BIO

Guide to the Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology (PRFB) Program

Monday, July 2, 2018

The Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology (PRFB) Program awards fellowships to recent recipients of the doctoral degree for research and training in selected areas supported by Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) and with special goals for human resource development in biology. Additional information about the program is available at: https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503622

Synopsis

The Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) awards Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology to recent recipients of the doctoral degree for research and training in selected areas supported by BIO and with special goals for human resource development in biology.  The fellowships encourage independence at an early stage of the research career to permit Fellows to pursue their research and training goals in the most appropriate research locations regardless of the availability of funding for the Fellows at that site.  For FY 2015 and beyond, these BIO programs are (1) Broadening Participation of Groups Under-represented in Biology, (2) Research Using Biological Collections, and  (3) National Plant Genome Initiative (NPGI) Postdoctoral Research Fellowships.  These areas change periodically as new scientific and infrastructure opportunities present themselves. For this reason, this solicitation will be changed as necessary to reflect the areas being funded.

The fellowships are also designed to provide active mentoring of the Fellows by the sponsoring scientists who will benefit from having these talented young scientists in their research groups. The research and training plan of each fellowship must address important scientific questions within the scope of the BIO Directorate and the specific guidelines in this fellowship program solicitation.  Because the fellowships are offered to postdoctoral scientists only early in their careers, NSF encourages doctoral advisors to discuss the availability of these postdoctoral fellowships in biology with their graduate students early in their doctoral programs to ensure potential applicants may take advantage of this funding opportunity. Fellowships are awards to individuals, not institutions, and are administered by the Fellows.

Educational Opportunity

This program provides educational opportunities for  Postdoctoral Fellows. Individuals interested in applying for funding should see the program guidelines above.

Related URLS

  • How to Apply for Fellowship Applicants
  • Sponsoring Scientist Statement Instructions
  • Administrative Guide for the PRFB Program
    • This Guide outlines the administrative policies and procedures for Fellows and PRFB Host Institutions and incorporates all policies found in the Fellowship Offer Letter and the PRFB Program Solicitation. This guide does not supersede the award letter terms and conditions . The current Guide applies to the 2018 Fellowship year forward, unless otherwise noted or superseded by an updated version. It is the responsibility of the Fellow to ensure compliance with the
      terms and conditions of the Fellowship Program.

Dear Colleague Letter: Implementation of "No-Deadline," Full-proposal Submission Process for Most Programs in the Directorate for Biological Sciences

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

October 5, 2017

Dear Colleagues:

The Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) is notifying members of the research communities of important changes to the core program solicitations as noted below, effective in calendar year 2018.

In order to promote interdisciplinary research that crosses biological scales and traverses current divisional boundaries, BIO will implement a "no-deadline," full-proposal mechanism for receiving and reviewing proposals submitted to core programs in the Division of Environmental Biology (DEB), the Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS), the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB), and to the programs in the Research Resources Cluster of the Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI).

By accepting proposals at any time, investigators will have greater opportunities to prepare their proposals, build strong collaborations, and think more creatively, thereby resulting in more complex, interdisciplinary projects that have the potential to dramatically advance biological science. We anticipate that the elimination of deadlines will reduce the burden on institutions and the community by expanding the submission period over the course of the year, in contrast to the previous fixed yearly deadlines.

For these changes to take effect, the core programs in DEB and IOS are discontinuing use of the preliminary proposal mechanism in 2018. There will be no call for preliminary proposals in January 2018.

Awards will be made, with FY 2018 funds, for full proposals that were invited for submission based on the review of preliminary proposals submitted in January, 2017 to DEB (solicitations NSF 17-512 and NSF 17-513) and to IOS (NSF 17-508). FY 2018 funds will also be used to make awards for full proposals submitted to MCB for the November 20, 2017 deadline (NSF 17-589) and to DBI for the August 14, 2017, September 8, 2017, and December 8, 2017 deadlines (NSF 15-577, NSF 15-582, and NSF 16-506 respectively). Thereafter, these solicitations will be archived and will no longer accept proposals. All four divisions will release new solicitations to replace these in the middle of calendar year 2018, inviting proposals to be funded with FY 2019 funds. There will be no deadlines for submissions to any of the new solicitations.

Additional information will be available in the near future in the form of Frequently Asked Questions, webinars, and presentations. You are strongly encouraged to register at https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_list.jsp?org=BIO to receive alerts of these documents and activities. Please direct your comments and questions about these changes to BIOnodeadline [at] nsf [dot] gov.

James L. Olds

Assistant Director

Directorate for Biological Sciences

NIFA, NSF Announce $6 Million in Available Funding to Develop, Enable Breakthrough Technologies for Plant, Animal Phenomics and Microbiomes

Thursday, March 17, 2016

Thursday, March 17, 2016

View this announcement on the NIFA website.
Media contact: Kelly Flynn, (202) 720-6133

WASHINGTON, March 16, 2016 – The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and the National Science Foundation (NSF) Biological Sciences Directorate (BIO) today announced $6 million in available funding to support the development of transformative plant and animal phenomics and microbiome technologies.

This USDA-NIFA, NSF-BIO Joint Activity is soliciting Early Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) proposals that address the development of innovative approaches for phenotyping and microbiome characterizations, as well as for elucidating the role of microbiomes in plants and animals. This activity addresses critical gaps in tools available for characterizing plant and animal phenotypes and microbiomes, in part to more fully realize the potential of low-cost high throughput sequencing and genotyping technologies. Types of projects that might be appropriate include but are not limited to:

  • Technologies that increase the accuracy and throughput of existing phenotypic and microbiome data acquisition
  • Extending the diversity of phenotypes that can be measured
  • Automation or mechanization, including robotics and sensors, for phenotyping
  • Standardization of ontologies, interoperability of platforms and systems, and integration of datasets
  • Technologies that would identify the metabolic activities specific to particular microbes within a microbiome as well as facilitating elucidation of biochemical communication between microbes, and between microbes and their hosts
  • Novel modeling approaches that address problems in phenotyping or microbiome structure and function

Proposed studies should be potentially transformative and may be considered "high-risk, high-payoff", and be compatible with the budget and time limits ($300,000, 2 years) of the EAGER funding mechanism.

Summaries are due May 12. Please see the Dear Colleague Letter for more information. For more information on EAGERs, please review the NSF Grant Proposal Guide.

Since 2009, NIFA has invested in and advanced innovative and transformative initiatives to solve societal challenges and ensure the long-term viability of agriculture. NIFA’s integrated research, education, and extension programs, supporting the best and brightest scientists and extension personnel, have resulted user-inspired, groundbreaking discoveries that are combating childhood obesity, improving and sustaining rural economic growth, controlling water availability, increasing food production, finding new sources of energy, mitigating climate variability, and ensuring food safety. To learn more about NIFA’s impact on agricultural science, visit www.nifa.usda.gov/impacts, sign up for email updates, or follow us on Twitter @usda_NIFA, #NIFAimpacts.