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Directorate for Biological Sciences

Alan J. Tessier, (703)292-7198

Christopher R. Meyer, (703)292-2273

RCN Contacts available at

Solicitation 15-527

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 16-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 25, 2016. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 16-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.

Full Proposal Accepted Anytime

General (non-targeted) RCN proposals should be submitted to a particular program according to the program's submission dates. PIs are encouraged (for CISE required) to discuss suitability of an RCN topic with the P.O.s that manage the appropriate program.

Full Proposal Deadline Date:  January 6, 2016

RCN-UBE & UBE Incubator Track

Refer to the previous section for Due Date Descriptions.

The goal of the RCN program is to advance a field or create new directions in research or education by supporting groups of investigators to communicate and coordinate their research, training and educational activities across disciplinary, organizational, geographic and international boundaries.  RCN provides opportunities to foster new collaborations, including international partnerships, and address interdisciplinary topics.  Innovative ideas for implementing novel networking strategies, collaborative technologies, and development of community standards for data and meta-data are especially encouraged.  RCN awards are not meant to support existing networks; nor are they meant to support the activities of established collaborations.  RCN awards do not support primary research.  RCN supports the means by which investigators can share information and ideas, coordinate ongoing or planned research activities, foster synthesis and new collaborations, develop community standards, and in other ways advance science and education through communication and sharing of ideas.

Proposed networking activities directed to the RCN program should focus on a theme to give coherence to the collaboration, such as a broad research question or particular technologies or approaches. 

Participating core programs in the Directorates for Biological Sciences (BIO), Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), Geosciences (GEO),  Engineering (ENG) and Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences (SBE) will accept General (non-targeted) RCN proposals.  Some submission deadlines for the general RCN proposals vary by program; consult program websites.  BIO is joined by the Directorate for Education and Human Resources (EHR) in the Undergraduate Biology Education (RCN-UBE) track described below. 

The following targeted track within the RCN programs is intended to foster linkages between BIO and EHR.

  • RCN-UBE: The Undergraduate Biology Education track focuses on any topic likely to lead to improved participation, learning, or assessment in undergraduate biology education and follows the same guidelines outlined below for the general RCN program.

Note: Because it addresses undergraduate biology education, the RCN-UBE track is offered in alignment with the NSF-wide undergraduate STEM education initiative, Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE). More information about IUSE can be found in the Program Description section of this solicitation.

Several other NSF solicitations accept RCN proposals, or support research networking activities if appropriate to the solicitation.  Please see section IX. Other Information of this solicitation for a listing of these programs.

Incubator Proposal Opportunity for Research Coordination Networks - Undergraduate Biology Education: Dear Colleague Letter

Additional Funding Opportunities for the DBI Community
Additional Funding Opportunities for the DEB Community
Additional Funding Opportunities for the IOS Community
Additional Funding Opportunities for the MCB Community
Human Resources Cluster
Opportunities that Highlight International Collaboration
Science, Engineering and Education for Sustainability NSF-Wide Investment

What Has Been Funded (Recent Awards Made Through This Program, with Abstracts)


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