One outcome of a CAREER award and supplement made to Dr. Gregory Bowman by the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences was an enhanced computing infrastructure developed to better understand protein dynamics. The increased capabilities provided the technology needed to direct Bowman’s attention to COVID-19-related research questions. Bowman is addressing these questions via the Folding@home initiative, which has garnered the support of over 4.5 million citizen scientists. Read more about Bowman’s story on NSF’s beta website here.
This post was updated on Monday, June 22, 2020.
The Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences funded 23 proposals (as of June 22) submitted in response to the Dear Colleague Letter on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (NSF 20-052) released March 4, 2020 (and now archived). The awards, made through the Rapid Response Research (RAPID) funding mechanism, support research focused on the characterization and modeling of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Read more about the RAPID funding mechanism in Chapter II.E.1 (Rapid Response Research) of the Proposal & Award Policies and Procedures Guide (PAPPG).
The proposed research projects will contribute to viral tracking and prevention efforts, provide information on viral transmission and biology of infection, and aid drug development for infection treatment and prevention. Links to these RAPID awards can be found in the table below. More information on funding made by the National Science Foundation to support research on the coronavirus may be found here.
MCB anticipates several more RAPID awards this fiscal year.
Under select circumstances, NSF awardees may donate specific equipment, supplies, and services to entities serving the public in response to COVID-19 as authorized by Memorandum M-20-20, released by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. Refer to guidance on NSF’s implementation of M-20-20 to address questions on what items and resources may be donated and for the process on submitting a request to donate.
In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Directorate of Biological Sciences (BIO) recently held virtual office hours addressing the impact of the pandemic on solicitations and awards. Representatives from all four BIO divisions attended the event, which included information on NSF’s latest community guidance. Access the presentation slides and get further details by visiting the BIO Buzz Blog.
The Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB) would like to assure the scientific community that the Division is still fully operational. MCB is committed to supporting the community and accomplishing the mission of the National Science Foundation (NSF). While Program directors and staff are working virtually during this time, MCB continues to welcome your proposal submissions, participation in MCB’s virtual Office Hours, virtual panel service, and general communications.
The Division understands the immense impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on research, institutional closures, and personal life. If you find yourself struggling to meet a deadline for proposal or award report submissions, please contact your MCB program director. In accordance with NSF Implementation of OMB Memorandum M-20-17, MCB is flexible in considering extensions.
Please review the Dear Colleague Letter on COVID-19 inviting submissions of Rapid Response Research (RAPID) awards related to the virus. For specific questions or comments, please reach out to an MCB program director.
As you may have seen, Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) Assistant Director Joanne Tornow, PhD, wrote to the biological sciences community to share information about NSF’s current operations in light of COVID-19 and provide guidance to current awardees.
In that letter, Dr. Tornow noted that BIO staff are interested in hearing how BIO and NSF can mitigate the longer-term harm of COVID-19 on U.S. research and training. We will be holding a series of four BIO-wide virtual office hours next week during which the biological science community can share concerns, ask questions, or offer suggestions on how we can do more to address this national emergency.
Sessions dates and times are as follows and registration and log-in information will be available here shortly. Please feel free to attend the session that best fits your schedule; representatives from across BIO will be in attendance during each session.
- Monday, March 30, 4-5 pm EDT
- Tuesday, March 31, 3-4 pm EDT
- Wednesday, April 1, 2-3 pm EDT
- Thursday, April 2, 1-2 pm EDT
For more information on NSF’s activities and response to COVID-19, please visit our coronavirus information page; this site is updated regularly.
A new Dear Colleague Letter on the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) (NSF 20-052) invites non-medical, non-clinical-care research proposals that seek to explore how to model and understand the spread of COVID-19; to inform and educate about the science of virus transmission and prevention; and to encourage the development of processes and actions to address this global challenge.
Proposals may be submitted through the Rapid Response Research (RAPID) funding mechanism as well as through existing funding opportunities.
For more information, please read the full Dear Colleague Letter and reference the FAQs. All questions about this DCL should be directed either to a program officer managing an NSF program with which the research would be aligned or to firstname.lastname@example.org.