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

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

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

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

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

IPBES Launches External Review of its Draft Scoping Report for the Nexus Assessment and Requests Input from Technical Experts 

The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), the organization established to improve the interface between science and policy on issues of biodiversity and ecosystem services, welcomes input from technical experts on the draft scoping report of its nexus assessment.  The focus of the nexus assessment is to produce information needed to achieve the policy objectives of … Read more

USDA Relaxes Regulations for GE Crops – How Will it Affect the Plant Research Community?

Chris Barbey, Ph.D. is a researcher at the University of Florida studying strawberry flavor and disease resistance.   Brand new USDA regulations for crop biotechnology will begin phasing in during June 2020. The new “SECURE” rules (Sustainable, Ecological, Consistent, Uniform, Responsible, Efficient) govern what is — and isn’t — required for USDA review before going … Read more

U.S. Federal Agency Responses and Research Opportunities: June 3-9, 2020

Weekly updates on the US federal government’s response to COVID-19 and research opportunities. Federal Guidance Related to Research and Higher Education National Science Foundation (NSF) On June 5, it was noted at the NSF Environmental Research and Education (ERE) Advisory Committee that the Civic Innovation Challenge (CIVIC) program expects to add sub-tracks related to COVID-19 … 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