpful advice to NSF program directors on the merits of proposals, as well as constructive comments to proposers that strengthen their projects. America’s Seed Fund and related NSF programs accept proposals in these topics and they are evaluated according to the SBIR solicitation and STTR solicitation solicitation criteria.

Benefits to You as a Reviewer

In addition to providing a meaningful service to NSF and the deep technology startup community, reviewers benefit from the process by gaining first-hand knowledge of the merit review process; learning about common pitfalls; discovering strategies to write strong proposals; meeting peers and colleagues (including with related interests; and NSF program directors) working in areas related to their interests. NSF actively recruits new reviewers on a continuing basis.

How to Become a Reviewer

We welcome diverse and qualified reviewers from academia, industry and entrepreneurship, investment roles, and other government agencies. Reviewers should have technical and/or commercial experience in NSF-funded disciplines and experience evaluating advanced scientific subject matter. For Small Business Innovation Research/Small Business Technology Transfer (SBIR/STTR) proposals, reviewers often have one or more of the following characteristics:

  • Advanced degree(s) in science or engineering
  • Industrial or entrepreneurial expertise in one or more of the market or technology areas that’s part of the SBIR/STTR portfolio
  • Experience founding, leading, or investing in small businesses or startups
  • Other experience in new technologies.

All reviewers should have the ability to impartially evaluate written proposal documents to which they are assigned and provide thoughtful, unbiased and detailed written feedback.

As background, SBIR/STTR reviewers generally participate in one of three ways:

  • As in-person panelists, where they prepare written reviews in advance and then attend a panel discussion with other reviewers in-person at NSF in the Washington, DC area (travel arranged and paid by NSF).
  • As a virtual panelists, where they prepare written reviews in advance and then attend a panel discussion with other reviewers, via conference call or videoconference.
  • As ad hoc reviewers, where they prepare written reviews on their own time and do not attend a panel discussion.

To become an NSF reviewer, send an e-mail to sbir@nsf.gov.  Please introduce yourself, tell us about your area of expertise and attach a short resume or a link to your LinkedIn profile. If you have a preference in terms of how you’d like to participate based on the above three options, please let us know.

Please share this request with your colleagues who might be interested and qualified to serve as NSF reviewers.