In recent decades, the biological sciences have experienced an unprecedented growth in data as a result of new experimental technologies, advances in computational power, and big data approaches to research. There are, however, many barriers to making full use of available datasets.
To unlock the full potential of existing data, NSF seeks to establish a Synthesis Center for Molecular and Cellular Sciences (SCMCS) (NSF 22-608) that will create new knowledge through innovative synthesis and integration of available data and related information. The Center should advance our ability to explain and predict how biomolecular structures, interactions, organization, and functions lead to dynamic cellular phenotypes, by focusing on complex questions and using contemporary approaches that are data-intensive, team-based, and promote open science. The Center will not directly support generation of new data, nor fund an individual research group, but rather will be dedicated to facilitating synthesis of available data by multidisciplinary research teams.
The Center must:
- Address a compelling set of scientific questions in molecular and cellular biosciences that require or are ripe for breakthroughs from synthesis of available data.
- Enable synthesis research, i.e., integration of diverse theories, methods, and data, bringing together cross-disciplinary expertise to advance mechanistic and predictive understanding of molecular and cellular systems.
- Develop or provide the necessary resources to enable data management and integration, advance open science strategies, enhance access to existing infrastructure, foster collaboration and team science, and promote standards and best practices for synthesis research.
- Build an effective and evidence-based training enterprise for the next generation of scientists.
- Integrate efforts to broaden participation across demographic, geographic, institutional, and disciplinary lines in all activities.
- SCMCS Program Webinar: September 15, 2022
- Preliminary proposals due: January 13, 2023
- Results of preliminary proposal review communicated to proposers: March 2023
- Full proposals due: July 07, 2023
- Reverse Site Visit (RSV) notifications and scheduling: November 2023
- Declined proposers informed, and recommended awards announced: January 2024
- Anticipated start date of awards: February 15, 2024
Anticipated Funding Amount: $20,000,000
To learn more, read the solicitation posted here and reach out to an MCB program director.
NSF will hold an informational webinar on September 15, 2022. Registration information for this webinar is posted on the Program Web page. The SCMCS funding opportunity will also be discussed in upcoming MCB Virtual Office Hours.