About Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB)

The Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB) supports research that promises to uncover the fundamental and emergent properties of living systems across the atomic, molecular, subcellular, and cellular scale.  MCB welcomes proposals that explore new concepts in molecular and cellular biology, as well as those that incorporate theories and insights from fields such as chemistry, computer sciences, engineering, mathematics, and physics in search of the fundamental rules of molecular and cellular life.  Proposals that offer broadly applicable, transformative technological innovations are also encouraged.

MCB strives to achieve key goals laid out in the NSF Strategic Plan, including: to empower STEM talent to fully participate in science and engineering; to foster discovery and creation of new knowledge to advance the frontiers of research, and to benefit society through translation of knowledge into solutions.  In line with these goals, MCB seeks to support a broad diversity of individuals and institutions and encourages submission of basic research ideas that are inspired by curiosity and/or by their potential to be used for societal benefit.

MCB Cluster Descriptions:

Cellular Dynamics and Function

Genetic Mechanisms

Molecular Biophysics

Systems and Synthetic Biology

Funding Opportunities Information:

To discover more information about MCB's programs, please click “Programs” in the left navigation bar.

For information about active MCB funding opportunities including cross-directorate and NSF-wide activities, please click "Funding" in the left navigation bar.

For “Dear Colleague Letters,” information about supplements, and BIO's guidance on data management plans, please click "Additional Resources" in the left navigation bar.

Contact Us:

General questions may be directed to MCB by phone at (703) 292-8440. Specific MCB staff may be contacted via individual email addresses found in the MCB staff directory.

MCB also encourages the community to engage with us through our blog: https://mcbblog.nsfbio.com/.

Media Inquiries:

NSF Public Communications & Media Information: https://www.nsf.gov/news/newsroom.jsp.

Media inquiries should be directed to the NSF's Office of Legislative and Public Affairs, Media Relations Team: (703) 292-7090 or media@nsf.gov.

Legislative Inquiries:

Legislative inquiries should be directed to the NSF's Office of Legislative and Public Affairs, Division of Legislative Affairs: (703) 292-8070 or Congressionalteam@nsf.gov.

If you're a new visitor to the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) website or just want a quick visual and textual summary of BIO areas of support, please visit the "About" page for the Directorate to access an interactive organization chart.


Home Page Image Credits:

Microtubules and chromatin: Dr. Yuh-Ru Lee

Male germ lines stained with DNA dye: Dr. Diana Chu

Genetic circuits under magnifying glass: Arthur Prindle

Rendering of HIV capsid: Theoretical and Computational Biophysics Group, Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology