The latest Program Solicitation for Investigator-initiated research projects submitted to the MCB Division at NSF has buried within it this little gem:
Beginning in November 2013, the Division will have one deadline per year for accepting proposals in response to this solicitation. All other Divisions that interact with MCB in core viewing proposals have a single deadline. In addition to this submission date, MCB will continue to accept research proposals through other mechanisms, such as CAREER proposals in July and EaGER proposals throughout the year.
So MCB has decided to follow the lead of IOS and DEB and are going to shift to a single submission date per year. Presumably in order to cut down the burden on reviewers. That, after all, was in part the rationale used by IOS and DEB. The way IOS and DEB has handled this is to move to a two stage system, having preproposals that are peer-reviewed, then inviting full proposals only from those that did well at the preproposal stage.
In the new MCB program solicitation there's no mention of preproposals. None. Nada. Zilch.
So, MCB, what's going on?