Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences Core Programs

Status
Posted
Published Date
February 14th, 2024
Total Funding
$110,000,000.00
Opportunity No.
24-539

Agency

National Science Foundation (NSF)

Eligible Applicants

Others

Funding Category

Science and Technology and other Research and Development

Funding Instrument

Grant

Opportunity Category

Discretionary

Cost Sharing or Matching Requirement

Yes

Summary

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has posted a grant opportunity titled "Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences Core Programs". This grant aims to support research that uncovers the fundamental properties of living systems at the atomic, molecular, subcellular, and cellular scales. The program prioritizes projects that advance our understanding of the structure, function, and evolution of molecular, subcellular, and cellular systems, with a focus on quantitative and predictive knowledge of complex behavior and emergent properties. The grant encourages research that incorporates insights and approaches from other scientific disciplines, such as chemistry, computer science, engineering, mathematics, and physics, to illuminate the principles that govern life at the molecular and cellular level. The grant also supports research that utilizes a diverse range of model and non-model animals, plants, and microbes across the tree of life. Proposals that pursue potentially transformative ideas are welcome, even if they entail higher risk. The grant seeks proposals in research areas supported by the four MCB core clusters, including the structure, dynamics, and function of biomolecules and supramolecular assemblies; the organization, processing, expression, regulation, and evolution of genetic and epigenetic information; cellular structure, properties, and function across broad spatiotemporal scales; and systems and/or synthetic biology to study complex interactions through modeling or manipulation or design of living systems at the molecular-to-cellular scale. The grant encourages projects that integrate across scales, investigate molecular and cellular evolution, synergize experimental research with computational or mathematical modeling, and develop innovative, broadly applicable methods and technologies. Projects that bridge the intellectual edges between MCB clusters are also welcome. The grant supports the participation of diverse talent in STEM, including historically under-represented or underserved populations, diverse institutions, and researchers from EPSCoR jurisdictions. It also encourages proposals that address priority areas associated with building a resilient planet and biotechnology and the bioeconomy. The grant emphasizes the importance of leveraging NSF resources to facilitate integration across the biological sciences, such as the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), data networks, synthesis centers, and institutes. While the grant supports basic research in all areas of the biological sciences, research focused exclusively on understanding human diseases and their treatment is normally outside the scope of funding. Proposals can be submitted anytime. For more information, please visit the NSF Publication 24-539 at http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf24539.

Description

MCB supports research that promises to uncover the fundamental properties of living systems across atomic, molecular, subcellular, and cellular scales. The program gives high priority to projects that advance mechanistic understanding of the structure, function, and evolution of molecular, subcellular, and cellular systems, especially research that aims at quantitative and predictive knowledge of complex behavior and emergent properties. MCB encourages research exploring new concepts in molecular and cellular biology, while incorporating insights and approaches from other scientific disciplines, such as chemistry, computer science, engineering, mathematics, and physics, to illuminate principles that govern life at the molecular and cellular level. MCB also encourages research that exploits experimental and theoretical approaches and utilizes a diverse spectrum of model and non-model animals, plants, and microbes across the tree of life. Proposals that pursue potentially transformative ideas are welcome, even if these entail higher risk. This solicitation calls for proposals in research areas supported by the four MCB core clusters, including: (i) structure, dynamics, and function of biomolecules and supramolecular assemblies, especially under physiological conditions (Molecular Biophysics); (ii) organization, processing, expression, regulation, and evolution of genetic and epigenetic information (Genetic Mechanisms); (iii) cellular structure, properties, and function across broad spatiotemporal scales (Cellular Dynamics and Function); and (iv) systems and/or synthetic biology to study complex interactions through modeling or manipulation or design of living systems at the molecular-to-cellular scale (Systems and Synthetic Biology). All MCB clusters prioritize projects that integrate across scales, investigate molecular and cellular evolution, synergize experimental research with computational or mathematical modeling, and/or develop innovative, broadly applicable methods and technologies. Projects that bridge the intellectual edges between MCB clusters are welcome. Projects that integrate molecular and cellular biosciences with other subdisciplines of biology are also welcome through the new Integrative Research in Biology (IntBIO) track. All programs in the Directorate for Biological Sciences striveto achieve key goals laid out in the NSF Strategic Plan. Among these goals are: (i) to empower Science Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) talent to fully participate in science and engineering; (ii) to enable creation of new knowledge by advancing the frontiers of research and enhancing research capability; and (iii) to benefit society through translation of knowledge into solutions. In line with these goals, MCB welcomes the submission of proposals to this funding opportunity that include the participation of the full spectrum of diverse talent in STEM, e.g., as PI, co-PI, senior personnel, postdoctoral scholars, graduate or undergraduate students or trainees.  This includes historically under-represented or underserved populations, diverse institutions including Minority Serving Institutions (MSIs), Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUIs), and two-year colleges, as well as major research institutions. Proposals from EPSCoR jurisdictions are especially encouraged.MCB has a new track in this solicitation, EXPAND MCB in EPSCoR, that welcomes proposals that build capacity through collaborations led by organizations in EPSCoR jurisdictions. Also aligned with the NSF Strategic Plan, MCB encourages submission of proposals in support of discovery-based explorations, as well as use-inspired, solutions-focused research, including proposals that address priority areas associated with building a resilient planet and biotechnology and the bioeconomy. Some examples of topics that address priority areas associated with building a resilient planet and biotechnology and the bioeconomy can be found in the life on a warming planet and bioeconomy metaprogram descriptions. The CHIPs Act of 2022 and the Executive Order on Advancing Biotechnology and Biomanufacturing Innovation for a Sustainable, Safe and Secure American Bioeconomy highlight the importance of these two areas with respect to safeguarding national security and promoting prosperity. MCB also strongly encourages proposals that leverage NSF resources to facilitate integration across the biological sciences, such as the National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON), data networks, synthesis centers, and institutes. Regarding health-related challenges, NSF supports basic research in all areas of the biological sciences and recognizes that this foundational research is likely to impact many different areas, including human health. MCB celebrates all the biological science discoveries funded through MCB awards that have had major impacts on health, environment, energy, food production, and other applications. Nevertheless, research focused exclusively on understanding human diseases and their treatment is normally outside of the scope offunding and will be returned without review unless that research significantly advances other fields such as engineering, computer science, or the mathematical and physical sciences.

Contact Information

Opportunity Lifecycle

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