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NSF solicitation for Postdoc Research Fellowships in Biology, includes new competitive area for Research Fellowships Using Biological Collections

Chris Merkord

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The new solicitation for the NSF's Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology (PRFB) has just been released, and it includes a new competitive area for Research Fellowships Using Biological Collections.  Postdoc fellowships are awarded to individuals, and not the institution.


Please see the solicitation for more information and contact information for the program directors: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2015/nsf15501/nsf15501.htm


Here is the introduction for the new biological collections competitive area:


Competitive Area 2. Postdoctoral Research Fellowships Using Biological Collections.


Biological research collections represent the documented scientific history of life on Earth, and the U.S. museum community alone curates over a billion specimens ranging from bacteria to plants, insects and vertebrates, as well as fossils. Across the globe, collections represent critical infrastructure and support essential research activities in biology and its related fields. Scientists, government agencies, industry and citizens utilize collections to document and understand evolution and biodiversity, study global change, formulate advice on conservation planning, educate the general public, improve interactions between sciences, and devise new practical applications from science to every day life. New technologies supported by NSF in digitization, such as the Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections (ADBC) program, are making collections and their associated data, whether they are physical specimens, text, images, sounds, or data tables, searchable in online databases. Despite this clear progress in improving access to physical specimens and their associated metadata, collections remain under-utilized for answering contemporary questions about fundamental aspects of biological processes. Thus, collections are poised to become a critical resource for developing transformative approaches to address key questions in biology and potentially develop applications that extend biology to physical, mathematical, engineering and social sciences. This postdoctoral track seeks transformative approaches that use biological collections in highly innovative ways to address grand challenges in biology. Priority may be given to applicants who integrate biological collections and associated resources with other types of data in an effort to forge new insight into areas traditionally funded by BIO. Examples of key questions in biology of interest include, but are not limited to, links between genotype and phenotype, evolutionary developmental biology, comparative approaches in functional and developmental neurobiology, and the biophysics of nanostructures. Using collections as a resource for grand challenge questions in biology is expected to present new opportunities to advance understanding of biological processes and systems, inspiring new discoveries in areas with relevance to other disciplines with overlapping interests in biological systems. Applicants must document access to the selected collection(s) in the research and training plan.

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  • 5 weeks later...

A reminder from DEB Science Staff:


The Directorate for Biological Sciences (NSF/BIO)  has announced a new funding opportunity within the Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology (PRFB) program for researchers who have or will soon complete their Ph.D. The revised PRFB solicitation now includes a new Competitive Area: Postdoctoral Research Fellowships Using Biological Collections.

The program seeks to build on the growth in availability of biological collections. This track seeks applicants who will use biological collection data in innovative ways to address grand challenges in biology. Of specific interest are research plans that extend outside biology to other sciences.

PRFB is hosted within the Division of Biological Infrastructure (BIO/DBI). The new solicitation can be found at: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?WT.z_pims_id=503622&ods_key=nsf15501.

To be eligible an applicant must not have served in any position that requires the doctoral degree, for more than 6 full time months. The full proposal deadline is January 8, 2015 and the first Tuesday in November, including 2015, thereafter.

Continuing from prior years, other Competitive Areas in the postdoctoral fellowship program are (1) broadening participation of under-represented groups in biology and (2) the National Plant Genome Initiative.

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