NSF's BIO Postdoctoral Program Has New Collections Research Area

Fri, 10/03/2014 - 10:39am -- maphillips
Release Date: 
Friday, October 3, 2014

NSF’s Directorate for Biological Sciences’ (BIO) Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology (PRFB) Solicitation was recently published for 2015. The fellowships will be awarded to 40 recent recipients of their doctoral degree for research and training in three selected areas.

The three selected areas for fiscal year 2015 are:

  1. Broadening Participation of Groups Under-represented in Biology
  2. Research Using Biological Collections
  3. National Plant Genome Initiative (NPGI)

Here is an excerpt from the project introduction for the newly added area, Research Using Biological Collections:

"New technologies supported by NSF in digitization, such as the Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections (ADBC) program, are making collections and their associated data, whether they are physical specimens, text, images, sounds, or data tables, searchable in online databases. Despite this clear progress in improving access to physical specimens and their associated metadata, collections remain under-utilized for answering contemporary questions about fundamental aspects of biological processes. Thus, collections are poised to become a critical resource for developing transformative approaches to address key questions in biology and potentially develop applications that extend biology to physical, mathematical, engineering and social sciences.

This postdoctoral track seeks transformative approaches that use biological collections in highly innovative ways to address grand challenges in biology. Priority may be given to applicants who integrate biological collections and associated resources with other types of data in an effort to forge new insight into areas traditionally funded by BIO. Examples of key questions in biology of interest include, but are not limited to, links between genotype and phenotype, evolutionary developmental biology, comparative approaches in functional and developmental neurobiology, and the biophysics of nanostructures. Using collections as a resource for grand challenge questions in biology is expected to present new opportunities to advance understanding of biological processes and systems, inspiring new discoveries in areas with relevance to other disciplines with overlapping interests in biological systems."

Proposals for competitive area two must include a "substantive and significant use of specimens and/or data from existing, archived biological research collections and their associated collection databases.” Proposals are due January 8, 2015, November 3, 2015, and the first Tuesday in November, annually thereafter.

To read more about the proposal requirements and project details go to NSF’s original document.