NSF Research Traineeship Solicitation and Webinar


The National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) Program will be hosting a live, open-forum Q&A with NRT Program Directors this November 15, 2018, 1:30 – 2:30 pm EST. Dates and instructions for joining the Q&A sessions can be found here.

The NRT program is designed to encourage new and innovative models for science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduate education training.

The NRT Synopsis states, “The program is dedicated to effective training of STEM graduate students in high priority interdisciplinary or convergent research areas, through the use of a comprehensive traineeship model that is innovative, evidence-based, and aligned with changing workforce and research needs. Proposals are requested in any interdisciplinary or convergent research theme of national priority, with special emphasis on the research areas in NSF’s 10 Big Ideas. The NSF research Big Ideas are Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR), The Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier (FW-HTF), Navigating the New Arctic (NNA), Windows on the Universe: The Era of Multi-Messenger Astrophysics (WoU), The Quantum Leap: Leading the Next Quantum Revolution (QL), and Understanding the Rules of Life: Predicting Phenotype (URoL).”

Please note: This solicitation has limits on the number of proposals per organization and PI/co-PI. In addition, there is a required letter of intent (Deadline Dec 6, 2018).

Special BIO Advisory Committee Meeting to be held 11/16


From our friends over at the BIO OAD Blog, “The BIO advisory committee will hold a special meeting on Friday, November 16th from 2:30-4:30 PM to discuss immediately establishing a subcommittee to consider different options for addressing community concerns with the BIO proposal submission limits.

This meeting will be held via teleconference among the Advisory Committee members. Public visitors will be able to attend the meeting in person at NSF headquarters; please contact Alexis Patullo at apatullo@nsf.gov to request a visitor badge.

For more information on this meeting, please visit the NSF BIO Advisory Committee page.”

AccelNet Webinar Monday, 11/5/18


What is AccelNet?

Learn all about it from the BIO OAD Blog, “Accelerating Research through International Network-to-Network Collaborations (AccelNet) supports strategic linkages among U.S. research networks and complementary networks abroad that will leverage research and educational resources to tackle grand scientific challenges that require significant coordinated international efforts.  AccelNet invites proposals, submitted by U.S.-based researchers, for the creation of international networks of networks in research areas aligned either with one of the NSF Big Ideas or a community-identified challenge with international dimensions.

For the first competition, Letters of Intent for are due December 21, 2018 and Full Proposals due February 28, 2019.  The NSF Office of International Science and Engineering (OISE) funded several workshops that will take place in 2019, and we will offer webinars for the community.

The first webinar will be this Monday, November 5 – visit the event page for webcast info. Updates on future webinars will be posted on the program page.

Additional information on this program is available on the AccelNet Program Page. We invite you to direct any questions to oise-accelnet@nsf.gov.”

OPUS and EEID Deadlines are Coming Up!


While our Core Programs have moved to a no-deadline model, there are still some special programs that have a submission deadline:

  • Opportunities for Promoting Understanding through Synthesis (OPUS) proposals are due November 19, 2018.
  • Ecology and Evolution of Infectious Diseases (EEID) proposals are due November 21, 2018.

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.

 

 

Still Required: Personnel List Spreadsheet


When submitting to the DEB Core Programs solicitation (NSF 18-587), remember that we still require a Personnel List Spreadsheet to be emailed to debtemplate@nsf.gov within one business day of your proposal submission.

From NSF 18-587:

“Personnel List Spreadsheet. The spreadsheet template can be found at https://www.nsf.gov/bio/deb/debpersonnellist.xlsx. Please read the instructions carefully. Using the template, compile an Excel file that provides information for all persons identified in the proposal as: “PI or co-PI” (i.e., those listed on the cover page); “Other Senior Personnel/Subawardee”; or “Other Personnel” who have a biosketch included in the proposal. Only one spreadsheet should be submitted per project. All participants in a multi-institutional collaborative proposal should be included on the lead proposal’s Personnel List Spreadsheet. The file must include the FastLane proposal ID assigned after submission of your proposal (i.e., not the Temporary ID # or Grants.gov ID #). Once completed, the file should be submitted by email to debtemplate@nsf.gov within one business day of proposal submission.”

There is only one Personnel List Spreadsheet per project that lists all the PIs, co-PIs, subawadees, and other senior personnel who are involved in the entire project. If there are lead and non-lead proposals, the lead institution submits the spreadsheet and includes all the personnel for the entire collaborative project.

This is not to be confused with the Collaborators & Other Affiliations (COA) form.

There should be as many COA forms as there are biosketches. Each person who has a biosketch in the proposal must also have a COA form. Unlike the personnel list spreadsheet (which must be emailed to DEB after the proposal is submitted), the COA form is submitted in FastLane, at the time of proposal submission. This COA form lists an individual’s potential conflicts of interest.

If you have any questions about these forms or other requirements, please email us at debquestions@nsf.gov.

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.