Dear Colleague Letter: Models for Uncovering Rules and Unexpected Phenomena in Biological Systems (MODULUS)

Funding opportunities are available in fiscal years FY 2019 and FY 2020 to provide support for proposals from interdisciplinary teams comprised of mathematical, computational, and biological scientists to develop MODels for Uncovering Rules and Unexpected Phenomena in Biological Systems (MODULUS). The divisions of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB) and Mathematical Sciences (DMS) are seeking to cultivate innovative modes of collaboration among researchers working at the interface of mathematics and molecular and cellular biology. The MODULUS DCL encourages the formation of nascent collaborative teams that use novel mechanistic mathematical models to guide systems-scale exploration and discovery of new biological phenomena, rules, and theories that govern molecular interactions and emergent behaviors in living systems.

Proposals in response to this DCL may be submitted to the current core solicitations, either in DMS via the Mathematical Biology Program Description, PD 18-7334, or the MCB solicitation NSF 18-585 and directed to the Systems and Synthetic Biology program. Full details on program priorities, submission requirements, and important dates are available via the DCL 19-054.

Updated Funding Opportunity – Science and Technology Centers: Integrative Partnerships

The Science and Technology Centers (STC): Integrative Partnershipsprogram has released an updated solicitation calling for preliminary proposals that would ultimately lead to the awarding of five new research STCs. Science and Technology Centers support innovative, potentially transformative, complex research and education projects that require large-scale, long-term awards. They provide a means to undertake potentially groundbreaking investigations at the interfaces of disciplines and/or highly innovative approaches within disciplines. These centers can cover research in any topic that is funded by NSF including all areas of biology, and education. They usually include partnerships among academic institutions, national laboratories, industrial organizations, and/or other public/private entities, and international collaborations, as appropriate, to accomplish their research. More information on eligibility and other program specifics can be found in the solicitation 19-567.

Some important details:

  • Submissions of preliminary proposals are limited to 3 proposals per institution
  • Submissions limited to 1 proposal per PI or co-PI
  • Preliminary Proposal Due June 25, 2019
  • Full Proposal Due January 27, 2020

Questions can be answered by reaching out to the cognizant program officer. All proposals submitted in response to this STC solicitation should be submitted in accordance with the revised NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 19-1), which is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after February 25, 2019.

Harnessing the Data Revolution: Informational Webinar and Funding Opportunities

A word cloud with "Harnessing the data revolution" in the center and other words such as analytics, data science, and machine learning smaller surrounding it

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


A new Dear Colleague Letter (DCL) Rules of Life (RoL): Forecasting and Emergence in Living Systems (FELS) is now soliciting research proposals addressing fundamental problems in biology and ultimately leading to the discovery of the “rules of life.” (more…)

New Funding Opportunity: MathBioSys

The infographic shows a new funding opportunity. The title in yellow with a blue background at the top says New Funding Opportunity: MathBioSys. The rest of the image is grey with white angled lines and white or yellow text. A drawing of a light bulb on top of math layered with biological drawings and the words MathBioSys is the middle of the image. The text reads, "To faciliate collaborations among mathematicians, statisticians, and biologists, the NSF Directorates for Biological Sciences (BIO) and Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) and the Simons Foundation Divisions of Mathematics and Physical Sciences and Life Sciences will jointly sponsor up to... 3 New Research Centers. The NSF-Simons Research Centers for Mathematics of Complex Biological Systems (MathBioSys) soliciation calls for 5-year proposals with innovative collaborative research new interdisciplinary connections, and education and workforce training at the intersection between mathematics and molecular, cellular, and organismal biology. Letter of Intent Due Date: August 10, 2017. Full Proposal Due Date: September 29, 2017. For more details, go to to read program soliciation: NSF 17-560. Questions? Contact: Dr. Arcady Mushegian, Program Director BIO/MCB, For all other NSF Divisions, refer to the Agency Contacts section of program soliciation NSF 17-560 to find the appropriate point of contact, or direct your email messages to the Program Directors on the MathBioSys Working Group at The bottom of the image shows the NSF and Simons Foundation logos.

Photo Credit: Adapted from Juliann/ 

NSF-Simons Research Centers for Mathematics of Complex Biological Systems hosted a webinar with Q & A on Thursday, June 15, 2017, and the slides presented can be viewed at:

Please read solicitation NSF 17-560 for more information.