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Directorate for Biological Sciences

Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology  (PRFB)

PRFB Webinars and Virtual Office Hours


The Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology (PRFB) Program held two webinars during the first week of October. These provided an opportunity to learn more about the new solicitation (NSF 20-602) and the application process.

Click here to review the materials and questions and answers from the webinar.

Virtual Office Hours: 

PRFB will also be holding virtual office hours. These will involve a presentation and chance to ask questions through the Q&A function. 

Sessions dates and times and links are below. Please feel free to attend the session that best fits your schedule. For other ways of joining the meeting and real-time captions please see the DBI blog (

Monday, November 2nd at 4 PM (EST)

Thursday, November 5th at 4 PM (EST)

PRFB Solicitation Update

Updated August 21, 2020

Solicitation Revision Notes 

  • Former Competitive Area 2, 'Interdisciplinary Research Using Biological Collections' has been discontinued. However, research using biological collections can be proposed under any other competitive area as appropriate. 

  • 'Integrative Research Investigating the Rules of Life Governing Interactions Between Genomes, Environment and Phenotypes', formerly Competitive Area 4, is Competitive Area 2 in this solicitation. 

  • Competitive Area 3 has changed its name and is now called the 'Plant Genome Postdoctoral Research Fellowships' program. The previous review criterion for Competitive Area 3 that focused on the National Plant Genome Initiative goals has been removed. 

  • The Additional Solicitation Specific Review Criteria have changed such that Competitive Area 1 will be evaluated based, in part, on increasing diversity explicitly at the Postdoctoral level. All Competitive Areas will be evaluated based, in part, on plans to increase diversity at any level of STEM training and education. 

  • The eligibility criterion related to tenure in a position requiring a doctoral degree for Competitive Areas  ‘Broadening Participation of Groups Underrepresented in Biology’ and 'Integrative Research Rules of Life Governing Interactions Between Genomes, Environment and Phenotypes' has increased to 12 full time months.

COA Documentation

Please note: For applicants submitting proposals to the PRFB competition, a Collaborators and Other Affiliations (COA) document is not required.

Name Email Phone Room
Daniel  R. Marenda (Areas 1 & 2) (703) 292-2157   
John  F. Barthell (Areas 1 & 2) (703) 292-2618   
Diane  Jofuku Okamuro (Area 3) (703) 292-8420   


Solicitation  20-602


Waiting for New Publication


The Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) awards Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology (PRFB) to recent recipients of the doctoral degree for research and training in selected areas supported by BIO and with special goals for human resource development in biology.  For applications under this solicitation, these areas are (1) Broadening Participation of Groups Underrepresented in Biology, (2) Integrative Research Investigating the Rules of Life Governing Interactions Between Genomes, Environment and Phenotypes, and (3) Plant Genome Postdoctoral Research Fellowships.

The fellowships encourage independence at an early stage of the research career to permit Fellows to pursue their research and training goals in the most appropriate research locations in collaboration with sponsoring scientists.  It is expected that the sponsoring scientists will actively mentor the Fellows and will greatly benefit from collaborating with these talented early-career scientists and incorporating them into their research groups. The research and training plan of each fellowship must address important scientific questions within the scope of BIO and the specific guidelines in this fellowship program solicitation. Because the fellowships are offered to postdoctoral scientists only early in their careers, NSF encourages doctoral students to discuss the availability of these postdoctoral fellowships with their doctoral mentors and potential postdoctoral sponsors early in their doctoral programs to take advantage of this funding opportunity. Fellowships are awards to individuals, not institutions, and are administered by the Fellows.


This program provides educational opportunities for  Postdoctoral Fellows. Individuals interested in applying for funding should see the program guidelines above.


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

Map of Recent Awards Made Through This Program