The National Science Foundation recently announced two new solicitations: Understanding the Rules of Life: Epigenetics (NSF 18-600), and Understanding the Rules of Life: Building a Synthetic Cell (NSF 18-599). These NSF-wide opportunities are part of Understanding the Rules of Life: Predicting Phenotype, one of NSF’s 10 “Big Ideas” for future investment.
Understanding the Rules of Life: Epigenetics (NSF 18-600) invites proposals which investigate heritable biological or chemical mechanisms that produce a phenotypic effect without alteration of the DNA sequence. Projects must integrate education perspectives and research approaches from more than one research discipline (e.g., biology, chemistry, computer science, engineering, geology, mathematics, physics, social and behavioral sciences).
Full proposals are due February 1, 2019 and can be submitted in one of two submission tracks:
(1) award duration of up to 3 years and a total budget of $500,000 or
(2) award duration of up to 5 years and a total budget of $3,000,000.
The specifics of the program priorities and areas of emphasis, as well as additional limitations and guidelines, can be found in the full solicitation.
Understanding the Rules of life: Building a Synthetic Cell: An Ideas Lab Activity (NSF 18-599) invites researchers to apply to participate in an inter-disciplinary Ideas Lab focused on facilitating innovative research projects for designing, fabricating, and validating synthetic cells that express specified phenotypes. Up to $10,000,000 of funding is available for successful project proposals resulting from the Ideas Lab.
Building a synthetic cell is a grand challenge at the interface between biological, mathematical, computer and physical sciences and engineering. Meeting this challenge requires simultaneous careful exploration of the social and ethical dimensions of such research as well as educating today’s students to engage in the activities and technologies required to develop and use synthetic cells.
To apply to this program, researchers should:
- submit preliminary proposals due December 28, 2018,
- participate, if selected, in the Ideas Lab workshop to be held February 25 – March 1, 2019, and
- if invited to do so, submit, as part of a team, a full proposal due May 13, 2019.
Full details regarding the specifics of the research ideas, proposal limitations, and the application process can be found in the full solicitation.