Yesterday, I submitted a postdoc research fellowship proposal to NSF. I am currently a postdoc.

I realized that I didn't list the postdoc in the Professional Preparation section, but it is listed at the top of the Appointments section immediately below. It is also mentioned in the training plan section of the Project Description.

Should I worry about this error, or is it nothing to be concerned about?


Why not just contact the division rep to see if you can update the application, or if it is necessary? Obviously there will be a discrepancy among your CV and your application professional appointments sections. If this exists and a reviewer sees this error of omission, it may (sub-)consciously bias their review.

Call one of the reps, I bet they're lonely in their D.C. office and would love to hear that phone ring XD. Rep names and ph are listed on the section webpages (e.g., there are two for Biology).

Perhaps there is a way to request edit/update or add comments to the application in FastLane (although you probably already tried this...)?


It depends on how the program officer feels about things. Some program officers are flexible, and so long as you provide all the correct information in some form, they will let your application be reviewed. I had one program officer who sent a proposal back to me, telling me exactly what needed to be changed for it to be fully considered.

Some program officers, especially ones who get a lot of applicants, are basically looking for a reason to exclude an application, to get the number that need to be fully reviewed down to something reasonable. If you get such a program officer, there is a reasonable chance that even a minor technical error may get your application bounced back without consideration on its scientific merits.

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