2010 Project

To determine the function of 25,000 genes in Arabidopsis thaliana by the year 2010

Program Solicitation



FULL PROPOSAL DEADLINE(S): December 14, 2001



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Program Title: 2010 Project

Synopsis of Program: The Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) announces its intention to continue support of research to determine the function 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 research designed to determine, using all available means, the function of a set of genes of the investigator's interest and choice. Also supported will be development of critical research tools for Arabidopsis functional genomics that enable a broad community of scientists to participate in the 2010 Project. 

Cognizant Program Officer(s):

Applicable Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance (CFDA) Number(s):




A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

B. Budgetary Information

C. Deadline/Target Dates

D. FastLane Requirements






    1. Proposal Preparation Instructions
    2. Budgetary Information
    3. Deadline/Target Dates
    4. FastLane Requirements
    1. NSF Proposal Review Process
    2. Review Protocol and Associated Customer Service Standard
    1. Notification of the Award
    2. Award Conditions
    3. Reporting Requirements


The Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) of the National Science Foundation (NSF) announces its intention to continue support of research to determine the function of all genes in the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana by the year 2010. This represents a continuation of the Arabidopsis genome research initiative BIO has supported since 1990 and of the 2010 Project begun in FY 2001.

In 1990, plant scientists established an international research effort called "The Multinational Coordinated Arabidopsis thaliana Genome Research Project", by adopting the widespread use of an easily manipulated model plant called Arabidopsis thaliana. (For a long-range plan, see NSF 90-80.) One outcome of this effort is the entire DNA sequence of this plant, that was completed at the end of 2000. For the first time, we know the sequence of approximately 25,000 genes necessary for a flowering plant to function.

As a follow-up to the Arabidopsis genome sequencing efforts, and to take full advantage of the opportunities created by them, the community of plant biologists has proposed an important and revolutionary new initiative: to determine the function of all genes of a reference species within their cellular, organismal and evolutionary contexts by the year 2010 (the 2010 Project). Details can be found at https://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub?bio011 and http://www.arabidopsis.org/workshop1.html. In response, BIO has established the 2010 Project as a Directorate-wide activity.

The 2010 Project is distinct from the Plant Genome Research Program (NSF 01-158).  The Plant Genome Research Program will no longer consider proposals in which Arabidopsis is the primary research focus. The 2010 Project is also distinct from existing BIO disciplinary programs and is not meant to be an alternative source of funding for all proposals involving Arabidopsis. Proposals investigatiing the function of individual genes or addressing specific biological question in Arabidopsis should continue to be submitted to the appropriate BIO program (See https://www.nsf.gov/bio/ for description of various BIO programs.)

One of the factors that contributed to the success of the Multinational Coordinated Arabidopsis thaliana Genome Research Project was world-wide collaboration among the researchers involved. The Arabidopsis research community has become a model for international research collaboration. It is expected that continued efforts by the international community of scientists will be essential for the success of the 2010 Project. NSF will continue to foster activities to advance international collaboration and coordination of the 2010 Project.


In FY 2002, the 2010 Project will maintain the focus of the FY 2001 on the following two activities: (1) Determination of gene function of a network or a group of genes, and (2) Development of research tools and resources. Although, these two areas will remain the focus of the FY 2002 competition, all imaginative and/or innovative proposal, will be considered as long as they are justified on the basis of the goal of the 2010 Project.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to consult the awards list of the FY 2001 2010 Project Program (https://www.nsf.gov/bio/pubs/awards/2010fy01.htm), and coordinate proposed activities with funded projects prior to submission of new proposals. If activities similar to an already funded project are to be proposed, the proposal must describe clearly a mechanism to coordinate with ongoing activities as well as a rationale based on benefits to the overall goal of the 2010 Project.

NSF encourages participation of investigators and institutions who have not been involved in activities funded in FY 2001.

In addition to research, this Program will support workshops, summer courses and other outreach/training activities designed to educate and train a broad community of scientists and students in unique scientific opportunities and approaches afforded by the 2010 Project.

Determination of gene function:

Individual investigators, or groups of investigators, will be supported to conduct creative and innovative research designed to determine, using all available means, the function of a set of genes in Arabidopsis thaliana of the investigator's interest and choice.  The number of investigators involved in a single proposal should be determined by the scope and approach used in the proposal. The NSF expects that both large and small laboratories should be able to participate in the 2010 Project by taking advantage of various publicly available whole genome tools and resources.

Investigators are expected to have selected a set of genes as the subject of their research prior to the submission of a proposal. These genes must be identified in the proposal by GenBank accession number or by other identifiers from a publicly accessible database. The size of the selected gene set will depend on a number of factors, such as how the particular set was selected (e.g., based on a specific sequence motif or a set of genes expressed under a specific condition), and the interest and throughput capacity of the applicant. Genes being investigated by FY 2001 2010 Project awardees are publicly posted on a website at The Arabidopsis Information Resources (http://www.arabidopsis.org ) or on an individual project's website whose address can be found in the award abstract available through the FY 2001 2010 award list (https://www.nsf.gov/bio/pubs/awards/2010fy01.htm ).

For required items to be included in the proposal, please see "Project Description" section below.

Development of research tools and resources:

While the genome sequence and annotation information in public databases, microarray expression data at public websites, and a variety of biological resources at the Arabidopsis Biological Resource Center provide a good start for the community to begin the 2010 Project, NSF recognizes that additional tools and community biological resources are needed to enable individuals or groups of individuals in the scientific community to participate in the 2010 Project. As in FY 2001, building the necessary, critical tools and biological resources will be supported in FY 2002. Especially encouraged are new informatics tools that would allow individual investigators to access, analyze and utilize the massive amounts of Arabidopsis data accumulating rapidly. The goal of new informatics tools would be to enable individual researchers to formulate a query of all the available resources so that they can make full use of the tools and resources that are in place as well as those that will become available in the future.

Proposals for developing community resources must have a clear focus on service, and should not include research on the materials or information to be produced. No selected group including the Principal Investigator's  (PI's) should have priority access to the resources/tools to be produced for general community use.

 For required items to be included in the proposal, please see "Project Description" section below.

Additional considerations:

Broadening participation: As in all other NSF programs, investigators are expected to integrate research and education in proposals submitted to the 2010 Project. Activities designed to encourage participation of investigators at small institutions, minority serving institutions, community colleges, and secondary school teachers are especially encouraged.

Coordination among projects:  If research on the chosen set of genes is already funded in another NSF 2010 award (https://www.nsf.gov/bio/pubs/awards/2010fy01.htm), the PI will be asked to provide a plan for coordinating activities with the funded project.  If two or more proposals with substantially overlapping goals and scope remain in consideration for funding after initial merit review, the PIs of those proposals may be asked to collaborate, and to submit a coordination plan prior to the final funding decision.

International opportunity: The 2010 Project encourages laboratory-to-laboratory interactions between US and foreign laboratories whenever such opportunities exit. NSF 2010 Project funds may be requested to support foreign investigators and students to work in US laboratories and for US investigators and students to work in international laboratories. However, foreign counterparts should secure support for their projects from their own national programs.

Intellectual property: When the project involves the use of proprietary data or materials, any data or materials resulting from NSF-funded research must be made promptly and freely available, without any restrictions, to the users of such data or materials. It should be noted that prospective awardee institutions may be requested, prior to an award decision, to submit copies of any intellectual property agreements or material transfer agreements that any of the key project personnel have signed, or are planning to sign, that would impact the unrestricted and timely distribution of the outcomes of the NSF-funded research. This material will be reviewed by NSF officials only. In the case of a multi-institutional proposal, the lead institution will be responsible for coordinating and managing the intellectual property resulting from the 2010 Project award.


The categories of proposers identified in the Grant Proposal Guide are eligible to submit proposals under this program announcement/solicitation.


It is anticipated that up to approximately $10 million will be made available for new awards in FY 2002, contingent upon the quality of proposals received, and the availability of funds. The award size for proposals to determine gene function will be wide-ranging, and expected to be up to $1 million per year for up to 4 years. Proposal budgets should be based on the realistic assessment of resources necessary to accomplish the stated proposal goals. Proposals with large budgets are expected to determine the function of a large number of genes.

The award size for proposals to build community resources is expected to be up to a total of $3 million for 2 years.

Budget requests must be justified in relation to the proposed activities. Budget requests larger than the above guidelines will be considered if well-justified.

Funding decisions are anticipated by the end of July 2002, with awards expected to start in September 2002. Awards will be made either as grants or cooperative agreements.


A. Proposal Preparation Instructions

Full Proposal:

Proposals submitted in response to this program announcement/solicitation should be prepared and submitted in accordance with the general guidelines contained in the NSF Grant Proposal Guide (GPG). The complete text of the GPG is available electronically on the NSF Web Site at: https://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub?gpg. Paper copies of the GPG may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (301) 947-2722 or by e-mail from pubs@nsf.gov.

Proposals must be submitted by FastLane (see "FastLane Submission" section below) and must follow guidelines described in the GPG. The following additions or modifications apply to proposals submitted to this Program:

Proposal Cover Sheet (NSF Form 1207):
In the NSF FastLane system, follow instructions on proposal preparation. When completing the Cover Sheet, click on the GO button at "Program Announcement / Solicitation / Program Description No." Highlight NSF01-xxx, 2010 Project, and click on the Select button. Your proposal will automatically be assigned to BIO - 2010 Project. You must then "Go Back" to the Cover Sheet Components Form and complete the remainder of the cover sheet.

BIO Proposal Classification Form (PCF):
Complete the BIO PCF, available on the NSF FastLane system. The PCF is an on-line coding system that allows the Principal Investigator to characterize his/her project when submitting proposals to the Directorate for Biological Sciences. Once a PI begins preparation of his/her proposal in the NSF FastLane system, selects any program within the Directorate for Biological Sciences as the first (or only) organizational unit to review the proposal, and saves the cover sheet, the PCF will be generated and available through the Form Preparation screen. Additional information about the BIO PCF is available in FastLane at http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a1/BioInstr.htm.

Project Summary (1 page):
The project summary should consist of two parts in the following order: (1) a list of senior personnel (PI and Co-PIs appearing on the coverpage) along with home institutions; and (2) a summary of the proposed project in 300 words or less.

Project Description (maximum 15 pages including figures and tables):
In addition to the standard description in GPG (Chapter II, Section C.3), the following guidelines must be followed:

Proposal Budget:
Provide a summary budget and a yearly budget for the duration of the proposed project. When subawards are involved, summary and yearly budgets are required for each subaward. A Budget Justification should be provided for both the proposer and any subawardees. The 2010 Project program is fully committed to provide sufficient funds to complete any project it supports. A careful and realistic budget will add to the overall strength of a proposal. Funds for facility construction or renovation may NOT be requested. Foreign collaborator's projects are expected to be supported by their national sources. NSF funds may be used for US investigators, postdocs and students on exchange visits to their foreign collaborator's laboratory or to cover expenses associated with hosting foreign collaborators in the US investigators laboratory.

Biographical Sketches: Provide the information requested in the GPG, Chapter II, Section C.5. for PI and Co-PIs listed on the Cover Page, and other senior personnel requesting support in the proposed budget.

Special Information and Supplementary Documentation:
With the exception of a "conflict of interest document" (see Special Information and Supplementary Documentation A-4 below) which should be sent directly to the 2010 Project, include the following materials, if applicable, in addition to the 15 page Project Description. Additional materials should be clearly labeled and included in the Supplementary Documents section of FastLane.

(A-1) List of genes to be studied (no page limit):
If the proposal is to determine the function of a network of genes, a list of genes to be studied must be included. Each gene must be identified by their accession numbers in GenBank or other identifiers in a publicly accessible database. Provide this information in a tabular form, using a font size no smaller than 10 point.

(A-2) Management Plan (maximum 3 pages):
Each proposal involving 4 or more PIs (1 PI and 3 Co-PIs) OR with PIs/Co-PIs from 3 or more different institutions, OR proposing to develop community research tools and resources must
provide an additional description of the management plan for coordinating activities of the group or the management of the service aspect. This description should include plans for internal means of communication, coordinating data and information management, evaluating and assessing progress, allocating funds and personnel, interacting with users in a service project, and other relevant issues specific to the proposed activities. The overall project leader (normally the PI) must be identified and his/her role should be described. Change of project leader will require prior NSF approval. For complex projects, appointment of a project manager/administrator in addition to the PI(s) is strongly encouraged. The exact time commitment of each key member to the project should be indicated in the management plan, regardless of whether any of his/her salary has been requested from NSF. A project timetable with yearly goals should be included for all projects, regardless of the number of personnel involved.

(A-3) Coordination with Outside Groups (maximum 3 pages): If the proposed activity is part of a national or international collaborative project, describe the relationship of the proposed activity to the overall collaborative project and how the components will be coordinated.

(A-4) A "conflict of interest" document must be sent as an E-mail attachment directly to: the 2010 Project by E-mail (bio2010@nsf.gov), within one week of the proposal submission deadline. Include a table, in the format shown below, that lists the names of persons with conflicts of interest for all senior personnel (PI and Co-PIs) and any named personnel whose salary is requested in the project budget. Conflicts to be identified are: (1) Ph.D. thesis advisor or advisee; (2) postdoctoral advisor or advisee; (3) collaborators or co-authors for the past 48 months; and, (4) any other individual or institution with which the investigator has financial ties (please specify). Organize the information as shown in the sample table shown below. List full names in each column in alphabetical order.

 Last Name First NameInstitution

 Conflict Type 

 Apple Alison A.Red College  Ph.D. advisor for PI (Name)
 Barley  Barry B.Brown Institute  Collaborator for Co-PI (Name)
 Rasberry Rudy R.White University  Financial ties for Co-PI2 (Name)

(A-5) Color Images: Be advised that NSF cannot accommodate the printing of color images as part of proposal submission through the FastLane system, and submitted proposals that require the use of color or of very high resolution photographic images will necessitate additional steps. (See GPG Chapter I, Section E.1 "Special Instructions for....")

Provide only the allowable and applicable items as noted in the GPG, Chapter II, Section C.9.

Include the materials in the FastLane submission by transferring them as .PDF files through the "Supplementary Docs" module of the FastLane system.

Proposals that are not compliant with the guidelines will not be reviewed. It is the submitting institution's responsibility to ensure that the proposal is compliant with all applicable guidelines.

Proposers are reminded to identify the program solicitation number (NSF-01-162) in the program announcement/solicitation block on the proposal Cover Sheet (NSF Form 1207). Compliance with this requirement is critical to determining the relevant proposal processing guidelines. Failure to submit this information may delay processing.

B. Budgetary Information

Cost sharing is not required in proposals submitted under this Program Solicitation.

C. Deadline/Target Dates

Proposals must be submitted by the following date(s):

Full Proposals by 5:00 PM local time: December 14, 2001

D. FastLane Requirements

Proposers are required to prepare and submit all proposals for this Program Solicitation through the FastLane system. Detailed instructions for proposal preparation and submission via FastLane are available at: http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov/a1/newstan.htm. For FastLane user support, call 1-800-673-6188 or e-mail fastlane@nsf.gov.

Submission of Signed Cover Sheets. The Authorized Organizational Representative (AOR) must electronically sign the proposal Cover Sheet to submit the required proposal certifications (see Chapter II, Section C of the Grant Proposal Guide for a listing of the certifications). The AOR must provide the required certifications within five working days following the electronic submission of the proposal. Further instructions regarding this process are available on the FastLane website at: http://www.fastlane.nsf.gov.


A. NSF Proposal Review Process

Reviews of proposals submitted to NSF are solicited from peers with expertise in the substantive area of the proposed research or education project. These reviewers are selected by Program Officers charged with the oversight of the review process. NSF invites the proposer to suggest at the time of submission, the names of appropriate or inappropriate reviewers. Care is taken to ensure that reviewers have no conflicts with the proposer. Special efforts are made to recruit reviewers from non-academic institutions, minority-serving institutions, or adjacent disciplines to that principally addressed in the proposal.

Proposals will be reviewed against the following general review criteria established by the National Science Board. Following each criterion are potential considerations that the reviewer may employ in the evaluation. These are suggestions and not all will apply to any given proposal. Each reviewer will be asked to address only those that are relevant to the proposal and for which he/she is qualified to make judgements.

Principal Investigators should address the following elements in their proposal to provide reviewers with the information necessary to respond fully to both of the above-described NSF merit review criteria. NSF staff will give these elements careful consideration in making funding decisions.

A summary rating and accompanying narrative will be completed and signed by each reviewer. In all cases, reviews are treated as confidential documents. Verbatim copies of reviews, excluding the names of the reviewers, are sent to the Principal Investigator/Project Director by the Program Director. In addition, the proposer will receive an explanation of the decision to award or decline funding.

B. Review Protocol and Associated Customer Service Standard

All proposals are carefully reviewed by at least three other persons outside NSF who are experts in the particular field represented by the proposal. Proposals submitted in response to this announcement/solicitation will be assigned to the most relevant review panels within the Directorate of Biological Sciences, by matching the proposed activity with the panel's expertise. Awards will reside in an appropriate BIO cluster.

Reviewers will be asked to formulate a recommendation to either support or decline each proposal. The Program Officer assigned to manage the proposal's review will consider the advice of reviewers and will formulate a recommendation.

NSF is striving to be able to tell applicants whether their proposals have been declined or recommended for funding within six months for 70 percent of proposals. The time interval begins on the date of receipt. The interval ends when the Division Director accepts the Program Officer's recommendation.

In all cases, after programmatic approval has been obtained, the proposals recommended for funding will be forwarded to the Division of Grants and Agreements for review of business, financial, and policy implications and the processing and issuance of a grant or other agreement. Proposers are cautioned that only a Grants and Agreements Officer may make commitments, obligations or awards on behalf of NSF or authorize the expenditure of funds. No commitment on the part of NSF should be inferred from technical or budgetary discussions with a NSF Program Officer. A Principal Investigator or organization that makes financial or personnel commitments in the absence of a grant or cooperative agreement signed by the NSF Grants and Agreements Officer does so at its own risk.


A. Notification of the Award

Notification of the award is made to the submitting organization by a Grants Officer in the Division of Grants and Agreements. Organizations whose proposals are declined will be advised as promptly as possible by the cognizant NSF Program Division administering the program. Verbatim copies of reviews, not including the identity of the reviewer, will be provided automatically to the Principal Investigator. (See section VI.A. for additional information on the review process.)

B. Award Conditions

An NSF award consists of: (1) the award letter, which includes any special provisions applicable to the award and any numbered amendments thereto; (2) the budget, which indicates the amounts, by categories of expense, on which NSF has based its support (or otherwise communicates any specific approvals or disapprovals of proposed expenditures); (3) the proposal referenced in the award letter; (4) the applicable award conditions, such as Grant General Conditions (NSF-GC-1)* or Federal Demonstration Partnership (FDP) Terms and Conditions * and (5) any announcement or other NSF issuance that may be incorporated by reference in the award letter. Cooperative agreement awards also are administered in accordance with NSF Cooperative Agreement Terms and Conditions (CA-1). Electronic mail notification is the preferred way to transmit NSF awards to organizations that have electronic mail capabilities and have requested such notification from the Division of Grants and Agreements.

*These documents may be accessed electronically on NSF's Web site at https://www.nsf.gov/home/grants/grants_gac.htm. Paper copies may be obtained from the NSF Publications Clearinghouse, telephone (301) 947-2722 or by e-mail from pubs@nsf.gov.

More comprehensive information on NSF Award Conditions is contained in the NSF Grant Policy Manual (GPM) Chapter II, available electronically on the NSF Web site at https://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub?gpm. The GPM is also for sale through the Superintendent of Documents, Government Printing Office (GPO), Washington, DC 20402. The telephone number at GPO for subscription information is (202) 512-1800. The GPM may be ordered through the GPO Web site at http://www.gpo.gov.

C. Reporting Requirements

For all multi-year grants (including both standard and continuing grants), the PI must submit an annual project report to the cognizant Program Officer at least 90 days before the end of the current budget period.

Within 90 days after the expiration of an award, the PI also is required to submit a final project report. Approximately 30 days before expiration, NSF will send a notice to remind the PI of the requirement to file the final project report. Failure to provide final technical reports delays NSF review and processing of pending proposals for that PI. PIs should examine the formats of the required reports in advance to assure availability of required data.

NSF has implemented an electronic project reporting system, available through FastLane. This system permits electronic submission and updating of project reports, including information on project participants (individual and organizational), activities and findings, publications, and other specific products and contributions. PIs will not be required to re-enter information previously provided, either with a proposal or in earlier updates using the electronic system.


General inquiries regarding  2010 Project  should be made to:For questions related to the use of FastLane, contact:


The NSF Guide to Programs is a compilation of funding for research and education in science, mathematics, and engineering. The NSF Guide to Programs is available electronically at https://www.nsf.gov/cgi-bin/getpub?gp. General descriptions of NSF programs, research areas, and eligibility information for proposal submission are provided in each chapter.

Many NSF programs offer announcements or solicitations concerning specific proposal requirements. To obtain additional information about these requirements, contact the appropriate NSF program offices. Any changes in NSF's fiscal year programs occurring after press time for the Guide to Programs will be announced in the NSF E-Bulletin, which is updated daily on the NSF web site at https://www.nsf.gov/home/ebulletin, and in individual program announcements/solicitations. Subscribers can also sign up for NSF's Custom News Service (https://www.nsf.gov/home/cns/start.htm) to be notified of new funding opportunities that become available.


The National Science Foundation (NSF) funds research and education in most fields of science and engineering. Awardees are wholly responsible for conducting their project activities and preparing the results for publication. Thus, the Foundation does not assume responsibility for such findings or their interpretation.

NSF welcomes proposals from all qualified scientists, engineers and educators. The Foundation strongly encourages women, minorities and persons with disabilities to compete fully in its programs. In accordance with Federal statutes, regulations and NSF policies, no person on grounds of race, color, age, sex, national origin or disability shall be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving financial assistance from NSF (unless otherwise specified in the eligibility requirements for a particular program).

Facilitation Awards for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED) provide funding for special assistance or equipment to enable persons with disabilities (investigators and other staff, including student research assistants) to work on NSF-supported projects. See the program announcement/solicitation for further information.

The National Science Foundation has Telephonic Device for the Deaf (TDD) and Federal Information Relay Service (FIRS) capabilities that enable individuals with hearing impairments to communicate with the Foundation about NSF programs, employment or general information. TDD may be accessed at (703) 292-5090, FIRS at 1-800-877-8339.

The National Science Foundation is committed to making all of the information we publish easy to understand. If you have a suggestion about how to improve the clarity of this document or other NSF-published materials, please contact us at plainlanguage@nsf.gov.


The information requested on proposal forms and project reports is solicited under the authority of the National Science Foundation Act of 1950, as amended. The information on proposal forms will be used in connection with the selection of qualified proposals; project reports submitted by awardees will be used for program evaluation and reporting within the Executive Branch and to Congress. The information requested may be disclosed to qualified reviewers and staff assistants as part of the proposal review process; to applicant institutions/grantees to provide or obtain data regarding the proposal review process, award decisions, or the administration of awards; to government contractors, experts, volunteers and researchers and educators as necessary to complete assigned work; to other government agencies needing information as part of the review process or in order to coordinate programs; and to another Federal agency, court or party in a court or Federal administrative proceeding if the government is a party. Information about Principal Investigators may be added to the Reviewer file and used to select potential candidates to serve as peer reviewers or advisory committee members. See Systems of Records, NSF-50, "Principal Investigator/Proposal File and Associated Records," 63 Federal Register 267 (January 5, 1998), and NSF-51, "Reviewer/Proposal File and Associated Records," 63 Federal Register 268 (January 5, 1998). Submission of the information is voluntary. Failure to provide full and complete information, however, may reduce the possibility of receiving an award.

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