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NSF 18-011

Dear Colleague Letter: Implementation of "No-Deadline," Full-proposal Submission Process for Most Programs in the Directorate for Biological Sciences

October 5, 2017

Dear Colleagues:

The Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) is notifying members of the research communities of important changes to the core program solicitations as noted below, effective in calendar year 2018.

In order to promote interdisciplinary research that crosses biological scales and traverses current divisional boundaries, BIO will implement a "no-deadline," full-proposal mechanism for receiving and reviewing proposals submitted to core programs in the Division of Environmental Biology (DEB), the Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS), the Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB), and to the programs in the Research Resources Cluster of the Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI).

By accepting proposals at any time, investigators will have greater opportunities to prepare their proposals, build strong collaborations, and think more creatively, thereby resulting in more complex, interdisciplinary projects that have the potential to dramatically advance biological science. We anticipate that the elimination of deadlines will reduce the burden on institutions and the community by expanding the submission period over the course of the year, in contrast to the previous fixed yearly deadlines.

For these changes to take effect, the core programs in DEB and IOS are discontinuing use of the preliminary proposal mechanism in 2018. There will be no call for preliminary proposals in January 2018.

Awards will be made, with FY 2018 funds, for full proposals that were invited for submission based on the review of preliminary proposals submitted in January, 2017 to DEB (solicitations NSF 17-512 and NSF 17-513) and to IOS (NSF 17-508). FY 2018 funds will also be used to make awards for full proposals submitted to MCB for the November 20, 2017 deadline (NSF 17-589) and to DBI for the August 14, 2017, September 8, 2017, and December 8, 2017 deadlines (NSF 15-577, NSF 15-582, and NSF 16-506 respectively). Thereafter, these solicitations will be archived and will no longer accept proposals. All four divisions will release new solicitations to replace these in the middle of calendar year 2018, inviting proposals to be funded with FY 2019 funds. There will be no deadlines for submissions to any of the new solicitations.

Additional information will be available in the near future in the form of Frequently Asked Questions, webinars, and presentations. You are strongly encouraged to register at to receive alerts of these documents and activities. Please direct your comments and questions about these changes to

James L. Olds

Assistant Director

Directorate for Biological Sciences