IOS Virtual Office Hours September 2020 Edition: Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology (PRFB)

The Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS) held a Virtual Office Hour on September 17, 2020 focused on the Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology (PRFB; NSF 20-602) program. The PRFB program has three competitive areas:

  • Area 1: Broadening Participation of Groups Underrepresented in Biology;
  •  Area 2: Integrative Research Investigating the Rules of Life Governing Interactions Between Genomes, Environment and Phenotypes (also called Rules of Life); and
  • Area 3: Plant Genome Postdoctoral Research Fellowships.

Many excellent questions were asked, with particular focus on the Broadening Participation and Rules of Life competitive areas. 

Area 1, Broadening Participation applications should explain how the project will promote participation of groups underrepresented in biology explicitly at the postdoctoral level. These groups include black or African American, Hispanic, Latinos, Native American (Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian, other Native Pacific Islander), and persons with disabilities. Any area of biology is supported and applicants may be of any race or ethnicity.

Area 2, Rules of Life invites applications that investigate how phenotypes arise from the interaction of environmental and genetic factors. The projects should involve multiple subdisciplines of biology, extend over two or more scales on the continuum of life from molecules to biomes, and use diverse methodologies. Applicants are encouraged to identify how this work will lead to predictive theories or models. 

Area 3, Plant Genome welcomes applicants who focus their studies on plant genome-scale research, such as providing tools and knowledge to solve intractable, challenging biological questions, revolutionize agriculture, address fundamental societal issues, advance the bioeconomy and build a scientifically engaged population.

The duration of Area 1 and 2 fellowships is typically two years; however, applicants who plan an international research component lasting approximately one year can request three years of funding. All Area 3 fellowships are for three years.

Further Informational Opportunities
Our colleagues in the Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI), who manage the PRFB program, will be holding webinars and office hours in the coming weeks. The webinars, which will be held Tuesday, October 6 at 2 p.m. EDT and Friday, October 9 at 12 p.m. EDT, involve a presentation and chance to ask questions through the Q&A function. The office hours will involve a short presentation and more time for questions through the Q&A function. They will be held at 4 p.m. EST on both Monday, November 2 and Thursday, November 5. Learn more about these opportunities on the DBI blog, DBInfo.

Join us at our next IOS Office Hour that will be held on Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 1 pm EDT, when IOS program directors will be available to answer questions from the community and pass on information to investigators interested in IOS.  In October we will be talking about the recently released Biology Integration Institute solicitation (NSF 20-601).  Anyone who wishes to receive announcements about these meetings can email and request to be added to our email list for the Virtual Office Hour.