Did you miss it? September 2022 Virtual Office Hours Recap: BIO’s Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology (PRFB)

The slides are available here.

The Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS) held a Virtual Office Hour on September 15th, 2022 providing information about the Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology (PRFB) funding opportunity (NSF 22-623). Program Officers associated with the PRFB program and representatives from other IOS core programs attended to discuss with and answer questions from the audience. 

The goals of the PRFB program is to provide awards to support the independent research and training of recent recipients of a doctoral degree, and to foster human resource development in biology. The PRFB program webpage can be found HERE and individuals with specific questions regarding the PRFB solicitation are encouraged to contact a cognizant Program Officer. The next deadline for proposal submission is November 3, 2022.

Some questions that were posed to attending program officers included:

Q: How unique does the proposal need to be from the proposed sponsoring scientist’s ongoing work (that is also funded by NSF)?

We want the PRFB project to really be driven by the postdoc.  We expect some overlap of scientific methods or approaches, but the proposed research should be distinct from any funded NSF work.

Q: For PRFB applications, can collaborators be listed who are not considered sponsoring scientists, and can such a collaborator provide a letter of reference?

Yes. Any collaborators should be listed within the proposal itself, with the relevant work they will contribute clearly indicated within the proposal. They are allowed to write letters of reference if they are not a sponsoring scientist.

Q: How have the proposal expectations changed now that the funding is for 3 instead of 2 years?

The proposed work should clearly align with the expected duration of the fellowship. Reviewers look at and provide feedback on the timeline of the proposed work.

Q: How do you evaluate broader impacts for these proposals? What do you look for in a compelling broader impacts section?

Broader impacts are evaluated similarly to the intellectual merit of the proposal. Are the activities proposed feasible? Is there appropriate assessment of the activities and/or materials generated? Are there enough resources available to accomplish the work?

Q: Does co-sponsorship influence application success? Are co-sponsors encouraged for applicants?

Co-sponsorship does not in and of itself influence application success.  Applicants should choose the appropriate sponsoring scientist(s) based on the proposed research and training goals.

Please join us on October 20th, 2022 for our next IOS Virtual Office Hour that will focus on the Integrative Research in Biology (IntBIO) solicitation (NSF 21-622). IntBIO supports collaborative research, training and education that spans subdisciplines to understand how biological systems function and interact across different scales of organization. Program Directors associated with this solicitation will be present to provide advice and answer any questions you may have about this funding opportunity. Don’t miss this one!