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

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

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

Funding Opportunity: NSF Announces Second Solicitation to Support National Artificial Intelligence (AI) Research Institutes

The National Science Foundation (NSF) announced its second solicitation to support national artificial intelligence (AI) research institutes through the National AI Research Institutes Program.  This solicitation is a joint activity with the United States Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science & Technology Directorate (S&T), the United States Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), … Read more

Funding Opportunity: NSF Releases Solicitation for Biology Integration Institutes

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) released the second solicitation for its Biology Integration Institutes (BII) as part of its continued effort to facilitate a “unification of biology.” BII will support research collaborations across disciplines, both within and beyond biology, that address an overarching biological theme and will fund awards of … Read more

Funding Opportunity: NSF Innovation in Graduate Education Acceleration Hub

The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently released its fiscal year (FY) 2020 solicitation for the Innovations in Graduate Education (IGE) program.  In addition to accepting regular project proposals for grants through the IGE program, NSF for this competition will also be accepting proposals for a one-time cooperative agreement award to create an IGE Innovation Acceleration … Read more

Funding Opportunity: AFRI Releases RFA for Foundational and Applied Science Program

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) recently released a request for applications (RFA) for the Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Foundational and Applied Science (FAS) program. The fiscal year 2021 and 2022 program will distribute approximately $290 million each year to support research and extension proposals to … Read more

Funding Opportunity: NIFA Releases Funding Opportunity for the Agricultural Genome to Phenome Initiative

On June 5, the National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) released a request for applications (RFA) for the Agricultural Genome to Phenome Initiative (AG2PI).  AG2PI was authorized in the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 (Farm Bill) and received its first funding in fiscal year (FY) 2020.  This new funding opportunity seeks proposals that will … Read more

FFAR Releases Crops of the Future RFA

On May 27, the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) released a request for application (RFA) through its Crops of the Future Collaborative.  FFAR is seeking transformative research and technologies “focused on ensuring under-appreciated crops also benefit from recent advances and emerging technologies for genotype-independent regeneration of fertile plants to foster application of rapid breeding … Read more

Agency Update: USDA Releases Agriculture Innovation Agenda

On February 20, the Deputy Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics Scott Hutchins announced the long-anticipated Agriculture Innovation Agenda. This effort has been a long-term priority of Deputy Under Secretary Hutchins and outlines target objectives for a future innovation strategy at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The Agenda identifies several clear benchmark objectives … Read more

Washington Update – ASPB Member Appointed to Second Term on National Science Board

Dr. Roger Beachy, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Biology at Washington University in St. Louis, has been included on the President’s list of intended nominees to the National Science Board (NSB), which governs the work of the National Science Foundation.  Of the eight members of NSB whose six-year terms are ending in 2020, Dr. … Read more

NIFA Extends Deadlines for Proposal Submission to AFRI Programs

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) announced that is extending deadlines for its Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) program (https://nifa.usda.gov/program/agriculture-and-food-research-initiative-afri). AFRI issued additional guidance that while other deadlines have not been extended, proposers whose applications would be delayed due to “valid extenuating circumstances” should contact the … Read more

Policy Update – Department of Agriculture Releases Five-Year Science Blueprint

On February 6, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) published a new strategic document to steer future science activities for the Department through 2025.  The USDA Science Blueprint is intended to provide direction and focus as the agencies within USDA strive for a more coordinated scientific enterprise.  A primary goal of the document is the … Read more

Policy Update – NASA Releases Early Career Solicitation Towards Plant/Food Production Technologies

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Space Technology Mission Directorate released a NASA Research Announcement (NRA) titled “Space Technology Research, Development, Demonstration, and Infusion-2020 (SpaceTech-REDDI-2020).”  The purpose of an NRA is to address future technological challenges of the aerospace enterprise that encourage economic growth and space research objectives.  Included in this specific solicitation are several … Read more

Policy Update – FFAR Releases 2020 New Innovator Award, Eliminates Match Requirement

The Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research (FFAR) released its 2020 solicitation for the New Innovator Award.  This award offers support to new faculty members in the first three years of their careers to “promote career advancement of highly creative and promising new scientists who intend to make a long-term career commitment to research in … Read more