Proposals will be evaluated based on their intellectual merit and broader impacts. Reviewers will use a point system that weights the relative importance of each category and allows for direct comparison of multiple proposals. All proposals must satisfactorily address all of the following requirements and must include all of the requested application materials to be considered for funding. The review committee may decide to partially fund proposals.


Intellectual Merit: Proposal Quality (70 points total)

Proposals will be assigned points based on their overall significance, project design, coordination/timeline/budget, and effectiveness of the figure.

  1. Overall significance (30 points)

General quality of the proposed research, including its scope, importance, and relevance to NSF-EAR science goals. Clarity of the proposal’s central question or hypothesis.

  1. Project design (25 points) 

General likelihood that the research will be able to answer the central question or hypothesis of the proposal and produce useful results. Considerations can include the choice of technique, sampling strategy, and whether the proposed methods are well-established or experimental. AGeS is willing to fund well-designed, higher-risk projects.

  1. Coordination, timeline, and budget (10 points)

Assessment of the proposed timeline and budget, specifically considering the time required for sample acquisition and preparation, training, analysis, and interpretation. This criterion relies partially on good coordination between the proponent and the hosting facility, evaluated based on the student proposal, the clarity of the lab plan, and the support letters. Budgetary considerations can include the availability of other sources of funding.

     4. Effectiveness of the figure (5 points)

The figure contributes to explaining the overall project significance, project design, or sampling plan (4 points). The figure is referred to in the proposal text and includes a clearly written caption (1 point).


Broader Impacts: Expanding access and building networks (30 points total)

Proposals will additionally be assigned points based on the project’s potential to build networks and foster the acquisition of new geochronology skills by the student. These criteria are aimed at meeting the broader impact goals of AGeS to expand geochronology access and build research networks. The review committee is expected to assess these questions through a Belonging, Accessibility, Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (BAJEDI) framework.

  1. Expanding Access: Potential for fostering the acquisition of new geochronology skills by the student (15 points)
    The extent to which this research provides a new and otherwise unavailable opportunity for the student to obtain experience with and training in analytical work and geochronology.

    • High (15 pts) – No previous geochronology experience of any kind, no local access, and access to geochronology facilities and expertise unlikely without an AGeS award

    • Medium (10 pts) – Some previous geochronology experience but with different technique than proposed and not already situated within environment emphasizing geochronology

    • Low (5 pts) – Previous geochronology experience including with same technique in proposal or already situated within environment emphasizing geochronology

    • No credit (0 Pts) – This aspect not clearly explained in proposal and supervisor letter

  2. Building networks: Potential for fostering new research collaborations and a greater sense of belonging in geoscience (15 points)

    • High (15 pts): Completely new collaboration and experience

    • Medium (10 pts): New topic and strengthen existing ties

    • Low (5 pts): Existing topics building on existing ties

    • No credit (0 Pts) – This aspect not clearly explained in proposal and supervisor letter

  3. The degree to which this experience will increase a sense of belonging in geoscience for the student by creating new partnerships and opportunities, including new collaborations between different institutions, research groups, and individuals.