Funding Opportunity for Post-Bac Research

NSF has released a Dear Colleague Letter highlighting an RFP for PIs on active awards. Learn more about this new program in this letter from NSF Communications Specialist Jared Dashoff.

The National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) recognizes the importance of early-career research experiences, especially for individuals contemplating a career in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) research. We also recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic has denied many undergraduates – especially those from groups underrepresented in STEM – such a research experience, whether it was to be supported by a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site, REU supplements, or individual arrangements with faculty mentors.

In light of this, NSF BIO has issued a new Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), Research Experience for Post-Baccalaureate Students (REPS), which invites Principal Investigators (PI) of active awards to submit a supplemental funding request to support the research training of post-baccalaureate students.

For the purposes of this DCL, a post-baccalaureate student is defined as an individual who has a bachelor’s degree but is not currently enrolled in another degree program. These students are no longer eligible to participate as an REU student and, thus, may have been denied the valuable opportunity to engage in independent research.

Through this DCL opportunity, we expect that PIs will provide the REPS participants with an independent but guided research project and professional development to better prepare them for graduate education or entry into the workforce. Ideally, the REPS participants will be involved in the development of their research project.

REPS supplemental funding requests will be reviewed for funding consideration upon receipt. To receive full funding consideration for FY2021, requests should be submitted by July 2, 2021. Supplemental funding requests submitted after that date will be considered if funds are available.  Full information on this invitation can be found on the NSF website at: Please direct any questions pertaining to this DCL to:

  • Sally O’Connor, Program Director, Division of Biological Infrastructure,
  • Paulyn Cartwright, Program Director, Division of Integrative Organismal Systems,
  • Marcia Newcomer, Program Director, División of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences,
  • Chris Balakrishnan, Program Director, Division of Environmental Biology,


Jared Dashoff

Communications Specialist

Office of the Assistant Director for Biological Sciences

Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO)

National Science Foundation (NSF)


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