Engineering Drought-Resistant Crops with Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM) Photosynthesis

This work examines requirements for introducing CAM and alternative water-saving pathways into C3 plants in different environments. ASPB is pleased to announce the publication of noteworthy research investigating water-saving alternatives for photosynthesis in temperate environments, which are likely to become hotter and drier in the future. Drought causes major crop losses in many regions of … Read more

Funding Opportunity: NSF Releases Mid-Career Advancement Program Solicitation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently released a solicitation for the new Mid-Career Advancement (MCA) program.  NSF recognizes that while the mid-career timeframe is essential for advancing research, many faculty have to balance research with other demands, such as teaching and service activities.  Through this solicitation, NSF intends to support “protected time” to mid-career researchers … Read more

Help ASPB Push Back – Hard! – Against the DHS’s Proposed New Rules for International Students

Whether you are a citizen of, resident in, or visitor to the United States, the Trump Administration’s proposed new rules for F & J visa holders are bound to adversely impact you and your research projects, sooner or later. If implemented, these new rules from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would also severely … Read more

ASPB’s Response to Proposed DHS Rulemaking on Student Visas

On behalf of the thousands of members of the American Society of Plant Biologists (ASPB), we write to express our opposition to the proposal titled “Establishing a Fixed Time Period of Admission and an Extension of Stay Procedure for Nonimmigrant Academic Students, Exchange Visitors, and Representatives of Foreign Information Media.” (DHS Docket No. ICEB2019-0006). This … Read more

Agency Update: DOE Office of Science Continues to Provide Maximum Flexibility on Grants During COVID-19

On September 24, the Director of the Office of Science, Dr. Chris Fall, released a memo to Office of Science applicants and awardees to provide an update on the administration of grants and other awards during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The Office of Science continues to be “committed to maximum flexibility in administering awards, recognizing potential … Read more

Funding Opportunity: DOE Office of Science Releases Open Funding Call for Basic Research

The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science recently released its fiscal year (FY) 2021 open funding call for basic research.  The FY 2021 Continuation of Solicitation for the Office of Science Financial Assistance Program is an annual, open solicitation that funds grant applications in all six major Office of Science programs, including Advanced Scientific … Read more

Policy Update: Uneven Implementation of Executive Order on Race and Sex Stereotyping

This update follows the September 24 Lewis-Burke note “Policy Update: President Trump Releases Executive Order on ‘Race and Sex Stereotyping’ Impacting Federal Grants and Contractors.” Background On September 4, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issued memorandum M-20-34, which directed executive branch agencies to end trainings on topics such as “critical race … Read more

Multisociety Letter on Executive Actions Impacting Diversity Training

ASPB signs on to two letters urging the Office of Management and Budget and the Office of Science and Technology Policy to rescind the September 4th memorandum and September 22nd Executive Order (EO) to eliminate federal employee training programs related to diversity, equity and inclusion. “Such constraints are antithetical to the progress we seek to … Read more

Agency Update: DHS Proposes Replacing Visa Duration of Status Policies

This week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced a proposed rule that would replace the current Duration of Status policies for F, J, and I visa holders with fixed time periods of admission, as a way to increase oversight over these categories of nonimmigrants.  The proposed fixed length of time would not exceed four … Read more

Policy Update: President Trump Releases Executive Order on “Race and Sex Stereotyping” Impacting Federal Grants and Contractors

On September 22, President Trump released an Executive Order (EO), entitled “Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping.”  The EO has implications for federal agencies, grantees, and contractors and is a follow-up to a September 4 executive memorandum, M-20-34, which directed executive branch agencies to end trainings on topics such as “critical race theory,” … Read more

Funding Opportunity: NSF Releases Sustainable Regional Systems Research Networks Solicitation

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has released a new cross-agency solicitation for Sustainable Regional Systems Research Networks (SRS RNs) to advance convergent science, engineering, and education research to create more sustainable regional systems.  The Research Networks will seek understanding of the connections between rural and urban communities integrating data collection, outcomes, theories of change, generalizable … Read more

ARPA-E Announces Energy and Carbon Optimized Synthesis for the Bioeconomy Program

The Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) released a $25 million funding opportunity for new technologies to improve the carbon efficiency of bioconversion platforms. The Energy and Carbon Optimized Synthesis for the Bioeconomy (ECOSynBio) program seeks to establish pathways for low-, zero-, or negative-carbon fuels, chemicals, and materials for a robust and secure U.S. … Read more

Agency Update: HHS Seeks Input on Screening Guidance for Synthetic Double-Stranded DNA

The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has issued a Request for Information (RFI) pertaining to the agency’s 2010 framework for providers of synthetic double-stranded DNA (dsDNA). This framework aims to mitigate the potential biosecurity risks of certain dsDNA products being … Read more

Agency Update: DARPA Announces 2021 Young Faculty Award Proposers Day

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Defense Sciences Office (DSO) will be holding a proposers day webcast on September 25, 2020 in anticipation of releasing its 2021 Young Faculty Award Program (YFA) research announcement (RA). DARPA’s YFA program aims to expose rising stars in junior faculty or equivalent positions at academic and non-profit research institutions … Read more

Plant Science Research Network Releases Decadal Vision 2020-2030

Research network presents action plan for the plant science community to maximize impact on pressing global issues such as human health and climate change.  Plant science research has tremendous potential to address pressing global issues including climate change, food insecurity and sustainability. However, without sustained investment in plant science, the necessary research to generate innovative … Read more

National Academy of Sciences 2020 member highlight – Barbara Valent

By Yun-Ting Kao (Plantae Fellow) This year, nine plant scientists have been elected to the National Academy of  Science. We asked the newly elected plant scientists about how the news of their election to the NAS reached them, what inspires their research, and for their advice for early career researchers. Barbara Valent is a University … Read more

Funding Opportunity – NSF Announces Two Lead Agency Opportunities in Collaboration with International Partners

On August 31, the National Science Foundation (NSF) announced, via two Dear Colleague Letters (DCL), new opportunities to support international collaboration.  Specifically, the two DCLs will enable collaborative projects in specific research areas with the UK and with France to undergo a single review under lead agency agreements.  Both lead agency opportunities allow for reciprocal … Read more

Multisociety Letter Addressing the Impacts of Persistent, Systemic Racism

On September 1, ASPB joined more than 70 scientific organizations to support the call of House Science Chairwoman Eddie Bernice Johnson for a National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) study to “identify policies, strategies, and practices that have been the most successful in preventing and addressing systemic racism” in academia. Read the Letter … Read more