2018 Summer Meeting Schedule


It’s that time of year again! DEB representatives will be attending the Ecological Society of America (ESA) conference in New Orleans August 5-10 and the Evolution conference in Montpellier August 19-22. The table below tells you which Program Officers and Senior Managers will be attending the meetings.

Be sure and stop by the NSF exhibitor booth at the ESA conference to chat with staff and Program Officers. We’re ready to talk about the latest NSF news and funding opportunities. Remember to also visit our colleagues at the NEON booth.

We’ll be hosting a session at ESA on Tuesday, August 7th from 11:30am-1:15pm entitled “Navigating NSF: Opportunities for Funding Research and Training.” There will also be an outreach talk at 12:45 on Tuesday, August 21st in room B113 at the Evolution Conference. See you there!

 

Ecological Society of America, New Orleans

August 5-10

Program Officers and Senior Managers Cluster
Elizabeth Blood ES
Kathy Cottingham PCE
Dan Gruner PCE
Stephanie Hampton Division Director
Matt Kane ES
Doug Levey PCE
Cesar Nufio PCE
Alan Tessier Deputy Division Director
Betsy von Holle PCE

Evolution, Montpellier

August 19-22

George Gilchrist EP
Stephanie Hampton Division Director
Leslie Rissler EP
Chris Schneider SBS

BIO REU Travel Grant Opportunity: Apply TODAY!


If you’ve had a BIO REU student within the last three years, we encourage you to share this opportunity to apply for a travel grant to present their research at scientific meetings. Students are required to apply directly at this website. Please tell them to act quickly, as funds will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. Please note grants are limited to one student per REU location per year and all additional application details can be found at the application website.

 

Graduate Research Fellowship Program: 2018 Deadline


 

The deadline for the Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) is coming up!  Now is the time to direct students to this opportunity.  Below we highlight the specifics of this fellowship opportunity, but it is also key to remember that this program supports students on the basis of their potential for significant research achievements in STEM.  The application consists of two statements and three supporting letters.  The statements include the Personal, Relevant Background and Future Goals statement (3 pages), and a Graduate Research Plan (2 pages).  Although the nature of the first essay is the same no matter the stage of the applicant, the second essay varies substantially among stages and is viewed differently by reviewers.

For undergraduates applying, this essay is intended to reflect the type of project the student would like to do as they look forward to their graduate program, whereas for current graduate students, and especially those beginning their second year of graduate school, the project is typically more specific and better grounded in their current program and broader research plans. In all cases, the application is viewed holistically and evaluated on both the research potential and broader impacts associated with the applicant.

The NSF Graduate Research Fellowship Program grants three years of financial support for pursuing a research-based master’s or PhD degree in science technology, engineering, math, or STEM education. Applicants must demonstrate significant achievements in STEM and attend any accredited college or university in the United States or its territories.

Eligibility

  • Applicants must be a US citizen, national, or permanent resident
  • Applicants can apply while still in their undergraduate program but must be accepted into a graduate degree program by the time they accept the Fellowship
  • Applicants can have completed no more than 12 months of full-time graduate study by August 1st but can only apply once as a graduate student, either in their first or second year (see the solicitation for details as this is a new policy in 2017).
  • Different fields of study have different deadlines within NSF. Below is the schedule for each field of study
Fields of Study 2018 Deadline
Life Sciences, Geosciences October 22
Computer and Information Science and Engineering, Engineering, Materials Research October 23
Psychology, Social Sciences, STEM Education and Learning October 25
Chemistry, mathematical Sciences, Physics and Astronomy October 26
Reference Letter Submission November 1
  5:00 PM ET

Benefits

  • $34,000 annual stipend
  • Cost of Education allowance of $12,000 to the institution
  • Professional development opportunities through Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) and Graduate Research Internship Program (GRIP)
  • Access to supplemental funding to sustain research while on medical deferral (e.g. maternity/paternity leave)

Read the current solicitation for the full set of guidelines, and for additional questions please reach out to the Graduate Research Fellowship Operations Center, telephone: 866-NSF-GRFP, 866-673-4737 (toll-free from the US and Canada) or 202-331-3542 (international) or email: info@nsfgrfp.org

 

Meet DEB: Stephanie Hampton, Division Director


Hampton_6

Stephanie Hampton

 

 

Name: Stephanie Hampton

Education: Ph.D. Dartmouth College (Ecology and Evolution), M.S. University of Nevada – Las Vegas (Biology), B.A. University of Kansas (Environmental Studies)

Home Institution: Washington State University

Tell us about your research: My core expertise is in aquatic ecology, particularly using statistical analysis of large data sets. I’m fascinated by the ways shifts in abiotic conditions can disrupt, strengthen, or even reverse the costs and benefits of organisms’ interactions with each other, often with dramatic consequences for ecosystems. Most recently I have been involved in collaborations that examine global patterns of warming temperatures and shorter winter ice cover on lakes, and thinking about how these changes alter relationships among plankton (the microscopic base of aquatic food webs). My interest in these topics mostly stems from 14 years of collaborative research on Lake Baikal in Siberia.

Baikal_Maloe_More_ice_on_sunset_4_ccby_sergey_pesterev

Lake Baikal is covered with ice for 5-6 months each year. Frequently the ice is astonishingly clear, allowing a lot of sunlight to pass through, which can fuel big blooms of endemic algae. (Photo: Sergey Pesterev CC-BY-2.0)

 

It’s the oldest and most biodiverse lake in the world, with the highest rates of endemism. For example, over half of Baikal’s animal species are found only in Baikal. It’s also the largest lake, by volume, holding 20% of the world’s liquid freshwater – you could pour all of the Laurentian Great Lakes combined into Lake Baikal. As you can guess from the location in Siberia, it’s a very cold adapted ecosystem. A lot of the productivity occurs under ice, and warming temperatures seem to be shifting the balance between the cold-loving endemic species and the “cosmopolitan” species that are starting to find summers more hospitable. Baikal is an amazing place to work, with wonderful people, and I feel extremely lucky to have had this opportunity.

Nerpa_Baikal_seal_CCBY2_Sergey_Gabdurakhmanov_2

The top predator in Lake Baikal is the Baikal seal, the world’s only  exclusively freshwater pinniped. (Photo: Sergey Gabdurakhmanov CC-BY-2.0) 

 

Beyond aquatic biology, I have other broad interests, and have gotten involved in diverse projects where my tools and perspective can be useful. For 7.5 years, I was Deputy Director of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), the first of NSF’s synthesis centers, and also a leader in DataOne, a NSF-funded data confederation initiative for environmental sciences. These programs have offered unique opportunities to use my quantitative tools, as well as my perspective as a biologist, to do interdisciplinary “science of science” research. For example, we’ve analyzed data on productivity in scientific collaboration, community practices in sharing data, contributions of natural history to science and society, and trends in teaching students to work with big data sets.

Plationus_Hampton_crop_2

Ask me about rotifers! The most graceful and fascinating of the zooplankton… here is the tiny beauty Plationus patulus. (Photo: S.E. Hampton)

 

Why did you want to serve with DEB?: I have been orbiting DEB for most of my career. The breadth of my interests has familiarized me with a variety of NSF directorates and divisions, but clearly DEB is my home, where I know the community and the culture well. My interactions with NSF have included countless proposals and panels, (more easily counted) awards, my role at NCEAS, Chair of the Advisory Committee for the NSF Biology Directorate…

Basically, over the years, I have learned that NSF is chock full of people who are super sharp and care very deeply about our community. From outside NSF, I have done my best to support the health of the scientific endeavor, especially through my work at NCEAS and DataONE, as well as doing a wide variety of professional service. Now I have the opportunity to contribute much more directly to supporting the vitality of science by working within the Foundation, which is exciting. Also, anyone who has served on DEB panels knows that the people in DEB are really nice, smart, and they work hard – it makes the position really attractive!

What are you most looking forward to during your tenure at NSF?: Most importantly, I am hopeful that my energy, perspective, and experience will be useful in enabling our scientific community to achieve its goals. Personally I find it very satisfying to help people and groups who have good ideas and are willing to work hard. Our community is seeing a lot of change right now – not just that NSF BIO programs are moving to a “no deadlinemodel, but bigger, global changes too. Technology has transformed our abilities to do research at scales both finer and larger than previously possible. NEON data are now online after years of planning and preparation. Interdisciplinarity and multi-institutional collaboration are becoming more and more common. Digitization and cyberinfrastructure are increasing access to biological collections. Data stewardship, data sharing, and research reproducibility are also becoming more prominent in investigators’ research planning. I’m very excited to see the creative ways in which researchers will take advantage of the new opportunities afforded by all this change – using, reinforcing, and expanding the scope of the theory, analytical approaches, and natural history knowledge that already have propelled so much success in our fields.

 

Reminder: CAREER Deadline is July 18th


Just when you thought deadlines were going away, this is a reminder that some programs at NSF still have them.

So, if you are interested in the Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER), the 2018 deadline for BIO is July 18th. The CAREER Program is NSF-wide and supports early-career faculty. For more information there is an extensive FAQ and a webinar available online. You can also see examples of current DEB CAREER awards through the NSF Award Search.

Questions can be directed to the Program Officers listed as the points of contact for the CAREER program – every Division has one. For DEB-related inquiries, please contact Christopher Schneider at cjschnei@nsf.gov.