2020 Virtual Summer Meeting Schedule


DEB Program Officers will be present at several upcoming virtual meetings this summer. If you can’t make it to any of the meetings listed below, as always, feel free to reach out to us directly.

We’re also available to virtually meet with your institution or society to discuss our programs and funding opportunities. The virtual format of meetings this year makes it easy for us to visit with you, so we are hoping to get around to a greater variety of meetings than ever! Feel free to drop us a line at debquestions@nsf.gov or reach out to a Program Officer directly if you’re interested in scheduling something.

 

Meeting Date Program Officer(s)
American Society for Microbiology Conference for Undergraduate Educators July 8-9, 2020 Andrea Porras-Alfaro

 

Mycological Society of America July 22, 2020 Andrea Porras-Alfaro

 

American Society of Naturalists July 23, 2020 Chris Balakrishnan
    Dave Cannatella
    Matt Herron
    Amanda Ingram
    Jodie Jawor
    Sam Scheiner
Botany 2020 July 27-31, 2020 Matt Herron
    Amanda Ingram
    Simon Malcomber
    Diana Pilson
Ecological Society of America August 3-6, 2020 Ford Ballantyne
    Liz Blood
    Dan Gruner
    Matt Kane
    Doug Levey
    Kendra McLauchlan
    Andrea Porras-Alfaro
    John Schade-tentative
    Stephanie Hampton
    Sam Scheiner
    Betsy Von Holle
    Montona Futrell-Griggs
    Roland Roberts
    Irv Forseth
    Reed Beaman
    Cheryl Dybas
American Phytopathological Society August 10-14, 2020 Andrea Porras-Alfaro

 

Extended Deadline: Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER)


Due to the multifaceted challenges faced by universities and PIs under COVID-19, NSF is extending the upcoming proposal deadline for the Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER; NSF 20-525) until 5:00 p.m. submitter’s local time on Tuesday, August 11, 2020.

Please note that the eligibility requirements specified in the solicitation remain unchanged, and proposers must meet all of the eligibility requirements as of the original deadline of July 27, 2020.  We strongly encourage the submission of CAREER proposals on or before the original deadline of July 27, 2020.  NSF will not consider requests to extend the deadline date beyond 5:00 p.m., submitter’s local time on Tuesday, August 11, 2020, except as outlined in PAPPG Chapter I.F.3. Tips for applying to NSF’s CAREER program can be found here.

Please reach out to a CAREER Program Divisional contact if you have any questions.

6/8/20 Virtual Office Hours Recap


The Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) held its latest Virtual Office Hour on June 8th, 2020. We host these office hours 1-2pm EDT 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 from each of DEB’s clusters are present at each Virtual Office Hour.

This month’s topic was Opportunities for Promoting Understanding through Synthesis (OPUS) Solicitation (NSF 20-564).

The presentation and other documents are available here:

If you were unable to attend, here are some of the questions asked during the Q & A section:

Q: Does the OPUS solicitation cover other directorates such as material science and engineering?

A: No. The OPUS solicitation (NSF 20-564) is specifically for the Division of Environmental Biology including all four clusters within the division (Ecosystem Science, Evolutionary Processes, Population and Community Ecology, and Systematics and Biodiversity Science). The focus and scope of research questions must be consistent with the program descriptions of one or more of the four clusters within the Division of Environmental Biology.

Q: Does an OPUS proposal need to be a synthesis primarily of the PI’s work? Can it be a meta-analysis?

A: Per the solicitation, OPUS provides an opportunity for an investigator or a group of investigators at any career stage to revisit and synthesize a significant body of their prior research or to harmonize distinct data sets that they have produced to enable new understanding. That said, the solicitation does not say that only your own data sets can be synthesized. This program targets investigators who have, over time, produced significant work and data from a series of research projects, and who are planning to integrate that work in a single synthesis. Combining your own work with other datasets could be appropriate but check with your Program Officers in the appropriate cluster for guidance. Proposals requesting support mainly for the production of new data are not appropriate. Likewise, efforts simply to summarize previous results will not be supported. We expect OPUS awards to generate novel understanding, new questions, or emergent insights that are more than the sum of their individual parts.

Q: Are there any restrictions in budget?

A: There are few restrictions with regards to the OPUS budget. Requests may be for up to two years with an anticipated award size of between $175,000 and $350,000. Additionally, the total salary allocated to PIs cannot exceed 6.5 months plus fringe benefits for a period spanning up to two years. In cases where multiple investigators are involved, the total allowance of 6.5 months’ salary may be distributed among investigators.

Q: If we were planning to apply to what previous OPUS solicitations referred to as the Mid-Career Synthesis track, what I’m hearing is that OPUS is no longer appropriate for us and now we need to wait until a new opportunity is announced. Is that correct?

A: There is no mid-career track in the 20-564 OPUS solicitation. We aim to expand the mid-career opportunity to other science and engineering programs in addition to Biological Sciences. You can sign up for notifications about new funding opportunities here to know as soon as information is public.

Q: OPUS seems particularly amenable to sabbaticals. How soon could a sabbatical start after the submission deadline to be supported by OPUS?

A: Yes, OPUS proposals are very well suited for funding sabbaticals. As with proposals submitted to our core solicitation (NSF 20-502), please allow enough time (typically 5-6 months, but in rare cases it may be more) for the peer review process to proceed before you expect to hear from us about a decision.

Please reach out to a Program Officer if you have any questions about the proposal submission and review process in DEB programs.

Our next virtual office hours will be held on August 10th, 2020 from 1-2pm EDT and will address Dynamics of Integrated Socio-Environmental Systems (DISES; NSF 20-579) formerly known as CNH2.

There will be NO virtual office hour in July. Be sure to check back here or on the NSF Events Page for information on how to register.

Upcoming Office Hours and Topics:

July: No Office Hours

August 10: DISES: Dynamics of Integrated Socio-Environmental Systems f.k.a. CNH2

September 14: Macrosystems Biology and NEON-Enabled Science (MSB-NES)

October 19: BIO Postdoc Program

November 9: Intro to DEB

December 14: Supplements

January 11: TBD (Feel free to suggest a topic!)

HBCU Excellence in Research Q&A Sessions


Are you an investigator at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU)?

Are you curious which programs at NSF support research like yours?

Are you interested in applying to or learning more about the HBCU-EiR program?

Program Officers representing each division in BIO will be hosting two online informational sessions to help answer any questions you may have. Join us to learn more about the NSF HBCU-EiR program, gain an understanding of where your research fits in at NSF, and have one-on-one conversations with Program Officers about your research goals. Register for one of the two sessions below:

July 1st from 1-2pm EST

REGISTRATION LINK

or July 14th from 3-4pm EST

REGISTRATION LINK

“The Historically Black Colleges and Universities – Excellence in Research (HBCU-EiR) program was established in response to direction provided in the Senate Commerce and Justice, Science and Related Agencies Appropriations Subcommittee Report (Senate Report 115-139), and is built on prior and continuing efforts by the National Science Foundation (NSF) to strengthen research capacity at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The program aims to establish stronger connections between researchers at HBCUs and NSF’s research programs.”

 

 

Upcoming Virtual Office Hours: OPUS Proposals 


Join us June 8th from 1pm-2pm EDT for DEB’s next Virtual Office Hour. Program Officers will provide an introduction to the Opportunities for Promoting Understanding through Synthesis (OPUS) Solicitation (NSF 20-564). 

Representatives from each of the four DEB core programs will be available for questions, which can be on any DEB or NSF topic. 

Please use the registration link below to participate. Upcoming DEB Virtual Office Hours are announced ahead of time on DEBrief, so sign up for blog notifications for reminders.  

REGISTER HERE 

If you can’t make it to this or any future office hours, don’t worry! Come back to the blog, as we will be posting a recap and the presentation slides. As always, our Virtual Office Hours will happen on the second Monday of every month from 1pm-2pm EDT. Below is a list of upcoming dates and topics (subject to change), so be sure to add them to your calendars! 

 

Upcoming Office Hours and Topics: 

June 8: OPUS 

July: No Office Hours 

August 10: CNH2: Dynamics of Integrated Socio-Environmental Systems 

September 14: Macrosystems Biology and NEON-Enabled Science (MSB-NES) 

October TBD: BIO Postdoc Program 

November 9: Intro to DEB 

December 14: Supplements 

January 11: TBD 

5/18/20 Virtual Office Hours Recap


The Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) held its sixth Virtual Office Hour on May 18th, 2020. We will be hosting these office hours 1-2pm EDT on the 2nd Monday of every month. There will be a designated theme each time, but attendees are welcome to ask about other NSF-related topics. Program Officers from each of DEB’s clusters will be present at every Virtual Office Hour.

This month’s topic was Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) (NSF 20-525).

The presentation and other documents are available here:

If you were unable to attend, here are some of the questions asked during the Q & A section. Due to the high volume of questions, the full list of questions can be found in the link above:

Q: Is the education component focused just on higher education?

A: Reviewers want to see that part of the education plan is in line with the institutional goals and that you have the appropriate resources to conduct the proposed activities. However, that does not preclude you from engaging in broader impacts activities away from your home institution. We encourage investigators to do things that they want to do, and that create educational opportunities.

Q: How much preliminary data would be appropriate for a successful proposal? How critical is preliminary data in a successful CAREER proposal?

A: Reviewers like to see that you can accomplish the methods you say you are going to use. This includes a combination of your publication record, relevant citations, and enough preliminary data to show the work can be conducted.

Q: Does the CAREER solicitation support interdisciplinary projects, and if so, are there any suggestions on which program to choose given the interdisciplinary nature of a research project?

A: Investigators will submit proposals to the CAREER solicitation but indicate the core program to which they’re submitting. This is the primary program of interest, but investigators can also indicate another program that may be relevant.

As with other proposals, CAREER proposals can be co-reviewed by multiple programs. For more information on what this entails check out our blog post on demystifying the co-review process, as well as our November Office Hour recap on the same topic. The CAREER solicitation also includes additional details on Cross-Disciplinary Opportunities.

Please reach out to a Program Officer if you have any questions about the proposal submission and review process in DEB programs.

Our next virtual office hours will be held on June 8th, 2020 from 1-2pm EDT and will address Opportunities for Promoting Understanding through Synthesis (OPUS) (NSF 20-564). Be sure to check back here or on the NSF Events Page for information on how to register.

 

DEB: Business as Usual


frenchie

photo credit: Javier Brosch

DEB Program Officers and staff are as available as ever to serve our community. Like many of you, we are concerned for all our friends and family, and are working from home in an effort to reduce the transmission of COVID-19. We are entirely accessible via email and phone, though, so please don’t hesitate to reach out to us (contact us with questions about current awards, proposal preparation and submission, NSF policies and procedures, or anything else).

NSF is continuing to accept and review proposals, host virtual panels, and make awards. We are happy to discuss your research ideas and help you manage your awards during this stressful time.

For questions about how NSF is responding to the pandemic and its impact on research, please visit https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/coronavirus/.

Stay safe, be well.

 

 

Upcoming Virtual Office Hour: CAREER Proposals


Join us May 18th from 1pm-2pm EDT for DEB’s next Virtual Office Hour. Program Officers will provide an introduction to the Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) (NSF 20-525). Please note that this is a different date than our normally scheduled office hour.

Representatives from each of the four DEB core programs will be available for questions. Questions can be on any DEB topic.

Please use the registration link below to participate. Upcoming DEB Virtual Office Hours are announced ahead of time on DEBrief, so sign up for blog notifications for reminders.

REGISTER HERE

If you can’t make it to this or any future office hours, don’t worry! Come back to the blog, as we will be posting a recap and the presentation slides. In the future, our Virtual Office Hours will happen on the second Monday of every month from 1pm-2pm EST. Below is a list of upcoming dates and topics, so be sure to add them to your calendars!

Upcoming Office Hours and Topics:

May 18: CAREERs

June 8: OPUS

July: TBD

August 10: CNH2: Dynamics of Integrated Socio-Environmental Systems

September 14: Macrosystems Biology and NEON-Enabled Science (MSB-NES)

October 12: BIO Postdoc Program

November 9: Intro to DEB

December 14: Supplements

January 11: TBD

 

 

NSF STEM Diversity and Inclusion Video Exhibition Challenge


Our friends in IOS posted about the STEM DIVE competition . You can read their post here or in full below:

Have you been the recipient of NSF funding for a project that included partnerships for increasing diversity and inclusion in the STEM workforce?

Want to win one of (4) $2,500 Expert’s Choice Awards or one of (2) $1,250 People’s Choice Awards AND be featured on various NSF platforms?

NSF invites you to submit a 1-to-3-minute video that showcases how your NSF-funded work has led to innovative, effective, and replicable approaches to building a diverse and inclusive STEM workforce through partnerships.

The deadline for submissions in June 25th, 2020.

For more information, visit the competition website; www.nsf.gov/ehr/stemdive.jsp