Now Hiring: Permanent Program Directors in Evolutionary Processes and Ecosystem Science

The Directorate for Biological Sciences, Division of Environmental Biology at the National Science Foundation has initiated a Permanent Program Director search in the Evolutionary Processes and Ecosystem Science clusters, which will close 03/02/2023.

Permanent Program Director is a full-time position within the Federal Government. The responsibilities of Program Directors include program planning and management; representation of the program, Division, and the Foundation within the scientific community; communication within and outside of NSF; and scientific and programmatic leadership. Additionally, these positions involve professional development, including active participation in professional activities, as well as pursuing individual research, as workload and travel funds permit.

You are encouraged to contact the Program Directors below to learn more about the position:

Evolutionary ProcessesSam Scheinersscheine@nsf.gov
Ecosystem ScienceKendra McLauchlankmclauch@nsf.gov

For more details and how to apply, please visit the job announcement.

Upcoming Virtual Office Hours: How to Write a Great Budget

Join us Monday, February 13th, 1 – 2pm ET for DEB’s next Virtual Office Hour. Program Officers will be joined by the Division of Grants and Agreements to discuss tips and tricks for writing a great budget. Representatives from DEB programs will be available for questions. To participate, please use the registration link below. Upcoming DEB Virtual Office Hours are announced ahead of time on DEBrief, so we suggest you also sign up for blog notifications.    

REGISTER HERE TO PARTICIPATE

If you can’t make it to this or any future office hours, don’t worry! Come back to the blog afterwards, as we post recaps and the presentation slides of all office hour sessions. Visit our Office Hours homepage for slideshows and recaps of past topics.  

DEB’s Virtual Office Hours are on the second Monday of every month from 1 – 2pm ET. Below is a list of upcoming dates and topics (subject to change). Be sure to add them to your calendars and register ahead of time.        

Upcoming Office Hour Topics:                       

February 13: How to Write a Great Budget

March 13: PAPPG: Cracking the code – Understanding NSF policies and procedures that shape your funding opportunities

April 10: Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUI)

May 8: CAREER Solicitation

New DEB Core Programs Solicitation (23-549)

This is a quick post to say we’ve released our new DEB Core Programs solicitation (23-549). For reference, these are the main areas of revision. See the full text of the solicitation for more details.   

Data Management Plan: This solicitation contains updated information about plans for specimen management.

IntBIO Track: An Integrative Research in Biology (IntBIO) Track has been added. This track invites submission of collaborative proposals to tackle bold questions in biology that require an integrated approach to make substantive progress.

NSF-NERC Submissions: This solicitation includes updated information and links about international collaborative research opportunities with the UKRI NERC program.

Safe and Inclusive Working Environments: The Directorate for Biological Sciences requires that proposers who include off-campus or off-site research as part of their project submit, as supplementary documentation, a Plan for Safe and Inclusive Working Environments. For this solicitation, this document replaces the required plan associated with the certification in Chapter II.E.9 of the Proposal and Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG, NSF 23-1). Instructions for inclusion of the Plan for Safe and Inclusive Working Environments can be found in the additional proposal preparation instructions in this solicitation. Any proposal submitted in response to this solicitation should be submitted in accordance with the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG).

To learn more about Safe and Inclusive Working Environments, be sure and check out the BIO-wide Virtual Office Hours on February 7th and familiarize yourself with the revisions to the new PAPPG here and here.

If you have any questions, you can contact a Program Officer or drop us a note at debquestions@nsf.gov

Preparing for the New PAPPG

NSF’s Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide, or PAPPG (NSF 23-1), is an essential resource for PIs and Sponsored Research Offices for questions about award management and proposal submissions. The PAPPG is different from a solicitation, which is specific to programs (both core and special) and often has unique rules and requirements for your proposal. Think of the PAPPG as the foundational guidance with solicitations sometimes adding additional rules to follow when writing and submitting your proposal.

For example, EAGERs and RAPIDs must follow the rules outlined in the PAPPG. However, if you want to put in a proposal to DEB’s core programs, you must submit to the DEB Core Programs Solicitation and follow the guidelines written there.  The newest version of the PAPPG will be effective for proposals submitted or due on or after January 30, 2023, and the newest version of the Core Programs Solicitation is effective immediately.

Significant changes to the PAPPG are listed in their entirety here. We’ll be hosting a Virtual Office Hours presentation and discussion on the new PAPPG March 13th 1-2pm Eastern.

Below, we’ve highlighted some major changes relevant to our community. This version has more changes than in recent years, and we highly encourage you to review the other changes and to attend our Virtual Office Hours.

  • Chapter I.D, Types of Submissions, includes new information on the use of concept outlines and the Program Suitability and Proposal Concept Tool (ProSPCT) for submissions. Concept outlines are required prior to the submission of a full proposal for the following proposal types: Planning, Rapid Response Research (RAPID), Early-concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER), and Research Advanced by Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering (RAISE). For details, see Chapter II.E.
  • Chapter I.E, Who May Submit Proposals, was revised to clarify eligibility requirements of For-Profit Organizations, and state and local governments. New coverage on the eligibility of Tribal Governments also has been included. Remember up top when we said solicitation rules may be different from the PAPPG? This is one of those cases. Be sure and check the “Who May Submit” section if you are crafting a proposal for our Core Programs or any other solicitation.
  • Chapter II.D.2.h(i), Biographical Sketch(es), has been revised to increase standardization with the Common Disclosure Form for the Biographical Sketch that has been developed in compliance with NSPM-33 Implementation Guidance. NSF has made every effort to mirror the Common Form. Due to timing disparities between the issuance of the Common Form and the PAPPG, however, it is possible that variances may occur. This section also has been revised to require the use of SciENcv for the preparation of Bio Sketches effective October 23, 2023.
  • Chapter II.E.9, Safe and Inclusive Working Environments for Off-Campus or Off-Site Research, describes the new requirement for the AOR to certify that an organization has a plan in place for safe and inclusive research for any proposal that proposes to conduct off-campus or off-site research. This section also provides considerations for plan development, communication, and dissemination. Be sure and check out the BIO-wide Virtual Office Hours on February 7th explaining this update.

  • Chapter II.E.6, Dual Use Research of Concern
    NSF policy per the new PAPPG still prohibits funding of life sciences dual use research of concern (DURC) (i.e., research that uses one of 15 select agents, produces one of 7 effects, and has the potential to be misused) or gain of function research, but allows for research that could create enhanced potential pandemic pathogens (enhanced PPPs) if the benefits of the research far outweigh the risks. Proposing organizations are now required to identify submissions proposing any DURC or work with enhanced PPPs by checking a box on the proposal cover page labeled “Potential Life Sciences Dual Research of Concern.” If a decision is made to fund the proposal, and use of a select agent (but not an enhanced PPP) as identified by the Policy is proposed, the proposer must submit evidence of registration of the select agent with the CDC or USDA as required by the Select Agent Regulations and the proposer must submit a justification from the Institutional Review Entity (IRE) demonstrating how the potential benefits of the research using the select agent far outweigh the risks. If a decision is made to fund a proposal using or potentially resulting in enhanced PPP, the proposer must submit a justification from the IRE demonstrating benefits outweigh the risks, but registration with CDC or USDA is not required. More information can be found in Chapter II.E.6 and Chapter XI.B.5 of the new PAPPG.

Don’t miss it! Virtual Office Hour featuring the new Safe and Inclusive Work Environments Plan requirement for Off-Campus or Off-Site Research

Check out this post from our friends over at the BIO Directorate’s Office of the Assistant Director here or in full below:

Tuesday Feb. 7, 2023 3:30- 4:30 ET

Several solicitations from the Directorates for Biosciences (BIO) and Geological Sciences (GEO) will soon require the submission of a Safe and Inclusive Work Environments Plan (list of those solicitations below) that will be considered as part of the Broader Impacts criteria during the review process. An upcoming Virtual Office Hour listening session will occur on February 7, 2023. Program Officers from BIO and GEO will provide an overview of the new requirement and take your questions and comments.

This 2-page supplementary document must address the following four sections:

  1. a brief description of the field setting and unique challenges for the team; 
  2. the steps the proposing organization will take to nurture an inclusive off-campus or off-site working environment, including processes to establish shared team definitions of roles, responsibilities, and culture, e.g., codes of conduct, trainings, mentor/mentee mechanisms and field support that might include regular check-ins, and/or developmental events;  
  3. communication processes within the off-site team and to the organization(s) that minimize singular points within the communication pathway (e.g., there should not be a single person overseeing access to a single satellite phone); and  
  4. the organizational mechanisms that will be used for reporting, responding to, and resolving issues of harassment if they arise.   

If you are planning a submission that will involve off-campus or off-site research, defined as data/information/samples being collected off-campus or off-site including via fieldwork and research activities on vessels and aircraft, we encourage you to join this webinar.

Register for the webinar HERE

The solicitations that currently include this requirement are:

  • BIO Core Solicitations:
    • Division of Environmental Biology (NSF 23-549)
    • Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (NSF 23-547)
    • Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (NSF 23-548 )
  • Biodiversity on a Changing Planet (BoCP, NSF 23-542)
  • Pathways into the Geosciences (GEOPAths NSF 23-540)
  • Cultural Transformation in the Geosciences Community (CTGC NSF 23-539)

Pathways: Internships and Fellowships at Federal Agencies

Are you a student or recent graduate interested in public service? Then you’ll want to check out the Pathways Program. This program offers 3 distinct paths to federal service including jobs at the National Science Foundation.

  1. There’s the Pathways Internship Program for current students. 
  2. The Recent Graduates Program for, you guessed it, recent graduates (2 years from the date the you completed an academic course of study). 
  3. And the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) Program for those with an advanced degree (Masters, professional degrees, or PhD). 

You’ll need to apply through the USAJobs portal. Of course, you can apply for any federal government job that you qualify for, but these are specific programs that help students and recent graduates get their foot in the door. 

Pathways interns and PMFs earn an annual salary that varies by agency and location. Some Federal agencies may also offer internships outside of the Pathways Program but those are generally unpaid. Check out their thorough FAQ for answers to questions regarding eligibility, conversion to competitive service, and much, much more.

1/9/23 Virtual Office Hours Recap: Biodiversity on a Changing Planet Solicitation

The Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) held its latest Virtual Office Hour on January 9, 2023. Program Officers discussed the updated Biodiversity on a Changing Planet solicitation (NSF 23-542). We host these office hours 1-2pm EST on the 2nd Monday of every month. There is a designated theme each time, but attendees are welcome to ask about other NSF-related topics. Program Officers (POs) from different research areas are present at each Virtual Office Hour, so a wide range of scientific perspectives are represented.

The presentation and other documents are available here:

Slides (PDF)

PAPPG 22-1

PAPPG 23-1 (effective for proposals submitted on or after Jan 30, 2023)

Here is a link to a recording of the presentation and the transcript. Please note that the question-and-answer portion starts at the 28-minute time mark.

Please reach out to a PO if you have any questions about the proposal submission and review process in DEB programs. NSF has suggested 5 tips on working with Program Officers as part of the NSF 101 series on our Science Matters blog.

Check out the upcoming office hour topics below and be sure to check back here or on the NSF Events Page for information on how to register. Our next virtual office hour will be held February 13, 2022, from 1-2pm Eastern Time where we will be joined by the Division of Grants and Agreements who will discuss How to Write a Great Budget.

Upcoming Office Hours and Topics:                   

February 13: How to Write a Great Budget

March 13: PAPPG: Cracking the code – Understanding NSF policies and procedures that shape your funding opportunities

April 10: Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUI)

May 8: CAREER Solicitation

Upcoming Webinar: Using NSF ETAP (Education & Training Application) to Recruit Participants

Check out this post from our friends over in DBI here or below:

NSF’s Education & Training Application (ETAP) provides Principal Investigators with a secure and customizable common application for recruiting participants at all career-levels, while enabling NSF to collect high-quality data for robust evidence-building activities.

Programs currently using ETAP at NSF include: NSF Scholarships in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Program (S-STEM); Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU); Research Experiences for Teachers (RET); Research and Mentoring for Postbaccalaureates in Biological Sciences (RaMP); International Research Experiences for Students (IRES); Computer and Information Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowships program (CSGrad4US); and Research Experiences for Teachers Sites in Biological Sciences (BIORETS).

If you are a Principal Investigator with an NSF Award in one these programs, you can set up your Opportunities for applicants through NSF ETAP now.

Please join NSF on Wednesday, January 11th at 4:00 – 5:00 PM EDT to learn more about ETAP and ask any questions you may have. Register in advance here: https://nsf.zoomgov.com/webinar/register/WN_j5dtJh_QQz-pKxfZJPstVQ

You can learn more about ETAP at: nsfetap.org

Upcoming Virtual Office Hours: Biodiversity on a Changing Planet (BoCP)

Join us Monday, January 9th, 1 – 2pm ET for DEB’s next Virtual Office Hour. Program Officers will discuss the updated Biodiversity on a Changing Planet solicitation. Representatives from DEB programs will be available for questions. To participate, please use the registration link below. Upcoming DEB Virtual Office Hours are announced ahead of time on DEBrief, so we suggest you also sign up for blog notifications.    

REGISTER HERE TO PARTICIPATE

If you can’t make it to this or any future office hours, don’t worry! Come back to the blog afterwards, as we post recaps and the presentation slides of all office hour sessions. Visit our Office Hours homepage for slideshows and recaps of past topics.  

Virtual Office Hours are on the second Monday of every month from 1 – 2pm ET. Below is a list of upcoming dates and topics (subject to change). Be sure to add them to your calendars and register ahead of time.        

Upcoming Office Hour Topics:                       

January 9: Biodiversity on a Changing Planet (BoCP) Update

February 13: How to Write a Great Budget

March 13: PAPPG: Cracking the code – Understanding NSF policies and procedures that shape your funding opportunities

April 10: Primarily Undergraduate Institutions (PUI)

May 8: CAREER Solicitation