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NSF 09-057

Dear Colleague Letter: Incubator Proposal Opportunity for Research Coordination Networks - Undergraduate Biology Education

This document has been archived and replaced by NSF 10-566.

We call your attention to an additional mechanism to support collaborations aimed at injecting new ideas and approaches into undergraduate biology curricula. As part of our effort to stimulate positive changes in biology education, we will accept proposals that request support for the initial development of networks that will catalyze positive changes in biology undergraduate education.

The Undergraduate Biology Education track in the Research Coordination Network program (RCN-UBE) considers proposals that will enhance communication and coordination among scientists and educators who are exploring new approaches to enhance undergraduate biology education. The proposed networking activities should have a theme as a focus of its collaboration. The focus could be on a broad research question, a specific group of organisms, or particular technologies or approaches. For details of the RCN program see:

To aid in the development of innovative RCN-UBE proposals, and in particular to assist initial networking efforts of scientists and educators who are developing proposals for the RCN-UBE track, we will accept proposals for up to $50,000 for one year. NSF will provide additional assistance to scientists and educators who are seeking to identify potential network participants by establishing a web site (Wiki) where individuals can post and review statements of interest in specific topics that may be the focus of an incubator or full RCN-UBE proposal.

Investigators who wish to have a project considered under the guidelines of this Dear Colleague Letter should submit a proposal to the RCN program in compliance with normal target dates and/or deadlines. The title of the project must include the prefix "RCN UBE-Incubator:", and the project description should not exceed eight pages. Descriptions of the RCN management plan, the RCN coordination plan, and the RCN information and material sharing, which are all required for a full RCN-UBE proposal, are not required for these proposals.

Proposals will be reviewed by standard review practices.

Proposers should review the RCN Program Solicitation to ensure that eligibility requirements are met. Investigators with an interest in the RCN-UBE track, and in these incubator proposals, are strongly encouraged to send a brief e-mail note of inquiry to to initiate discussion of potential proposal topics with an appropriate NSF program officer.

We look forward to receiving your proposals.

James P. Collins
Assistant Director, National Science Foundation
Biological Sciences

Wanda E. Ward
Acting Assistant Director, National Science Foundation
Education and Human Resources