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This program has been archived.

Division of Integrative Organismal Systems

Physiological and Structural Systems

PSS Special Announcement

PD 07-1141 has been archived.  Principal Investigators wishing to submit proposals to the Physiological and Structural Systems Cluster should apply to NSF 13-600.   For further information see  "Related URL" section and Contacts on the Division of Integrative Organismal Systems Core Program Guidelines Page at:

Name Email Phone Room
Michael  Mishkind (703) 292-8413  685N  
Mark  R. Brodl (703) 292-8413  685N  
Carol  A. Burdsal (703) 292-8413  685N  
Hannah  V. Carey (703) 292-8413  685N  
Irwin  Forseth (703) 292-8413  685N  
Mary Beth  Saffo (703) 292-8413  685N  
William  E. Zamer (703) 292-8413  685N  


PD 07-1141

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 22-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after October 4, 2021. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 22-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.




The Physiological and Structural Systems Cluster supports research aimed at furthering the understanding of organisms as integrated units of biological organization.  The Cluster considers proposals focused on interacting physiological and structural systems, their environmental and evolutionary contexts, and how these components are constrained by their integration into the whole organism.  Projects that use systems approaches to understand why particular patterns of architecture and regulatory control have emerged as general organismal properties are particularly encouraged.  Understanding how and why emergent organismal properties such as robustness, adaptability and resilience arise in the context of environmental, genetic, biochemical and morphological variation are of interest.  The Cluster encourages model building to augment traditional experimental approaches in order to guide research on complex functional networks.  Multidisciplinary approaches to the study of organismal systems including research at the interfaces of biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer science and engineering are encouraged in each of the following areas.

Symbiosis, Defense and Self-recognition - This programmatic area supports research on the processes and structures that mediate intimate interactions between two or more organisms.  Proposals are encouraged that focus on the dynamics of initiation, dissolution and stability of these complex associations through studies of underlying processes of communication, immunological recognition and signaling, feedbacks, and reciprocal responses between interactors.  All aspects of symbiosis, including commensalisms, mutualisms, parasitism and host-pathogen interactions are included.

Processes, Structures and Integrity - The focus of this programmatic area is on understanding the unity of organisms as complex systems through studies of coherent, structural and functional properties and interactions.  Systems approaches that predict or reveal the nature of coordination among functional processes and/or structural components as a means to further the understanding of organismal integrity and emergent properties are particularly encouraged.

Organism-Environment Interactions - The focus of this programmatic area is on the structures and processes that affect organismal performance and interactions during routine, changing, or stressful environmental conditions.  The program seeks proposals aimed at understanding how interactions among genetic, biochemical, morphological and physiological processes result in integrated organismal responses.  Increasing emphasis is placed on understanding how and why such interactions result in emergent properties such as adaptability, plasticity, and robustness (i.e., both resistance and resilience).  Special emphasis is placed on projects that adopt systems approaches, including quantitative and qualitative analysis, theoretical models and prediction to understand the dynamics and control of organismal responses to the environment from near term to evolutionary time frames.

Summary Award Information - In FY 2010, the Division of Integrative Organismal Systems funded 17% of submitted proposals, and the mean annual award was $216,556.

Program Directors:

Michael Mishkind. Processes, Structures & Integrity; Symbiosis, Defense & Self-recognition

Mark R. Brodl. Processes, Structures & Integrity; Symbiosis, Defense & Self-recognition

Carol A. Burdsal.  Processes, Structures & Integrity

Hannah V. Carey.  Processes, Structures & Integrity

Irwin Forseth.  Organism-Environment Interactions

Mary Beth Saffo.  Symbiosis, Defense & Self-recognition

William E. Zamer.  Processes, Structures & Integrity







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

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program