2010 Project  


Program Solicitation
NSF 06-612

Replaces Document(s):
NSF 05-624

NSF Logo

National Science Foundation
Directorate for Biological Sciences

 

Full Proposal Target Date(s):

January 29, 2007

REVISION NOTES

In furtherance of the President's Management Agenda, NSF has identified programs that will offer proposers the option to utilize Grants.gov to prepare and submit proposals, or will require that proposers utilize Grants.gov to prepare and submit proposals. Grants.gov provides a single Government-wide portal for finding and applying for Federal grants online.

In response to this program solicitation, proposers may opt to submit proposals via Grants.gov or via the NSF FastLane system. In determining which method to utilize in the electronic preparation and submission of the proposal, please note the following:

Collaborative Proposals. All collaborative proposals submitted as separate submissions from multiple organizations must be submitted via the NSF FastLane system. Chapter II, Section D.3 of the Grant Proposal Guide provides additional information on collaborative proposals.

SUMMARY OF PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS

General Information

Program Title: 

2010 Project

To determine the functions of all genes in Arabidopsis thaliana by the year 2010

Synopsis of Program:

The Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) announces its intention to continue support of research to determine the functions of all genes in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana by the year 2010. Individual investigators or groups of investigators will be supported to conduct creative and innovative, genome-wide or systems-level research designed to determine, using all available means, the functions of Arabidopsis genes. This year, as in FY 2006, the Program will focus on: (1) projects that include genome-wide analyses for benchmarking the function of all genes in the genome; (2) projects that will develop experimental and computational methods, tools, and resources for enabling a broad community of scientists to conduct functional genomics research on Arabidopsis; and (3) research on exemplary networks that use high throughput methods and integrate modeling with experimental data to understand the gene circuitry underlying basic plant processes.

Proposals submitted in response to this solicitation will be reviewed jointly with proposals submitted to the Arabidopsis Functional Genomics Network Program (AFGN) that is supported by the German agency, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). Both NSF and DFG encourage, but do not require, submission of joint research proposals when German and US scientists are collaborating on a project.  Special instructions are provided in the body of the solicitation for submitting joint research proposals.

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

  • Machi F. Dilworth, Division Director, Directorate for Biological Sciences, Division of Biological Infrastructure, 615 N, telephone: (703) 292-8470, fax: (703) 292-9063, email: bio-2010@nsf.gov

  • Parag R. Chitnis, Program Director, Directorate for Biological Sciences, Division of Molecular & Cellular Biosciences, 655 S, telephone: (703) 292-8443, fax: (703) 292-9061, email: bio-2010@nsf.gov

  • Gerald S. Wilkinson, Program Director, Directorate for Biological Sciences, Division of Environmental Biology, 640 S, telephone: (703) 292-8061, fax: (703) 292-9064, email: bio-2010@nsf.gov

  • Diane Jofuku Okamuro, Program Director, Directorate for Biological Sciences, Division of Biological Infrastructure, 615 N, telephone: (703) 292-8470, fax: (703) 292-9063, email: bio-2010@nsf.gov

  • JoAnn (Jody) Banks, Program Director, Directorate for Biological Sciences, Division of Integrative Organismal Biology , 685 S, telephone: (703) 292-8417, email: bio-2010@nsf.gov

Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s):

  • 47.074 --- Biological Sciences

Award Information

Anticipated Type of Award:  Standard Grant or Continuing Grant

Estimated Number of Awards:    12   - Approximately 12 awards.

Anticipated Funding Amount:   $9,500,000   Approximately $9.5M for new awards in FY 2007, pending the availability of funds with individual award amounts as noted in Section III.

Eligibility Information

Organization Limit: 

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:
  • Proposals are accepted only from US academic institutions, US non-profit research organizations including museums, research laboratories, professional societies and similar organizations in the US that are directly associated with educational or research activities, and consortia of such organizations with appropriate research and educational facilities. The eligibility criteria apply to both the main and sub-awardees.

PI Limit: 

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI: 

None Specified

Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

  • Letters of Intent: Not Applicable
  • Full Proposals:

B. Budgetary Information

  • Cost Sharing Requirements: Cost Sharing is not required by NSF.  
  • Indirect Cost (F&A) Limitations:  Not Applicable
  • Other Budgetary Limitations: Not Applicable

C. Due Dates

  • Full Proposal Target Date(s): 

    January 29, 2007

Proposal Review Information Criteria

Merit Review Criteria:   National Science Board approved criteria apply.

Award Administration Information

Award Conditions:   Standard NSF award conditions apply

Reporting Requirements:   Additional reporting requirements apply. Please see the full text of this solicitation for further information.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Summary of Program Requirements

  1. Introduction

  2. Program Description

  3. Award Information

  4. Eligibility Information

  5. Proposal Preparation and Submission Instructions
    1. Proposal Preparation Instructions
    2. Budgetary Information
    3. Due Dates
    4. FastLane/Grants.gov Requirements

  6. NSF Proposal Processing and Review Procedures
    1. NSF Merit Review Criteria
    2. Review and Selection Process

  7. Award Administration Information
    1. Notification of the Award
    2. Award Conditions
    3. Reporting Requirements

  8. Agency Contacts

  9. Other Information

I. INTRODUCTION

The Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) announces its intention to continue support of research to determine the function of all genes in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana by the year 2010. This represents a continuation of the Arabidopsis genome research initiative BIO has supported since 1990 and of the 2010 Project begun in FY 2001. The program continues to be a BIO Directorate-wide activity. It is also part of an international effort on the functional genomics of Arabidopsis, called "The Multinational Coordinated Arabidopsis thaliana Functional Genomics Project: Beyond the Whole Genome Sequence" (see http://www.nsf.gov/pubsys/ods/getpub.cfm?bio0202.)

The year 2005 was the mid-point of the 2010 Project. The North American Arabidopsis Steering Committee held a workshop in August 2005, to assess the status of the Project, to recommend the objectives for the remaining five years, and to ensure that the Project can reach its original goals by the year 2010. The workshop report is posted at http://www.arabidopsis.org/info/2010_projects/AT2010WorkshopFinal.pdf. NSF revised the scope of the 2010 project in FY2006, incorporating some of the recommendations of the workshop as well as other inputs such as the annual report of the Multinational Coordinated Arabidopsis thaliana Functional Genomics Project (http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=biorpt073106). NSF will maintain the same program scope for the FY2007 competition. In addition, the Program will consider joint projects when German and US scientists are collaborating on the focus areas of the 2010 Project and the Arabidopsis Functional Genomics Network (AFGN) program supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) (http://www.uni-tuebingen.de/plantphys/AFGN/index.html).

The 2010 Project is distinct from the Plant Genome Research Program. The Plant Genome Research Program will not consider proposals in which Arabidopsis is the only research focus, although it will consider proposals that transfer the knowledge gained in Arabidopsis to studies of fundamental biological processes in economically important plants (see NSF 06-581 for detail). The 2010 Project is also distinct from existing disciplinary programs in the Directorate for Biological Sciences, and is not meant to be an alternative source of funding for all proposals involving Arabidopsis. Proposals investigating the detailed, biological function of individual genes or gene families should be submitted to the appropriate disciplinary program (See http://www.nsf.gov/bio for description of various BIO programs.) Proposals that relate to improving various informatics tools to enhance utilities of the vast array of Arabidopsis data and information available in cyberspace can be submitted to the Biological Database and Informatics program (NSF 05-577).

Projects that are not responsive to this program solicitation or are inappropriate for funding under the 2010 Project may be transferred to an appropriate disciplinary program, or returned without review if such transfer is deemed inappropriate.

II. PROGRAM DESCRIPTION

In FY 2007, the 2010 Project will focus on the following activities:

  1. Genome-wide analysis of gene function benchmarks

In order to meet the stated goal of the Arabidopsis 2010 Project, it is imperative that certain benchmarks for assigning gene function be defined and applied on a genome-wide scale. Functions of both characterized and uncharacterized genes can be revealed from a set of benchmarks, including, but not limited to, gene expression patterns at high spatial and temporal resolution, interacting partners under defined, physiologically relevant conditions, and identity of cis-elements. The objective of this activity should be to define each gene in the genome by a specific set of criteria that can be assessed in a high throughput manner. It is expected that benchmarking gene function will provide the community with standard reference points on the genome that can be used to elucidate detailed information about the functions of individual genes, gene families, and gene networks.

  1. Developing genome-wide experimental approaches and tools for analyzing gene function and regulation

The 2010 Project will continue to support development of experimental methods/techniques and research tools, including biological resources and informatics tools.  It is expected that these methods and tools will complement the already existing tools and research resources, will provide quantitative readouts, are cost effective and comprehensive, and can be readily adopted by the scientific community. Special attention should be paid to methods and tools that will enable genome-wide functional analysis of genes of unknown function and classes of genes that have been underrepresented up to this point (e.g. non-protein coding RNAs). Large production-scale projects using proven technologies as well as pilot projects to demonstrate feasibility of novel methods and technologies will be considered. Proposals should be justified in terms of potential demand and efficiency.

  1. Exploring exemplary networks and systems

Efforts to determine the function of a network of genes will continue to be supported in FY 2007, with an emphasis on research on exemplary gene networks and processes. Many Arabidopsis genes and their products function as nodes in overlapping, dynamic biological processes. Determining the gene circuitry underlying a given biological process is essential in the understanding of Arabidopsis, especially at a systems level. The objective of this activity is to identify and characterize representative gene networks involved in major biological processes in plants, including developmental, regulatory, abiotic, biotic, physiological and metabolic processes as well as meta-networks connecting these processes. Such projects are expected to include protein-coding genes, genes for functional non-protein coding RNAs, or both. The proposals that focus on gene families are not appropriate for Arabidopsis 2010.

NSF recognizes that many projects will encompass two or more emphases discussed here. For example, projects that undertake genome-wide analyses of gene function may also develop new methods, resources and/or computational tools. In all projects, high throughput and cost-effective approaches will be encouraged. Although the areas listed above are the focus of the FY 2007 competition, all imaginative and innovative proposals will be considered as long as they are justified on the basis of the goal of the 2010 Project.

While keeping in mind the emphasis as described above, proposers are strongly encouraged to consult the scope of the awards in the previous years of the 2010 Project Program (see the lists of previous awards at http://www.nsf.gov/bio/pubs/awards/2010awards.htm), as well as the projects funded elsewhere in the world including the German Arabidopsis Functional Genomics Network Program (http://www.uni-tuebingen.de/plantphys/AFGN) and GARNET, the genomic Arabidopsis Resource Network in the U.K. (http://garnet.arabidopsis.org.uk/). Proposers are further encouraged to coordinate proposed activities with funded projects prior to submission of new proposals. If activities similar to an already funded project are to be proposed, the proposal must describe clearly a mechanism to coordinate with ongoing activities as well as a rationale based on benefits to the overall goal of the 2010 Project. NSF encourages participation of investigators and institutions that have not been involved in the previously funded 2010 activities.

In addition to research, this Program will support workshops, summer courses and other outreach/training activities designed to educate and train a broad community of scientists and students in unique scientific opportunities and approaches afforded by the 2010 Project.

For required items to be included in the proposal, please see "Project Description" under Section V.A. below.

Additional considerations:

Sharing of the project outcome: Success of the Arabidopsis 2010 Project will be ultimately measured by the extent that its products (data, information, research tools, biological resources and human resources) impact the advances in our understanding of the function of genes in Arabidopsis. NSF believes that one way to ensure success is to make available the outcomes of 2010 Projects openly, widely, rapidly, and in an easily accessible manner. NSF expects biological materials resulting from 2010 projects to be deposited at an established public depository (i.e., the Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center-ABRC, the Nottingham Arabidopsis Stock Centre-NASC, etc.). In terms of information and data, NSF expects them to be made available through an established public database (i.e., the Arabidopsis Information Resources-TAIR, NCBI databases, etc.), in addition to the project website. ABRC and TAIR are supported by NSF and they are expected to assist researchers in determining the most efficient and least cumbersome ways to make biological and data resources available to the public.

International collaboration: The 2010 Project encourages laboratory-to-laboratory interactions between US and foreign laboratories whenever such opportunities exist. NSF 2010 Project funds may be requested to support foreign investigators and students to work in US laboratories and for US investigators and students to work in international laboratories. However, foreign counterparts should secure support for their projects from their own national programs. A list of Arabidopsis functional genomics projects in other countries can be found at http://www.arabidopsis.org/info/2010_projects/index.jsp.

US-German research collaboration: This year, proposals submitted to the 2010 Project Program will be reviewed jointly with proposals submitted to the Arabidopsis Functional Genomics Network Program (AFGN: http://www.uni-tuebingen.de/plantphys/AFGN) supported by the German agency, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). DFG and NSF encourage, but do not require, joint submission of collaborative research projects involving German and US scientists. How to submit a joint project proposal is described below under “Proposal Preparation Instructions”. Both Programs share the same goal, and DFG and NSF have coordinated their program activities since 2002. We have encouraged research collaboration between AFGN and 2010 Project awardees by jointly supporting a number of activities including a joint workshop (2002), a graduate student/postdoc exchange program (on-going), a pilot data integration project (on-going), and AtGenExpress. For all collaborative activities, German and US researchers are supported by DFG and NSF, respectively, and no co-mingling of funds is involved.

Integration of research and education, and broadening participation: As in all other NSF programs, investigators are expected to integrate research and education in proposals submitted to the 2010 Project. Activities that promote participation of under-represented and under-served groups, including investigators at small institutions, minority-serving institutions, and community colleges are especially encouraged. Both activities should be well integrated into the proposed project, taking advantage of the opportunities the proposed project can uniquely offer.

Coordination among projects: If research similar to the proposed project is already funded in another NSF 2010 award (http://www.arabidopsis.org/info/2010_projects/index.jsp) or in similar functional genomics programs in other countries, the PI should provide a plan for coordinating activities with the funded project. If two or more proposals with substantially overlapping goals and scope remain in consideration for funding after initial merit review, the PIs of those proposals may be asked to collaborate, and to submit a coordination plan prior to the final funding decision.

Intellectual property: When the project involves the use of proprietary data or materials, any data or materials resulting from NSF-funded research must be made promptly available, without any restrictions, to the users of such data or materials. It should be noted that prospective awardee institutions may be requested, prior to an award decision, to submit copies of any intellectual property agreements or material transfer agreements that any of the key project personnel have signed, or are planning to sign, that would impact the unrestricted and timely distribution of the outcomes of the NSF-funded research. Only NSF officials will review this material. In the case of a multi-institutional proposal, the lead institution will be responsible for coordinating and managing the intellectual property resulting from the 2010 Project award.

Industrial interactions: NSF recognizes that some of the resources and technologies needed to address the next set of challenges in Arabidopsis functional genomics exist in industry and encourages the use of their services if it would result in cost-savings and more rapid progress of the project. Such arrangements would usually involve purchase of resources or services from industry, and must be made without any restrictions on sharing the research outcomes with other researchers or on depositing information and physical resources in the Arabidopsis Information Resources (http://www.arabidopsis.org/) and the Arabidopsis Biological Resources Center (http://www.biosci.ohio-state.edu/~plantbio/Facilities/abrc/abrchome.htm), respectively. In these cases, the usual procurement procedures and rules of the grantee institution must be followed. Another mode of industrial interactions may involve equal partnerships between academia and industry. Under such an arrangement, NSF funds may not be used to support the industrial collaborators. Both parties are expected to bring their own resources to the project and share the results openly and quickly with the rest of the community according to the policy applicable to all awards funded under this program solicitation.

III. AWARD INFORMATION

It is anticipated that approximately $9.5 million will be made available for an estimated 12 new awards in FY 2007, contingent upon the quality of proposals received and the availability of funds.

Awards are expected to range up to a total of $5 million for up to 4 years. However, the award duration for proposals to build community resources may not exceed 3 years. Budget requests must be justified in relation to the proposed activities.

Funding decisions are anticipated by the end of July 2007, with awards expected to start in September 2007 at the earliest. Awards will be made as standard or continuing grants.

IV. ELIGIBILITY INFORMATION

Organization Limit: 

Proposals may only be submitted by the following:
  • Proposals are accepted only from US academic institutions, US non-profit research organizations including museums, research laboratories, professional societies and similar organizations in the US that are directly associated with educational or research activities, and consortia of such organizations with appropriate research and educational facilities. The eligibility criteria apply to both the main and sub-awardees.

PI Limit: 

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 

None Specified

Limit on Number of Proposals per PI: 

None Specified

Additional Eligibility Info:

None Specified

V. PROPOSAL PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION INSTRUCTIONS

A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

Full Proposal Preparation Instructions:  Proposers may opt to submit proposals in response to this Program Solicitation via Grants.gov or via the NSF FastLane system.

  • Full proposals submitted via FastLane: Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the general guidelines contained in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG). The complete text of the GPG is available electronically on the NSF website at: http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=gpg. Paper copies of the GPG may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from pubs@nsf.gov. Proposers are reminded to identify this program solicitation number in the program solicitation block on the NSF Cover Sheet For Proposal to the National Science Foundation. Compliance with this requirement is critical to determining the relevant proposal processing guidelines. Failure to submit this information may delay processing.
  • Full proposals submitted via Grants.gov: Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation via Grants.gov should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide: A Guide for the Preparation and Submission of NSF Applications via Grants.gov. The complete text of the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide is available on the Grants.gov website and on the NSF website at: (http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/docs/grantsgovguide.pdf). To obtain copies of the Application Guide and Application Forms Package, click on the Apply tab on the Grants.gov site, then click on the Apply Step 1: Download a Grant Application Package and Application Instructions link and enter the funding opportunity number, (the program solicitation number without the NSF prefix) and press the Download Package button. Paper copies of the Grants.gov Application Guide also may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from pubs@nsf.gov.

In determining which method to utilize in the electronic preparation and submission of the proposal, please note the following:

Collaborative Proposals. All collaborative proposals submitted as separate submissions from multiple organizations must be submitted via the NSF FastLane system.  Chapter II, Section D.3 of the Grant Proposal Guide provides additional information on collaborative proposals.

The following additions or modifications apply to proposals submitted in response to this solicitation:

Project Summary (1 page):
The project summary should consist of three parts in the following order:

  1. A list of senior personnel (PI, Co-PIs, and Key Collaborators) along with their home institutions (please note that more than 4 co-PIs may be listed here although the Cover Page allows only 4 official co-PIs)
  2. A summary of the proposed project
  3. Broader Impacts of the proposed research project (details at http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/gpg/broaderimpacts.pdf )

Please note that a project summary that does not include both scientific goals and the expected broader impacts will be returned without review. A detailed explanation can be found at http://www.nsf.gov/pubsys/ods/getpub.cfm?iin127

Project Description (maximum 15 pages including figures and tables):
In addition to the standard description in the GPG or NSF Grants.gov Application Guide, the following guidelines must be followed:

  • Results from Prior NSF Support (up to 5 pages): Only the most relevant prior awards should be included in this section for the PI and any of the Co-PIs listed in "Project Summary". If the PI or any of the Co-PIs has had a 2010 award, dissemination of the outcomes from the prior award must be described in this section.

  • Justification: Briefly explain how the proposed activities meet the goals of the 2010 Project.

  • Research plan: Describe the goals of the project, scientific and technical approaches, including informatics where appropriate, with expected outcomes. Descriptions must be sufficiently detailed to allow adequate review. All projects are expected to contain information about how the investigators plan to add their results to the community-wide effort to update and add value to the primary sequence information in GenBank as well as a projected timetable for accomplishing the stated proposal goals. If research tools and resources such as mutants and global expression data are produced during the course of the proposed project, the proposal should describe a plan for their public release and coordination with the existing distribution mechanisms. NSF expects biological materials resulting from 2010 projects to be deposited at an established public depository (i.e., the Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center). In terms of information and data, NSF expects them to be made available through an established public database (i.e., the Arabidopsis Information Resources, NCBI databases, etc.), in addition to the project website (see the supplemental information A-4, below).

For proposals aimed exclusively at developing research methods, tools, and resources for the Arabidopsis functional genomics community, the following information must be included: (1) a list of deliverables including necessary informatics tools; (2) experimental plans to develop the methods/resources/tools including mechanisms of quality assessment; (3) project timetable; (4) a detailed plan for public release of the resources/tools; (5) any conditions to be placed on users, e.g. material transfer agreement, if any; (6) a plan to maintain and distribute the resource after NSF support has ended. It should be noted that resources (biological materials, software, etc.) produced with the support of NSF in all 2010 projects must be made available as soon as their quality is checked to satisfy the specifications described in the proposal and approved by reviewers. Further, they must be made available to all segments of the scientific community. Budgeting for short-term and long-term distribution of the project outcomes needs to be described in the proposal. A reasonable user charge is permissible, but the fee structure must be clearly outlined in the proposal. If accessibility differs between industry and the academic community, the differences must be clearly described. It will be permissible to use a qualified commercial operation for long-term maintenance and distribution of the project outcomes, if appropriate; however, such an arrangement should be made clear in the proposal.

  • The broader impacts of the proposed activities should be described [See "NSF Review Process" below for examples of "broader impacts"]. Plans for integration of research and education must be described within the context of the proposed activity.

Proposal Budget:
Provide a summary budget and a yearly budget for the duration of the proposed project. When subawards are involved, summary and yearly budgets are required for each subaward. A Budget Justification should be provided for both the proposer and any subawardees. Institutions that do not meet the eligibility criteria in Section IV above may not participate as subawardees. The 2010 Project program is fully committed to provide sufficient funds to complete any project it supports. A careful and realistic budget will add to the overall strength of a proposal. Funds for facility construction or renovation may NOT be requested. It is expected that foreign collaborators' projects will be supported by their national sources. NSF funds may be used for US investigators, postdoctoral fellows and students on exchange visits to their foreign collaborator's laboratory or to cover expenses associated with hosting foreign collaborators in the US investigator's laboratory.

Special Information and Supplementary Documentation:
Include the following materials, if applicable, in addition to the 15 page Project Description. Additional materials should be clearly labeled and included in the Supplementary Documents section of FastLane. For Grants.gov users, supplementary documents should be attached in Field 11 of the R&R Other Project Information Form.

(A-1) Data Management Plan (maximum 1 page): Development and adherence to community-wide standards for collection and presentation of data, such as microarray or interactome data, are highly encouraged. Large-scale datasets must be made available in a format that enables rapid comparison and effective utilization of reproducible information. All proposals must include a detailed data management plan if the project is expected to generate significant digital data for preservation (maximum 1 page). The contents of the data management plan should include:

  • The types of data to be produced
  • The standards that would be applied for format, metadata content, etc.
  • Provisions for archiving and preservation
  • Access policies and provisions
  • Plans for eventual transition or termination of the data collection after the NSF funding period

(A-2) Project Management Plan (maximum 2 pages):
Each proposal involving 4 or more PIs (1 PI and 3 Co-PIs) OR with PIs/Co-PIs from 3 or more different institutions, OR proposing to develop community research tools and resources must provide an additional description of the management plan for coordinating activities of the group or the management of the service aspect. This description should include plans for internal means of communication, coordinating data and information management, evaluating and assessing progress, allocating funds and personnel, interacting with users in a service project, and other relevant issues specific to the proposed activities. The overall project leader (normally the PI) must be identified and his/her role should be described. Change of project leader will require prior NSF approval. For complex projects, appointment of a project manager/administrator in addition to the PI(s) is strongly encouraged. The exact time commitment of each key member to the project should be indicated in the management plan, regardless of whether any of his/her salary has been requested from NSF. A project timetable with yearly goals should be included for all projects, regardless of the number of personnel involved.

(A-3) Coordination with Outside Groups (maximum 3 pages): If the proposed activity is part of a national or international collaborative project including public-private partnerships, describe the relationship of the proposed activity to the overall collaborative project and how the components will be coordinated. If a project similar to the proposed project (e.g., either addressing the same exemplary network of genes or producing the same kind of community resources) is already supported elsewhere, a coordination plan is mandatory.

(A-4) Project web site: All 2010 Projects are required to have a web site specific for disseminating information about the scope and progress of the project. Describe a plan to develop and update the project website, including the timetable for development and the personnel involved. The project website should be open to public, and preferably, non-password protected. If any of it is password protected, the condition for granting access must be clearly stated on the first page. The web page should be specific to your 2010 project, should be user friendly, and should contain the following information at the least:

  • A list of identifiers for the genes included in your project, if applicable.
  • Project abstract
  • Project participants
  • Progress in identifying the functions of the genes under study--updated on a regular basis
  • Outcomes: Publications, resources generated in the project and their availability (e.g. homozygous mutants generated in the project and their availability in ABRC), data generated in the project and its availability (e.g. microarray datasets generated in the project and their availability in TAIR, NCBI, or on your project website), tools generated in the project and their availability (e.g. new computational tools and where to download them).

(A-5) Additional information needed for a German/US joint collaborative proposal: If a joint proposal for consideration by AFGN and 2010 is being submitted, information specific to the German collaborators should be included as a supplemental document (see below for how to submit a joint proposal). This information should include:

(a) Information required in section II.2.2. (results from prior DFG support/ other preliminary work), II.4. (proposal budget), II.5. (resources available for the project) and II.6.1. (Declaration) of the DFG Proposal Guidelines for Research Grants (please refer to the DFG form 1.02e available under www.dfg.de/forschungsfoerderung/formulare/download/1_02e.pdf)

(b) CV and complete list of scientific publications of the previous five years for the German PI/ Co-PIs

It should be noted that DFG award duration is limited to a maximum of three years. Therefore, the German part of a joint German/US proposal can request up to three years, while the US part may request up to four years if the subject falls under the topic area (1) or (3) of this solicitation.

Provide only the allowable and applicable items as noted in the GPG or NSF Grants.gov Application Guide. Include the materials in the FastLane submission by transferring them as PDF files through the "Supplementary Docs" module of the FastLane system. For Grants.gov users, supplementary documents should be attached in Field 11 of the R&R Other Project Information Form.

Single-Copy Document(s):

A "conflict of interest" list must be included as an "additional single-copy document" at the time of proposal submission. This document must be in the form of a single alphabetized table that includes full names of all conflicts of interest for all senior personnel (PI and Co-PIs) as well as for any named personnel whose salary is requested in the project budget. Conflicts to be identified are (1) PhD thesis advisors or advisees, (2) collaborators or co-authors for the past 48 months, and (3) any other individuals or institutions with which the investigator has financial ties (please specify type).

An alphabetized list of suggested reviewers can be submitted through the single-copy document module of FastLane or Grants.gov.

Submission of Joint US-German Collaborative Research Proposals:

In submitting a joint collaborative proposal in response to this solicitation, the US Principal Investigator must submit a proposal following the proposal preparation instructions above, with the following exceptions:

  • The title should begin with "2010/AFGN Collaborative Project:.....".
  • German principal and co-principal investigators must be listed in the Project Summary along with all US principal and co-principal investigators.
  • German Principal Investigators will submit their complete proposal to DFG. The text that describes the proposed project and related activities must be identical in both proposals.
  • Proposals submitted to NSF must include information specific to the German collaborators in the supplemental document section of FastLane, and label it Appendix 5 (see A-5 above for details). For Grants.gov users, supplementary documents should be attached in Field 11 of the R&R Other Project Information Form.

German collaborators must submit their proposals to DFG directly following the submission instructions described for AFGN.

Proposals that are not compliant with the guidelines may be returned without review.

B. Budgetary Information

Cost Sharing:   Cost sharing is not required by NSF in proposals submitted to the National Science Foundation.

Budget Preparation Instructions:  Awards are expected to range up to a total of $5 million for up to 4 years. However, the award duration for proposals to build community resources may not exceed 3 years. Budget requests must be justified in relation to the proposed activities.

C. Due Dates

  • Full Proposal Target Date(s): 

January 29, 2007

D. FastLane/Grants.gov Requirements

  • For Proposals Submitted Via FastLane:

Detailed technical instructions regarding the technical aspects of preparation and submission via FastLane are available at: https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a1/newstan.htm. For FastLane user support, call the FastLane Help Desk at 1-800-673-6188 or e-mail fastlane@nsf.gov. The FastLane Help Desk answers general technical questions related to the use of the FastLane system. Specific questions related to this program solicitation should be referred to the NSF program staff contact(s) listed in Section VIII of this funding opportunity.

Submission of Electronically Signed Cover Sheets. The Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) must electronically sign the proposal Cover Sheet to submit the required proposal certifications (see Chapter II, Section C of the Grant Proposal Guide for a listing of the certifications). The AOR must provide the required electronic certifications within five working days following the electronic submission of the proposal. Further instructions regarding this process are available on the FastLane Website at: https://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/fastlane.jsp.

  • For Proposals Submitted Via Grants.gov:

Before using Grants.gov for the first time, each organization must register to create an institutional profile. Once registered, the applicant's organization can then apply for any federal grant on the Grants.gov website. The Grants.gov's Grant Community User Guide is a comprehensive reference document that provides technical information about Grants.gov. Proposers can download the User Guide as a Microsoft Word document or as a PDF document. The Grants.gov User Guide is available at: http://www.grants.gov/CustomerSupport. In addition, the NSF Grants.gov Application Guide provides additional technical guidance regarding preparation of proposals via Grants.gov. For Grants.gov user support, contact the Grants.gov Contact Center at 1-800-518-4726 or by email: support@grants.gov. The Grants.gov Contact Center answers general technical questions related to the use of Grants.gov. Specific questions related to this program solicitation should be referred to the NSF program staff contact(s) listed in Section VIII of this solicitation.

Submitting the Proposal: Once all documents have been completed, the Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) must submit the application to Grants.gov and verify the desired funding opportunity and agency to which the application is submitted. The AOR must then sign and submit the application to Grants.gov. The completed application will be transferred to the NSF FastLane system for further processing.

VI. NSF PROPOSAL PROCESSING AND REVIEW PROCEDURES   

Proposals received by NSF are assigned to the appropriate NSF program and, if they meet NSF proposal preparation requirements, for review. All proposals are carefully reviewed by a scientist, engineer, or educator serving as an NSF Program Officer, and usually by three to ten other persons outside NSF who are experts in the particular fields represented by the proposal. These reviewers are selected by Program Officers charged with the oversight of the review process. Proposers are invited to suggest names of persons they believe are especially well qualified to review the proposal and/or persons they would prefer not review the proposal. These suggestions may serve as one source in the reviewer selection process at the Program Officer's discretion. Submission of such names, however, is optional. Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts with the proposer.

A. NSF Merit Review Criteria

All NSF proposals are evaluated through use of the two National Science Board (NSB)-approved merit review criteria: intellectual merit and the broader impacts of the proposed effort. In some instances, however, NSF will employ additional criteria as required to highlight the specific objectives of certain programs and activities.

The two NSB-approved merit review criteria are listed below. The criteria include considerations that help define them. These considerations are suggestions and not all will apply to any given proposal. While proposers must address both merit review criteria, reviewers will be asked to address only those considerations that are relevant to the proposal being considered and for which the reviewer is qualified to make judgements.

What is the intellectual merit of the proposed activity?
How important is the proposed activity to advancing knowledge and understanding within its own field or across different fields? How well qualified is the proposer (individual or team) to conduct the project? (If appropriate, the reviewer will comment on the quality of the prior work.) To what extent does the proposed activity suggest and explore creative and original concepts? How well conceived and organized is the proposed activity? Is there sufficient access to resources?

What are the broader impacts of the proposed activity?
How well does the activity advance discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning? How well does the proposed activity broaden the participation of underrepresented groups (e.g., gender, ethnicity, disability, geographic, etc.)? To what extent will it enhance the infrastructure for research and education, such as facilities, instrumentation, networks, and partnerships? Will the results be disseminated broadly to enhance scientific and technological understanding? What may be the benefits of the proposed activity to society?

NSF staff will give careful consideration to the following in making funding decisions:

Integration of Research and Education
One of the principal strategies in support of NSF's goals is to foster integration of research and education through the programs, projects, and activities it supports at academic and research institutions. These institutions provide abundant opportunities where individuals may concurrently assume responsibilities as researchers, educators, and students and where all can engage in joint efforts that infuse education with the excitement of discovery and enrich research through the diversity of learning perspectives.

Integrating Diversity into NSF Programs, Projects, and Activities
Broadening opportunities and enabling the participation of all citizens -- women and men, underrepresented minorities, and persons with disabilities -- is essential to the health and vitality of science and engineering. NSF is committed to this principle of diversity and deems it central to the programs, projects, and activities it considers and supports.

B. Review and Selection Process

Proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation will be reviewed by Ad Hoc and Panel Review.

All proposals are carefully reviewed by at least three other persons outside NSF who are experts in the particular field represented by the proposal.  As in the past, proposals submitted in response to this program solicitation will be assigned to the most appropriate programs within the Directorate for Biological Sciences for proposal review and award management.  This year, a single panel that includes members of the international community will be formulated to review all proposals submitted to this solicitation as well as those submitted to the Arabidopsis Functional Genomics Network Program supported by Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG). After the review is completed, NSF will make awards to the 2010 Program proposals using NSF funds and DFG will make awards to the AFGN program proposals using DFG funds, based on each agency’s established policies.

Reviewers will be asked to formulate a recommendation to either support or decline each proposal. The Program Officer assigned to manage the proposal's review will consider the advice of reviewers and will formulate a recommendation.

After scientific, technical and programmatic review and consideration of appropriate factors, the NSF Program Officer recommends to the cognizant Division Director whether the proposal should be declined or recommended for award. NSF is striving to be able to tell applicants whether their proposals have been declined or recommended for funding within six months. The time interval begins on the date of receipt.  The interval ends when the Division Director accepts the Program Officer's recommendation.

A summary rating and accompanying narrative will be completed and submitted by each reviewer. In all cases, reviews are treated as confidential documents. Verbatim copies of reviews, excluding the names of the reviewers, are sent to the Principal Investigator/Project Director by the Program Officer.  In addition, the proposer will receive an explanation of the decision to award or decline funding.

In all cases, after programmatic approval has been obtained, the proposals recommended for funding will be forwarded to the Division of Grants and Agreements for review of business, financial, and policy implications and the processing and issuance of a grant or other agreement. Proposers are cautioned that only a Grants and Agreements Officer may make commitments, obligations or awards on behalf of NSF or authorize the expenditure of funds. No commitment on the part of NSF should be inferred from technical or budgetary discussions with a NSF Program Officer. A Principal Investigator or organization that makes financial or personnel commitments in the absence of a grant or cooperative agreement signed by the NSF Grants and Agreements Officer does so at their own risk.

VII. AWARD ADMINISTRATION INFORMATION

A. Notification of the Award

Notification of the award is made to the submitting organization by a Grants Officer in the Division of Grants and Agreements. Organizations whose proposals are declined will be advised as promptly as possible by the cognizant NSF Program administering the program. Verbatim copies of reviews, not including the identity of the reviewer, will be provided automatically to the Principal Investigator. (See Section VI.B. for additional information on the review process.)

B. Award Conditions

An NSF award consists of: (1) the award letter, which includes any special provisions applicable to the award and any numbered amendments thereto; (2) the budget, which indicates the amounts, by categories of expense, on which NSF has based its support (or otherwise communicates any specific approvals or disapprovals of proposed expenditures); (3) the proposal referenced in the award letter; (4) the applicable award conditions, such as Grant General Conditions (GC-1); * or Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) Terms and Conditions * and (5) any announcement or other NSF issuance that may be incorporated by reference in the award letter. Cooperative agreements also are administered in accordance with NSF Cooperative Agreement Financial and Administrative Terms and Conditions (CA-FATC) and the applicable Programmatic Terms and Conditions. NSF awards are electronically signed by an NSF Grants and Agreements Officer and transmitted electronically to the organization via e-mail.

*These documents may be accessed electronically on NSF's Website at http://www.nsf.gov/awards/managing/general_conditions.jsp?org=NSF. Paper copies may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (703) 292-7827 or by e-mail from pubs@nsf.gov.

More comprehensive information on NSF Award Conditions and other important information on the administration of NSF awards is contained in the NSF Grant Policy Manual (GPM) Chapter II, available electronically on the NSF Website at http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=gpm.

C. Reporting Requirements

For all multi-year grants (including both standard and continuing grants), the Principal Investigator must submit an annual project report to the cognizant Program Officer at least 90 days before the end of the current budget period. (Some programs or awards require more frequent project reports). Within 90 days after expiration of a grant, the PI also is required to submit a final project report.

Failure to provide the required annual or final project reports will delay NSF review and processing of any future funding increments as well as any pending proposals for that PI. PIs should examine the formats of the required reports in advance to assure availability of required data.

PIs are required to use NSF's electronic project-reporting system, available through FastLane, for preparation and submission of annual and final project reports.  Such reports provide information on activities and findings, project participants (individual and organizational) publications; and, other specific products and contributions.  PIs will not be required to re-enter information previously provided, either with a proposal or in earlier updates using the electronic system.  Submission of the report via FastLane constitutes certification by the PI that the contents of the report are accurate and complete.

In addition to the standard items outlined in the FastLane annual report template, the PI will be required to submit the following information in the report:

Progress toward the goals, research plan, and timetable described in the awarded proposal

If the project has generated community research resources/tools/methods (specified deliverables), description of, what, when and how they are being shared with the community.

URL for the project website

Significant findings

Significant delays and difficulties encountered; and how the PI has overcome them

Plan for the coming year if different from the original plan

New collaborations formed since the start of the project with other US investigators including other 2010 PIs, industry labs, and international colleagues

Outreach activities, efforts to broaden participation of under-represented and/or under-served groups

Any publicity materials the project has produced

VIII. AGENCY CONTACTS

General inquiries regarding this program should be made to:

  • Machi F. Dilworth, Division Director, Directorate for Biological Sciences, Division of Biological Infrastructure, 615 N, telephone: (703) 292-8470, fax: (703) 292-9063, email: bio-2010@nsf.gov

  • Parag R. Chitnis, Program Director, Directorate for Biological Sciences, Division of Molecular & Cellular Biosciences, 655 S, telephone: (703) 292-8443, fax: (703) 292-9061, email: bio-2010@nsf.gov

  • Gerald S. Wilkinson, Program Director, Directorate for Biological Sciences, Division of Environmental Biology, 640 S, telephone: (703) 292-8061, fax: (703) 292-9064, email: bio-2010@nsf.gov

  • Diane Jofuku Okamuro, Program Director, Directorate for Biological Sciences, Division of Biological Infrastructure, 615 N, telephone: (703) 292-8470, fax: (703) 292-9063, email: bio-2010@nsf.gov

  • JoAnn (Jody) Banks, Program Director, Directorate for Biological Sciences, Division of Integrative Organismal Biology , 685 S, telephone: (703) 292-8417, email: bio-2010@nsf.gov

For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:

  • FastLane Help Desk, telephone: 1-800-673-6188; e-mail: fastlane@nsf.gov.

  • Jessie Brown, Science Assistant, Division of Biological Infrastructure, telephone: 703 292-8470, email: bio-2010@nsf.gov

For questions relating to Grants.gov contact:

  • Grants.gov Contact Center: If the Authorized Organizational Representatives (AOR) has not received a confirmation message from Grants.gov within 48 hours of submission of application, please contact via telephone: 1-800-518-4726; e-mail: support@grants.gov.

IX. OTHER INFORMATION

The NSF Website provides the most comprehensive source of information on NSF Directorates (including contact information), programs and funding opportunities. Use of this Website by potential proposers is strongly encouraged. In addition, MyNSF (formerly the Custom News Service)is an information-delivery system designed to keep potential proposers and other interested parties apprised of new NSF funding opportunities and publications, important changes in proposal and award policies and procedures, and upcoming NSF Regional Grants Conferences. Subscribers are informed through e-mail or the user's Web browser each time new publications are issued that match their identified interests.  MyNSF also is available on NSF's Website at http://www.nsf.gov/mynsf/.

Grants.gov provides an additional electronic capability to search for Federal government-wide grant opportunities. NSF funding opportunities may be accessed via this new mechanism. Further information on Grants.gov may be obtained at http://www.grants.gov.

ABOUT THE NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent Federal agency created by the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended (42 USC 1861-75). The Act states the purpose of the NSF is "to promote the progress of science; [and] to advance the national health, prosperity, and welfare by supporting research and education in all fields of science and engineering."

NSF funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. It does this through grants and cooperative agreements to more than 2,000 colleges, universities, K-12 school systems, businesses, informal science organizations and other research organizations throughout the US. The Foundation accounts for about one-fourth of Federal support to academic institutions for basic research.

NSF receives approximately 40,000 proposals each year for research, education and training projects, of which approximately 11,000 are funded. In addition, the Foundation receives several thousand applications for graduate and postdoctoral fellowships. The agency operates no laboratories itself but does support National Research Centers, user facilities, certain oceanographic vessels and Antarctic research stations. The Foundation also supports cooperative research between universities and industry, US participation in international scientific and engineering efforts, and educational activities at every academic level.

Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities to work on NSF-supported projects. See Grant Proposal Guide Chapter II, Section D.2 for instructions regarding preparation of these types of proposals.

The National Science Foundation has Telephonic Device for the Deaf (TDD) and Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) capabilities that enable individuals with hearing impairments to communicate with the Foundation about NSF programs, employment or general information. TDD may be accessed at (703) 292-5090 and (800) 281-8749, FIRS at (800) 877-8339.

The National Science Foundation Information Center may be reached at (703) 292-5111.

The National Science Foundation promotes and advances scientific progress in the United States by competitively awarding grants and cooperative agreements for research and education in the sciences, mathematics, and engineering.

To get the latest information about program deadlines, to download copies of NSF publications, and to access abstracts of awards, visit the NSF Website at http://www.nsf.gov

  • Location:

4201 Wilson Blvd. Arlington, VA 22230

  • For General Information
    (NSF Information Center):

(703) 292-5111

  • TDD (for the hearing-impaired):

(703) 292-5090

  • To Order Publications or Forms:

Send an e-mail to:

pubs@nsf.gov

or telephone:

(703) 292-7827

  • To Locate NSF Employees:

(703) 292-5111


PRIVACY ACT AND PUBLIC BURDEN STATEMENTS

The information requested on proposal forms and project reports is solicited under the authority of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended. The information on proposal forms will be used in connection with the selection of qualified proposals; and project reports submitted by awardees will be used for program evaluation and reporting within the Executive Branch and to Congress. The information requested may be disclosed to qualified reviewers and staff assistants as part of the proposal review process; to proposer institutions/grantees to provide or obtain data regarding the proposal review process, award decisions, or the administration of awards; to government contractors, experts, volunteers and researchers and educators as necessary to complete assigned work; to other government agencies or other entities needing information regarding applicants or nominees as part of a joint application review process, or in order to coordinate programs or policy; and to another Federal agency, court, or party in a court or Federal administrative proceeding if the government is a party. Information about Principal Investigators may be added to the Reviewer file and used to select potential candidates to serve as peer reviewers or advisory committee members. See Systems of Records, NSF-50, "Principal Investigator/Proposal File and Associated Records," 69 Federal Register 26410 (May 12, 2004), and NSF-51, "Reviewer/Proposal File and Associated Records, " 69 Federal Register 26410 (May 12, 2004). Submission of the information is voluntary. Failure to provide full and complete information, however, may reduce the possibility of receiving an award.

An agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required to respond to, an information collection unless it displays a valid Office of Management and Budget (OMB) control number. The OMB control number for this collection is 3145-0058. Public reporting burden for this collection of information is estimated to average 120 hours per response, including the time for reviewing instructions. Send comments regarding the burden estimate and any other aspect of this collection of information, including suggestions for reducing this burden, to:

Suzanne H. Plimpton
Reports Clearance Officer
Division of Administrative Services
National Science Foundation
Arlington, VA 22230

 


 

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