Harnessing the Data Revolution: Informational Webinar and Funding Opportunities

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NSF announces an informational webinar, updated deadlines, and new funding opportunities for Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR). HDR is one of the “10 Big Ideas” and represents 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 designed to amplify the intrinsically multidisciplinary nature of the emerging field of data science. 

HDR Webinar

A webinar will present an overview of the new solicitations and other current HDR funding opportunities.

          Event: Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR) Information Webinar

          Date: February 15, 2019 – 1:00pm until 3:00pm Eastern Time

          Register in Advance Here

Updated Submission Deadlines

Due to the recent 35-day lapse in appropriations and shutdown of the agency, NSF is extending the submission deadlines for the following two HDR solicitation.

NSF 19-518 Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR): Data Science Corps (DSC)                

  • Full proposals due February 14, 2019

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

  • Preliminary proposals (required) due March 4, 2019
  • Full proposals due June 19, 2019

New Funding Opportunities

NSF 19-550 Harnessing the Data Revolution (HDR): Transdisciplinary Research in Principles of Data Science Phase I

  • Letter of intent due March 25, 2019
  • Full proposal window April 24, 2019 – May 8, 2019

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

  • Full proposals due May 7, 2019

REMINDER: INTEGRATION INSTITUTES REQUEST FOR INFORMATION DUE MARCH 1

The March 1 deadline for submissions to the NSF 19-027 (Dear Colleague Letter: Request for Information-Integration Institutes for Cross-cutting Biology) remains unchanged. For more information about this DCL, please visit the BIO Buzz article posted at this link.

Integration Institutes Request for Information Due March 1

The NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences has published a Dear Colleague Letter: Request for Information seeking ideas from the community on Integration Institutes for cross-cutting biology. These institutes would support collaborative teams of researchers to address questions that span multiple levels of organization in living systems and require expertise from diverse biological subdisciplines.

For more information, please visit the BIO Buzz article posted at this link.

NSF Career Compass Challenge Deadline is Dec. 31

The NSF Career Compass Challenge is a two-part, cash-prize competition seeking innovative solutions to modernize the American workforce. The Challenge addresses the changing nature of work with the goal of improving the workforce capacity to adapt to changing technologies and meet evolving workforce needs. Solvers are asked to go beyond the traditional “career path” thinking and “strategic workforce planning” methodology and to focus on concurrent learning and re-skilling for adults currently in the workforce. Solvers must beat least 14 years old; teachers are encouraged to enter on behalf of their classes.

In Part 1 of this challenge, solvers are asked to submit a concept white paper describing a solution to the challenges of continuous workforce re-skilling and the desire for increased mobility within and between NSF and other Federal agencies (and perhaps even the private sector) as an example. Between one and five papers will be selected, with a one-time cash prize of $5,000 per team. Winning concept papers will be posted on the challenge.gov site. The deadline for Part 1 is Dec. 31, 2018.

In Part 2 of the challenge, solvers are invited to develop a working prototype for government testing and evaluation. The prototype will be based on the winning concepts submitted in Part 1. The team submitting the selected prototype will be awarded a one-time cash prize of $75,000.

Full details and information on how to submit your ideas are available by clicking the “How to enter” tab on the Career Compass Challenge site.

Paid Internship: EBRC Industry Partnership Program

The Engineering Biology Research Consortium (EBRC) invites PhD candidates at U.S. universities and colleges and small- to medium-sized biotechnology companies to apply for a four-month-long paid internship program to take place this summer (May-Sept). The goal of the program is to better prepare students to enter the “next generation biotech workforce.”

Interns will work on company-designed research projects and professional development activities to build stronger laboratory/analysis skills. Applications are due January 14, 2019.

EBRC is a non-profit, public-private partnership formed to advance the field of synthetic biology, connecting industrial and research communities to catalyze leading-edge research and education programs. EBRC is co-funded by the Systems and Synthetic Biology cluster in the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences and by the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems under NSF award #1818248.

Focus on Graduate Student Career Preparation: NSF Research Traineeship (NRT)

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The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program is seeking proposals that address the development and implementation of bold, new, and potentially transformative models for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) graduate education training.

Letters of Intent, which are required, may be submitted between Nov. 25-Dec. 6 and annually thereafter.

Full proposals are due Feb. 6, 2019 and annually thereafter.

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. The10 Big Ideas include Understanding the Rules of Life, an area of interest to the Directorate of Biology and the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences.

The NRT program addresses workforce development, emphasizing broadening participation and institutional capacity building needs in graduate education. Strategic collaborations with the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government agencies, national laboratories, field stations, teaching and learning centers, informal science centers, and academic partners are encouraged.

NRT especially welcomes proposals that pair well with the efforts of NSF Inclusion across the Nation of Communities of Learners of Underrepresented Discoverers in Engineering and Science (INCLUDES). INCLUDES aims to develop STEM talent from all sectors and groups in our society. Collaborations are encouraged between NRT proposals and existing NSF INCLUDES projects, provided the collaboration strengthens both projects.

Read the solicitation (NSF 19-522) for details.

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.

Special BIO Advisory Committee Meeting to be held 11/16

A recent update from 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.”