MCB’s no-deadline solicitation for investigator-initiated research projects has been updated with Core Program priorities and other important changes, including a new Integrative Research in Biology (IntBIO) track, NSF’s requirement for a Safe and Inclusive Working Environments Plan, and budgetary guidance for education or broadening participation activities.  Below is a summary of some of the changes. 

IntBIO Track
The IntBIO program has been incorporated into the MCB solicitation as a new track. This track invites collaborative proposals to tackle bold questions that require an integrated approach to advance fundamental understanding of biological systems across different scales of organization. IntBIO proposals must span two or more subdisciplinary boundaries in biology and proposers are strongly encouraged to consult with a Program Director about the suitability of their project to the IntBIO track. 

To submit a proposal to the IntBIO track, you must provide additional information described in detail in the solicitation. The proposal must articulate the overarching biological question and expected advances in fundamental knowledge, and it must contain a graphical illustration of the integrative strategy, information about the collaborative team, and (as part of the Broader Impacts section) an integrative training and education plan. The proposal title must start with “IntBIO:”  

Safe and Inclusive Working Environments Plan
A plan for Safe and Inclusive Working Environments is now required as a supplementary document for proposals submitted to the MCB core programs after April 18, 2023 that involve off-campus or off-site research. This requirement reflects NSF’s efforts to foster safe and harassment-free environments wherever science is conducted. As a note, other programs across BIO and GEO are part of this pilot to require a plan as a supplementary document so be sure to read solicitations before you begin a proposals. 

Education and Broader Participation
There is also new guidance for requesting support for Education or Broadening Participation Activities. If such activities are anticipated, support should be requested at the time of proposal submission (details to be provided in supplementary documents). Post-award supplemental funding requests for these activities should be for unanticipated opportunities that arise after an award is made. Typical total budgets are: 

RAHSS – $6,000 per high school student; 

RET – up to $15,000 per school teacher; 

REU – $7,000 – $9,000 per undergraduate student; 

REPS – $650 per week over 12 months, plus fringe benefits and travel per postbaccalaureate student; 

INTERN – maximum $55,000 per graduate student per 6-month period; 

ROA – up to $15,000 per faculty member. 

These amounts are for guidance only. Read the solicitation for more details.