IOS Virtual Office Hours April 2021 Edition: Visit from The Division of Biological Infrastructure

The Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS) recently held a Virtual Office Hour (VOH) with contributions by program directors from the Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI). The Division of Biological Infrastructure invests in the development and enhancement of biological research resources, human capital, and biology centers to support advances in all areas of biological research. Visiting DBI program directors discussed various opportunities available to researchers in DBI and answered questions about their division. Some general question topics included:

For the Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology (NSF 20-602) must applicants be US citizens? – Yes, applicants for this Fellowship must be US citizens, permanent residents, or naturalized citizens. Postdoctoral positions advertised by NSF grant awardees may be open to non-US citizens as these are positions where you are employed by the managing institution.

Questions concerning the Infrastructure Capacity (NSF 21-501) solicitation for field stations – can new field stations be established through this option, can support for international field stations be requested? – NSF 21-501 offers planning grants for both new and established field stations to develop a strategic plan for near and long term growth in their research and outreach. A graduated plan of applying for small, discrete improvements that would start some research activity up which builds further growth is a viable strategy. Support for improvements to field stations on foreign soil can be requested if the award goes to an eligible US institution that can demonstrate that it has the authority to improve and manage the facility and that appropriate agreements are in place to ensure long-term availability of the facility to US researchers.

Could the Infrastructure Capacity (NSF 21-501) solicitation for biological collections be used to improve access to plant pathogen collections? – If the proposal can demonstrate that the collection is an important resource for NSF funded science, then it is likely eligible for improvement support.

For research instrumentation proposals, what specifically is meant by ‘useable by more than one lab’?  – The answer depends on the nature of the instrument and the program to which you are applying.  For proposals submitted to solicitation NSF 21-501, the instrumentation design should  be useable by a broad community of researchers, including resident and visiting scientists, or plans for dissemination or access should be explained in the proposal. For a Major Research Instrumentation proposal submitted to NSF 18-513, the instrument should be broadly accessible to researchers within the institution, if not beyond.

Don’t forget to navigate to the Virtual Office Hours page on the blog for registration information for our next VOH, which focuses on the CAREER solicitation.