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National Science Foundation Home National Science Foundation - Biological Sciences (BIO)
BIO Organizations
Biological Infrastructure (DBI)
Environmental Biology (DEB)
Emerging Frontiers (EF)
Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS)
Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB)
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About BIO

If you're a new visitor to the Directorate for Biological Sciences website or just want a quick visual and textual summary of our areas of support, please visit the "About BIO" web page where we have added a new interactive organization chart.

NEON Update

DCL: Stimulating Research Using NEON Data Awards:  To see the press release of the new awards, click here.

Revisions have been made to the National Ecological Observatory Network website.  See what's new here.

BIO NEON Frequently Asked Questions - http://go.usa.gov/3jvqe


A revised IOS Core Programs solicitation, NSF 16-505, replaces NSF 13-600 (October 2015). The revised solicitation includes two significant programmatic changes:

  • Proposals in the area of plant-biotic interactions should no longer be submitted through the IOS Core Programs solicitation to the Symbiosis, Defense and Self-recognition (SDS) program. These proposals will now be accepted for review by a new program, Plant Biotic Interactions (PBI), jointly supported and managed by NSF IOS and the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA).
  • The revised IOS Core Programs solicitation includes two tracks for proposal submission. The Core track remains essentially unchanged from the description in the previous IOS solicitation (NSF 13-600), except for the changes described above related to the SDS Program. Proposals submitted to the EDGE (Enabling Discovery through Genomic Tools) track should focus on development of functional genomic tools, approaches and associated infrastructure to enable genome manipulation in diverse, emerging model organisms and must include training and rapid dissemination plans.

See the IOS home page for more details.

New Cracking the Olfactory Code: To advance our broader understanding of the nature of olfactory processing and sensory representations in the brain in general, the National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded more than $15 million for three projects to research the intricacies of olfaction. For more information about the awards click here.

New Dear Colleague Letter: Special Guidelines for Submitting Collaborative Proposals under the US NSF/BIO - US-Israel BSF International Opportunity. Click here for details for the DEB funding opportunity; click here for the IOS funding opportunity; and click here for the MCB funding opportunity.

Special guidelines for submitting collaborative proposals under the US NSF/BIO - UK BBSRC Lead Agency Pilot Opportunity have been posted. Click here to see the guidelines and solicitations for this DCL.  Click here for the 2015 BBSRC guidelines.

Dear Colleague Letter: Special Guidelines for submitting Collaborative Proposals under the US NSF/BIO/DEB - UK NERC Lead Agency Opportunity.  Click here for details regarding this funding opportunity

A Dear Colleague Letter encouraging the submission of proposals to the I/UCRC funding opportunity in the fields of engineering biology and cellular biomanufacturing has been released. Read more here.  

Please see the most recent Dear Colleague Letter: Preparing Applications to Participate in Phase I Ideas Labs on Undergraduate STEM Education.

Recently Announced Funding Opportunities See All

Critical Techniques, Technologies and Methodologies for Advancing Foundations and Applications of Big Data Sciences and Engineering
(NSF  16-512) Posted November 9, 2015

EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Program: Track-2 Focused EPSCoR Collaborations (RII Track-2 FEC)
(NSF  16-511) Posted November 5, 2015

Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER)
(NSF  16-509) Posted October 28, 2015

Improvements in Facilities, Communications, and Equipment at Biological Field Stations and Marine Laboratories
(NSF  16-506) Posted October 14, 2015

Division of Integrative Organismal Systems

(NSF  16-505) Posted October 14, 2015

Upcoming Due Dates See All

National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) Program
(NSF  16-503) Letter of Intent: December 9, 2015, Applies to both tracks

Research Coordination Networks
(NSF  15-527) Full Proposal: January 6, 2016, RCN-UBE & UBE Incubator Track

EPSCoR Research Infrastructure Improvement Program: Track-2 Focused EPSCoR Collaborations (RII Track-2 FEC)
(NSF  16-511) Letter of Intent: January 11, 2016

Improvements in Facilities, Communications, and Equipment at Biological Field Stations and Marine Laboratories
(NSF  16-506) Full Proposal: January 11, 2016

Industry/University Cooperative Research Centers Program
(NSF  16-504) Full Proposal: January 11, 2016

Funding Rates
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BIO funding rates chart

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News See All
Brian Gregory Penn biologists characterize new form of mRNA regulation
Released November 23, 2015
News From the Field
Scientist lowering an instrument in water Low-oxygen 'dead zones' in North Pacific linked to past ocean warming
Released November 18, 2015
Press Release
News thumbnail The BRAIN Initiative
Released June 12, 2013
News From the Field
Discoveries See All
A black surfperch swimming in the vicinity of Santa Cruz Island. A fine kettle of fish?
Long-term data help determine fluctuations in fish populations
Released  November 30, 2015

researcher setting a rat trap Where do rats move in after disasters? This team finds out
Post-Hurricane Katrina research aims to provide communities better data on rodent populations, dangers
Released  November 5, 2015

Events Calendar See All

September 10, 2015  - January 21, 2016
ADVANCE IT and IT-Catalyst pre-proposal Technical Assistance Webinars

November 9, 2015  - December 9, 2016
2016 NRT Informational Webinars

December 2, 2015  - December 3, 2015
EHR Advisory Committee Fall 2015 Meeting
Advisory Committee Meeting

December 3, 2015  - December 4, 2015
Advanced Technological Education (ATE) Program Panel

December 4, 2015
EHR Research on Early Childhood Education Open House

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Featured Programs
Plant Genome Research Program
Research Coordination Networks
Additional BIO Resources
The BRAIN Initiative
FY 2015 BIO Budget Excerpts
BIO's Guidance on Data Management Plans
Dear Colleague Letters: BIO and Foundation-wide
List of BIO Cyberinfrastructure Reports
National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON)
Partnership for Undergraduate Life Science Education (PULSE)
Supplements & Other Opportunities
Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI)
Broadening Participation Activities
NSF's Career-Life Balance Initiative
Interdisciplinary Research
BIO Reports
NSF Strategic Plan: 2011-2016
NSF Information Related to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
Merit Review (effective Jan. 14, 2013)
Image Credits
Other Site Features
Special Reports
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Classroom Resources
NSF-Wide Investments