Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the 2010 Project

for Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010 (NSF 09-514)



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. In the final two years, the Program will continue to support genome-wide analyses and research on biological networks using high throughput methods and integrating modeling with experimental data.


In Fiscal Years 2009 and 2010, proposals are especially encouraged, but not limited to, the following thematic areas:


1)    Metabolic biology, particularly relevant to energy capture and use

2)    Adaptation to the environment

3)    Multi-scale analysis of genome evolution and genetic systems


Four changes were made from the 2007 solicitation:


·        This is the terminal solicitation for the last two competitions of the 2010 Project program.

·        Proposals should be submitted to the 2010 Project through the disciplinary cluster whose thematic focus is most closely related to the project.

·        The description of the thematic focus areas has been modified in response to community input.

·        Only one appendix is now required, which should describe the data management plan.






February 19, 2009; January 12, 2010


The official guidelines for submission of 2010 Project proposals can be found in the 2010 Project Program Solicitation (NSF 09-514), available on the NSF web site (  The following questions and answers are intended to be helpful supplements to the program guidelines.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the 2010 Project:


Proposal Preparation and Submission


1. Question:  How do I decide to which program in BIO I should submit my 2010 Project proposal?


You should submit the proposal to the core program whose thematic focus is most closely related to the project. Please read the program descriptions and if necessary consult with one or more Program Directors to identify the most appropriate program at Program Directors will make the final assignment to the panel where it will be most competitive.



2. Question:  I am not sure whether I should submit my proposal as a 2010 Project or as a regular proposal. To whom should I direct this question?


You can contact a Program Director in the core program of your interest by phone or email.  You can also contact the 2010 Project Working Group by email to Contact information can be found at:


Because you need to submit your proposal to a specific program at the NSF, you should identify the Program Director of that program for questions concerning the scope of research being reviewed by that specific program.



3. Question:  Can a project extend beyond the year 2010?


Yes.  Projects may extend for up to 4 years.  However, the award duration for proposals to build community resources may not exceed 3 years.



4. Question: Can I request an extension for submission?


NO--not for the 2009 target date!  Because the target date is fairly late in the grant cycle, late submissions cannot be accepted.



5. Question:  Can I submit a 2010 Project proposal and a proposal for consideration by the same core program?


In general, a Principal Investigator cannot submit multiple proposals with overlapping research objectives. However, if the projects are clearly different, you can submit a 2010 Project proposal and a regular research proposal to the same program.  However, it is recommended that you contact a Program Director in the core program to discuss this possibility as both proposals are likely to be reviewed by the same panel. 



6. Question: Can I submit a proposal to develop community resources in FY 2010?


Development of specific resources for the Arabidopsis community will no longer be a priority for funding through the 2010 Project in FY 2010.  However, excellent resource proposals with broad and transformative impact, including ones that emphasize the use of Arabidopsis, can still be submitted to BIO as they fall into the priorities of different Programs at the NSF,.



7.  Is special documentation required for a 2010 Project proposal?


The only specific documentation required for a 2010 proposal is that the title of the proposal should begin with “Arabidopsis 2010:” and a Data Management Plan (1 page only) should be included in the Supplementary Documents.


All submissions should follow the guidelines of the NSF Grant Proposal Guide posted on Oct 1, 2008 ( and the instructions in the 2010 solicitation (



8.  Is a separate “Management Plan” required?


A separate “Data Management Plan” for the proposal IS required (as also indicated in answer to question 7 above). This is to be a maximum of one page. Information that should be included can be found at:



9. Question: How should letters of collaboration or general letters of support be included in the proposal?

The following section of the NSF Grant Proposal Guide should be followed concerning letters of collaboration.

(iv) Unfunded Collaborations

“Any substantial collaboration with individuals not included in the budget should be described and documented with a letter from each collaborator, which should be provided in the supplementary documentation section of the FastLane Proposal Preparation Module. Collaborative activities that are identified in the budget should follow the instructions in GPG Chapter II.D.4.”

Letters of endorsement are not allowed.

10. Question: Who do I contact if I have questions?

If you have questions about the goals of the 2010 Project, please contact the 2010 Project Working Group by email to


Because you need to submit your proposal to a specific program at the NSF, you should identify the Program Director of that program for questions concerning the scope of research being reviewed by that specific program.



Review Process


1. Question: Where will my proposal be reviewed?


Proposals WILL NOT be reviewed by a separate “2010 Project” panel.  Rather, proposals will be reviewed along with all other proposals asking similar or related biological questions by a disciplinary panel determined by the scientific area. The mail reviewers as well as the panelists will receive special instructions with information about the priorities of the 2010 Project.  You should identify the program that you feel to be most appropriate to the subject of your research and submit the proposal directly to that program. Proposals will be accepted in all divisions of the BIO Directorate. Reviewing abstracts of funded research and discussing your proposal with Program Directors is the best way to determine where to direct your proposal. If necessary, due to program-wide considerations, your proposal may be reviewed by a different group than you specify. Final assignment of your proposal can be viewed through Fast lane.





2. Question: When will I hear about the final recommendation?


Final recommendations should be made by June 2009.  You can also login to FastLane for updates regarding the 2010 Project competition.



General Questions about the 2010 Project


Question:  What happens to the 2010 Project after 2010?


The 2010 Project will end after the competition in FY 2010.  In FY 2008, two workshops were held by the Arabidopsis and broader plant communities to identify the future directions for the Arabidopsis community ( and Both workshops recognized the importance of using Arabidopsis research and knowledge to the problems of economic and environmental importance. The recommendations of these workshops were used to identify the thematic focus areas described in the solicitation that covers the FY 2009 and 2010 competitions, the final two competitions for the 2010 Project.  In addition, aligning the thematic focus areas with those of the core programs should allow for a smooth transition of the funded projects to the core programs starting in FY 2011.