PAPPG 19-1 Now Available


There’s a new version of the Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide, or PAPPG (NSF 19-1). Check out a summary of the significant changes from prior versions and clarifications found in the new PAPPG here: https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/policydocs/pappg19_1/sigchanges.jsp

For international collaborations, please note the Cover Page has a new box to check for any international subawards and consultancies.

The guidelines in NSF 19-1 apply for proposals submitted or due, or awards made, on or after February 25, 2019. For instance, starting today (March 4, 2019) any RAPID or EAGER proposals intended for DEB would list the NSF 19-1 PAPPG program announcement number on the proposal cover page.

The PAPPG contains the full set of general guidelines to PIs, and includes everything from proposal preparation to award reporting and close-out. Many program-specific solicitations will reference the PAPPG for instructions on proposal submission, so it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with this document and make sure that your Sponsored Projects Office is aware of this new version.

 

Harnessing the Data Revolution: New Funding Opportunities


From our friends over at DBI,

“We would like to draw your attention to a new funding opportunity that may be of interest to our community. NSF’s Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR) is a national-scale activity to enable new modes of data-driven discovery that will allow fundamental questions to be asked and answered at the frontiers of science and engineering. The HDR vision is realized through an interrelated set of activities and funding opportunities.  Each of these efforts is designed to amplify the intrinsically multidisciplinary nature of the emerging field of data science.

I would like to particularly note the HDR: Institutes portion of this initiative. This activity is specifically designed to form interdisciplinary teams of researchers and technical experts to apply advanced approaches from data science to significant research questions where there is potential for major advance by harnessing untapped potential in data. There are two solicitations offered for this activity:

NSF 19-543: Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR): Institutes for Data-Intensive Research in Science and Engineering – Ideas Labs (I-DIRSE-IL)

NSF 19-549:  Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR): Institutes for Data-Intensive Research in Science and Engineering – Frameworks (I-DIRSE-FW)

The first solicitation targets individuals who wish to participate in an Ideas Lab workshop where they can find new collaborators to team with and develop a proposal for two-year prototype project. The second targets teams that are already formed and wish to submit a proposal for a two-year prototype project. In both cases, success for this activity rests on balanced participation by individuals with diverse skills – both researchers with intimate knowledge of the science to help frame the research challenges and define requirements and data science experts with experience in cyberinfrastructure, computational science, math, and statistics. This communication is going out to our entire research community to promote participation by individuals that fit any of these above descriptions. We encourage you to look at these solicitations, attend the webinar listed below, or visit the HDR website at: https://www.nsf.gov/cise/harnessingdata/

Some of these solicitations were released just prior to the lapse in federal appropriations; others were delayed by it. To give the community more opportunity to respond, the deadlines for these activities have been revised as below:

Deadline Updates for HDR Solicitations

Due to the recent 35-day lapse in appropriations and shutdown of the agency, NSF will be extending the deadline dates for the HDR solicitations noted below:

Pub ID Title Original Deadline Submission Type New Deadline Date
19-543 Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR): Institutes for Data-Intensive Research in Science and Engineering – Ideas Labs (I-DIRSE-IL) 28-Jan-19 Preliminary proposals 4-Mar-19

 

 

We’re Back!


 

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PicItUp/Shutterstock.com

We’re happy to report that NSF is fully operational. Because we’re playing catch-up, please be patient about replies to any emails you may have sent during the shut-down.

If you have any questions about the recent lapse in appropriations, and/or need guidance on programs with REVISED deadlines (NNA, for example), and/or post-award administration please start here.

Our Assistant Director also published a letter to community members over at the BIO OAD blog.

And as always, feel free to reach out to any DEB Program Officer or email us at debquestions@nsf.gov.

Statement from the Acting Assistant Director for Biological Sciences on Proposal Submission Limits


In August, the BIO directorate released new solicitations to its proposal submission process to eliminate deadlines and limit the number of proposals that could be submitted to a given division annually by a PI or co-PI. As BIO was receiving far more worthy proposals than it has money to support, this submission cap was established with a view to ensuring that BIO’s merit review process would not be overwhelmed with the move to no deadlines.

In the ensuing three months, the community expressed serious concern that this new policy would hinder collaboration as well as limit funding prospects for new investigators. BIO places a high value on collaboration and on fostering careers of new investigators; thus, we held internal discussions to consider ways to address these concerns. In addition, relatively few proposals have been submitted to BIO since the release of the solicitations.

Having listened to community concern and tracked the current low rate of submission, and following extensive internal consultation, BIO is lifting all PI or co-PI restrictions on proposal submission for FY 2019, effective immediately.

BIO recognizes that it is important to track the effects of the no-deadline policy on proposal submission patterns, to ensure that a high-quality review process is sustained. Therefore, we are seeking approval from the Biological Sciences Advisory Committee to establish a subcommittee to assist in developing the evidence base for any future policy changes that may be needed.

Solicitations for proposals will be amended and released over the next few weeks to reflect these changes.

 

Meet DEB: David Cannatella


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David Cannatella

Name: David Cannatella, Systematics and Biodiversity Sciences Program Officer

Education: BS in Zoology, University of Southwestern Louisiana; MS, MA, and PhD in Systematics and Ecology, University of Kansas.

Home Institution: University of Texas at Austin

Tell us about your research: I’m an evolutionary biologist with a passion for understanding the amphibian Tree of Life. My lab focuses on research on evolution of frogs from a phylogenetic perspective. These include speciation, biogeography, biodiversity of Neotropical species, phylogenomics, integrating fossil and phenotypic data, acoustic communication, aposematism and chemical defense in poison frogs.

Several of these topics revolve around poison frogs, a group of about 300 Neotropical species, many of which are brightly colored and have distasteful alkaloid compounds in their skin. This is how the frog warns a predator to leave it alone. In the big picture, this combination of a warning signal (bright colors) and a defense (distasteful chemicals) has evolved independently several times and in different ways in animals such as bumblebees, skunks, coral snakes, monarch butterflies, nudibranch mollusks, and salamanders. Frogs don’t make their own alkaloids, but instead get them from arthropod prey, and store them in their skin. This raises a basic question—why don’t the poison frogs poison themselves? To answer this, we look at the complex interactions between behavioral ecology, phylogenomics, and molecular evolution, to understand how the frogs make their living in the natural environment, how these interactions evolved at local and large scales, and how the frog is protected from its own toxins at the molecular level. These approaches rely on new directions that are led by my graduate students and postdocs.

Why do you want to serve NSF? As the primary federal agency supporting evolutionary research, NSF relies on input and expertise from the community of scientists to assess what type of science best serves the community and nation, now and for the future. I was really excited by the possibility of working with others to contribute to the advancement of the best science, even though I had just a vague idea of what day-to-day life would be like.

What are you most looking forward to during your tenure at NSF? I am enthused by the chance to interact with a large and diverse community of scientists, some on temporary assignment like myself, and others who have dedicated their talents long-term to promoting excellence in research and researchers. Also, during my break from academic life I hope to pick up some administrative skills that will be useful when I return to UT.

 

 

New LTREB Solicitation Released


The new solicitation for the Long Term Research in Environmental Biology (LTREB) Program has been released. The LTREB program supports the generation of extended time series of data to address important questions in evolutionary biology, ecology, and ecosystem science. LTREB was designed to support decadal projects. Funding for an initial, 5-year period requires a decadal research plan and a description of core data. Renewal proposals are submitted for the second five years of support. Proposals can be submitted to three Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) clusters—Ecosystem Science, Population and Community Ecology, and Evolutionary Processes.

The main new feature of the LTREB solicitation is an increase of the maximum budget, to $600,000 for a 5-year duration in total costs (direct plus indirect).

Important requirements for all NSF proposals are open data, and data-sharing. LTREB projects have been ahead of the curve regarding sharing data with other investigators in order to stimulate data reuse, synthesis, and the generation of novel ideas. If you have been collecting long-term data, and want to test hypotheses related to those data, the LTREB Program may be of interest to you.