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Division of Environmental Biology

Opportunities for Promoting Understanding through Synthesis  (OPUS)


The deadline for submission of proposals to the OPUS Program is November 19, 2018.

Name Email Phone Room
George  W. Gilchrist (703) 292-7138   
Leslie  J. Rissler (703) 292-4628   
Kathryn  Cottingham (703) 292-2994   


Solicitation  18-582

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 19-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after February 25, 2019. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 19-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.


Full Proposal Deadline Date

    August 5, 2019

    First Monday in August, Annually Thereafter

Future deadlines are expected to be on the first Monday of August, beginning in 2019. 


Synopsis of Program:

The OPUS program seeks to provide opportunities for mid- to later-career investigators to develop new understanding of science in the fields supported by the Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) through two tracks of synthesis activities.

OPUS: Mid-Career Synthesis. This track provides an opportunity for a mid-career researcher, defined as a candidate at the associate professor rank (or equivalent) to enable a new synthesis of their ongoing research. Synthesis is achieved by developing new research capabilities through collaboration with a mentor to enable new understanding of their research system and questions of interest. This track aims to provide mid-career scientists with new capabilities to enhance their productivity, improve their retention as scientists, and ensure a diverse scientific workforce that remains engaged in active research (including more women and minorities at high academic ranks).

OPUS: Core Research Synthesis. This track provides an opportunity for an individual or a group of investigators to revisit and synthesize a significant body of their prior research in a way that will enable new understanding of their research system and questions of interest. This track would also be appropriate early enough in a career to produce unique, integrated insight useful both to the scientific community and to the development of the investigator's future career.

All four clusters within the Division of Environmental Biology (Ecosystem Science, Evolutionary Processes, Population and Community Ecology, and Systematics and Biodiversity Science) encourage the submission of these proposals enabling researchers to expand understanding and develop new insights in their research. 

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

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program