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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

Decision by the NSF to identify a new management entity:

  • The NSF has conducted a technical review of materials from NEON, Inc. regarding estimate of completion and have determined that the project is absolutely still viable and already producing vital science for the nation. 
  • The Observatory is already capturing high-quality data that are being used to assess, understand, and manage land use, environmental events, and natural processes such as wildfires and El Niño.
  • While the NSF recognizes the hard work by Dr. Gene Kelly, Visiting Head Scientist, and his team in this short period of time to make significant improvements to the project the NSF has decided it is necessary to identify an entity that is better equipped to ensure this important project stays on schedule and within budget going forward and remains scientifically sound.
  • A letter was sent to NEON, Inc. and its board by Dr. James Olds, Assistant Director of the Directorate for Biological Sciences, that explained this and the importance of continuing the work on this scientifically sound project.


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

NSF 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.

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.

Recently Announced Funding Opportunities See All

Software Infrastructure for Sustained Innovation
(NSF  16-532) Posted January 19, 2016

Data Infrastructure Building Blocks
(NSF  16-530) Posted January 5, 2016

Science of Learning: Collaborative Networks
(NSF  16-528) Posted December 30, 2015

Innovations at the Nexus of Food, Energy and Water Systems
(NSF  16-524) Posted December 21, 2015

Genealogy of Life FY 2016
(NSF  16-522) Posted December 17, 2015

Upcoming Due Dates See All

Critical Techniques, Technologies and Methodologies for Advancing Foundations and Applications of Big Data Sciences and Engineering
(NSF  16-512) Full Proposal: February 9, 2016

National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) Program
(NSF  16-503) Full Proposal: February 9, 2016, Applies to both tracks

Cultivating Cultures for Ethical STEM
(NSF  15-528) Full Proposal: February 16, 2016

Science of Learning: Collaborative Networks
(NSF  16-528) Letter of Intent: March 1, 2016

Long-Term Ecological Research
(NSF  15-596) Full Proposal: March 4, 2016

Funding Rates
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BIO funding rates chart

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News See All
Maren Friesen Why do scientists chase unicorns?
Released February 1, 2016
News From the Field
milky blue glacial water Major storm events play key role in biogeochemistry of watersheds
Released February 1, 2016
News From the Field
News thumbnail The BRAIN Initiative
Released June 12, 2013
News From the Field
Discoveries See All
White ibises flock Feeding birds in your local park? If they're white ibises in Florida, think twice
White ibises may transmit diseases like salmonellosis
Released  February 3, 2016

woman looking out of the window The profound power of loneliness
Depression, dementia and even some useful effects: Research examines how loneliness affects the social human brain
Released  February 3, 2016

Events Calendar See All

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

February 22, 2016
Nanoscale Organic Hybrid Materials and Applications in Next-Generation Energy-Storage Technologies

February 29, 2016  - March 1, 2016
NSF Grants Conference in Portland, Oregon

March 21, 2016
2016 NSF CAREER Proposal Writing Workshop

March 22, 2016
2016 NSF CAREER Proposal Writing Workshop

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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)
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