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Funding Opportunities Roundup: June 12

Cracking the Olfactory Code  (Olfactory)

Olfaction is an evolutionarily primitive sense critical for survival across the animal kingdom – finding food, searching for mates, or avoiding predation all depend on detecting, identifying, and discriminating odors. Although early steps in olfactory processing are relatively well understood, significant gaps remain in our understanding of higher-order odor representations and processing during on-going behavior. Deciphering the operating principles of olfaction requires the development of innovative and integrative approaches that combine novel theoretical frameworks, improved mathematical models, and novel behavioral paradigms across the phylogenetic spectrum, experimental methodologies, and engineering principles.

This solicitation describes an Ideas Lab on “Cracking the Olfactory Code.” Ideas Labs are intensive workshops focused on finding innovative solutions to grand challenge problems. The ultimate aim of this Ideas Lab organized by the Biological Sciences (BIO) and the Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS) Directorates at the National Science Foundation (NSF) is to facilitate the generation and execution of innovative research projects aimed at understanding the nature of olfactory processing and sensory representations in the brain in general. The aspiration is that mixing researchers from diverse scientific backgrounds will engender fresh thinking and innovative approaches that will transform our understanding of olfactory processing in behavioral contexts while spawning new opportunities to elucidate the general nature of sensory representations in the brain.

This multi-directorate program is one element of NSF’s multi-year effort towards the goals of the Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative (http://www.nsf.gov/brain/). US researchers may submit preliminary proposals only via FastLane for participation in the Ideas Lab in which a set of multidisciplinary ideas will be developed. These multidisciplinary ideas will be submitted as full proposals.

See full RFP for details.

Anticipated Type of Award: Standard Grant or Continuing Grant
Estimated Number of Awards: 4 to 6
Up to 6 awards will be made in FY 2015 and FY 2016 pending availability of funds and the type, scale, and variety of project ideas developed at the Ideas Lab.
Anticipated Funding Amount: $12,000,000 to $16,000,000
Approximately $12,000,000 to $16,000,000 will be available for US researchers in FY 2015-2016 for successful proposals through the Ideas Lab, pending availability of funds and compelling proposals


Full Proposal Deadline Date:  July 31, 2015

Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies (Cyberlearning)

The purpose of the Cyberlearning and Future Learning Technologies program is to integrate opportunities offered by emerging technologies with advances in what is known about how people learn to advance three interconnected thrusts:

  • Innovation: inventing and improving next-generation genres (types) of learning technologies, identifying new means of using technology for fostering and assessing learning, and proposing new ways of integrating learning technologies with each other and into learning environments to foster and assess learning;
  • Advancing understanding of how people learn in technology-rich learning environments: enhancing understanding of how people learn and how to better foster and assess learning, especially in technology-rich learning environments that offer new opportunities for learning and through data collection and computational modeling of learners and groups of learners that can be done only in such environments; and
  • Promoting broad use and transferability of new genres: extracting lessons from experiences with these technologies that can inform design and use of new genres across disciplines, populations, and learning environments; advancing understanding of how to foster learning through effective use these new technologies and the environments they are integrated into.

The intention of this program is to advance technologies that specifically focus on the experiences of learners; innovations that simply focus on making teaching easier will not be funded. Proposals that focus on teachers or facilitators as learners are invited; the aim in these proposals should be to help teachers and facilitators learn to make the learning experiences of learners more effective.

Awards will be made in three research categories, each focusing on a different stage of research and development: Exploration (EXP), Design and Implementation (DIP), and Integration (INT). The program will also support small Capacity-Building Projects (CAP), e.g., conferences, workshops, and partnership-building activities, and will continue to participate in NSF’s Foundation-Wide programs: EAGER, RAPID, INSPIRE, and CAREER.

Anticipated Funding Amount: $18,000,000

See full RFP for details.

Documenting Endangered Languages (DEL)

This funding partnership between the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) supports projects to develop and advance knowledge concerning endangered human languages. Made urgent by the imminent death of roughly half of the approximately 7000 currently used languages, this effort aims to exploit advances in information technology to build computational infrastructure for endangered language research. The program supports projects that contribute to data management and archiving, and to the development of the next generation of researchers. Funding can support fieldwork and other activities relevant to the digital recording, documenting, and archiving of endangered languages, including the preparation of lexicons, grammars, text samples, and databases. Funding will be available in the form of one- to three-year senior research grants as well as fellowships from six to twelve months and doctoral dissertation research improvement grants for up to 24 months.

This program provides educational opportunities for Undergraduate Students, Graduate Students, Postdoctoral Fellows . Individuals interested in applying for funding should see the program guidelines above.

See full RFP for details.

Anticipated Type of Award: Standard Grant or Continuing Grant or Fellowship or Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Grant
Estimated Number of Awards: 26 – 30, including up to 12 Fellowships
Anticipated Funding Amount: $4,500,000
Approximately $4.5 million (approximately $3.5 million from NSF and $1 million from NEH), this is the total for awards to be made annually pending availability of funds.

Full Proposal Deadline Date: September 15, 2015
September 15, Annually Thereafter

Plant Genome Research Program (PGRP) 

This program is a continuation of the Plant Genome Research Program (PGRP) that began in FY 1998 as part of the National Plant Genome Initiative (NPGI). Since the inception of the NPGI and the PGRP, there has been a tremendous increase in the availability of functional genomics tools and sequence resources for use in the study of key crop plants and their models. Proposals are welcomed that build on these resources to develop conceptually new and different ideas and strategies to address grand challenge questions in plants of economic importance on a genome-wide scale. There is also a critical need for the development of novel and creative tools to facilitate new experimental approaches or new ways of analyzing genomic data. Especially encouraged are proposals that provide strong and novel training opportunities integral to the research plan and particularly across disciplines that include, but are not limited to, plant physiology, plant breeding, quantitative genetics, biochemistry, bioinformatics and engineering.

Activities in four focus areas will be supported in FY 2015: (1) Genomics-empowered plant research (RESEARCH-PGR) to tackle fundamental questions in plant sciences on a genome-wide scale; (2) Development of tools and resources for plant genome research (TOOLS-PGR) including novel technologies and analysis tools to enable discovery; (3) Mid-Career Investigator Awards in Plant Genome Research (MCA-PGR) to increase participation of investigators trained primarily in fields other than plant genomics; and, (4) Early Career Investigator Awards in Plant Genome Research (ECA-PGR) to increase the participation of early-career scientists in plant genome research.

Proposals addressing these opportunities are welcomed at all scales, from single-investigator projects through multi-investigator, multiinstitution projects, commensurate with the scope and scale of the work proposed. The PGRP encourages proposals from investigators and institutions that have not participated in the program before.

See full RFP for details.

Anticipated Type of Award: Standard Grant or Continuing Grant or Cooperative Agreement
Estimated Number of Awards: 10 to 20
Anticipated Funding Amount: $15,000,000
Up to $15 million is available for FY 2015 new awards, pending availability of funds.

NIH Opportunities

For more NIH Opportunities, join the UT NIH Research Community by contacting Jennifer Webster (jwebster@utk.edu) and start receiving the weekly NIH Digest.

  • NIH Roadmap Initiatives: Transformative Research Awards (R01) (RFA-RM-15-005)
  • NIAID / NCI / NIDA / NIMH Harnessing Big Data to Halt HIV (R01) (PA-15-273)
  • NIDA Tools and Services for Designing Methodologically Rigorous Animal Studies (R41/R42)(RFA-DA-16-002)
  • NIDA Tools and Services for Designing Methodologically Rigorous Animal Studies (R43/R44) (RFA-DA-16-003)
  • NIDDK Adherence Studies in Adolescents with Chronic Kidney or Urologic Diseases (R01) (RFA-DK-15-017)
  • NIGMS Maximizing Investigators’ Research Award for New and Early Stage Investigators (R35) (RFA-GM-16-003)
  • NIMHD Limited Competition: Endowment Program for Increasing Research and Institutional Resources Capacity (S21) (RFA-MD-15-007)
  • NIMH Dimensional Approaches to Research Classification in Psychiatric Disorders (R01) (RFA-MH-16-510)
  • NINR / NHLBI / NIMH Career Development Program in Emergency Care Research (K12) (RFA-HL-16-019)

Limited Submissions

Find information about limited submissions on the Limited Submissions Opportunities page.

No new limited submission opportunities were posted for the week of June 8-12, 2015.


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