OSP FO# 11-232

AGENCY: National Science Foundation (NSF)/Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO)

PROGRAM: Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology (PRFB)

OBJECTIVES: This program provides funding to recent doctoral degree recipients for research and training in selected areas of biology. In FY2012, this program offers Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology in three selected areas:

Broadening Participation in Biology – this program area seeks to increase the diversity of scientists at the postdoctoral level in biology, thereby contributing to the future vitality of the Nation’s scientific enterprise. The goal of the program is to prepare minority biologists and others who share NSF’s diversity goals for positions of scientific leadership in academia, industry, and government.

Intersections of Biology and Mathematical and Physical Sciences – this program area seeks to provide postdoctoral research and training opportunities to junior researchers who have conducted doctoral research in biology or physical and mathematical sciences and who present a research and training plan at the intersection of biology with mathematical and physical sciences. The goal of the fellowships is to provide an opportunity for cross-training to enhance the Fellow’s ability to conduct integrative and interdisciplinary research.

National Plant Genome Initiative (NPGI) Postdoctoral Research Fellowships – this program area seeks to provide postdoctoral training opportunities that target interdisciplinary research in plant improvement and associated sciences such as physiology and pathology, quantitative genetics, and computational biology.

Postdoctoral fellowships are awards to individuals, and applications are submitted directly by the applicant to NSF however, fellows must affiliate with a host institution during the entire tenure of the fellowship and the applicant is responsible for making prior arrangements with the host institution and sponsoring scientist(s). Fellowships may be conducted at any appropriate nonprofit U.S. or foreign host institution. The NSF encourages fellows to gain international experience by selecting foreign hosts for at least part of the tenure of the fellowship

Applicants to competitive area 1 or 2 may include a plan for up to an additional year of support during which the Fellow would gain experience in teaching at the undergraduate level and receive mentoring in teaching effectiveness in undergraduate settings. The teaching option is intended to be taken up following the completion of the research and training plan but may be requested at other times with the concurrence of the sponsoring scientist(s).

Please see the program announcement for further program details.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS: Applicants must be U.S. citizens, nationals, or legally admitted permanent residents of the United States; have earned or plan to earn a doctoral degree in a scientific or mathematical field prior to the start of the fellowship and have not accepted an academic appointment; and have not received other Federal funding of more than $20,000 or have submitted concurrently the same project to another NSF program. Applicants may submit only one fellowship application to NSF per fiscal year. There is no limit on the number of applicants that an institution may host.

DEADLINE: October 11, 2011

FUNDING INFORMATION: The NSF anticipates $5 to $6 million each year for competitive areas 1 and 2 and up to $4 million each year for NPGI Fellowships in FY 2012, FY 2013, and FY 2014.

The total fellowship amount is $60,000 for year 1 of the fellowship, $63,000 for year 2, and $66,000 for year 3 and consists of two types of payments: a stipend and a fellowship allowance. The stipend is $45,000 for year 1, $48,000 for year 2, and $51,000 for year 3 paid monthly at the rate of $3,750/$4,000/$4,250, respectively. The teaching option budget will be negotiated on a case-by-case basis and may carry a monthly stipend of up to $4,500 if paid during a fourth year. A fellowship allowance of $15,000 per year is provided and spent at the Fellow’s discretion, except foreign travel which requires prior NSF approval. This allowance is intended to cover costs of the fellowship and fringe benefits. Allowable research costs include travel, such as short-term visits to other institutions or laboratories, field work, and attendance at scientific meetings; training, special equipment, IT equipment and software, supplies, publication costs, access fees for databases and other research-related expenses. Allowable costs for fringe benefits include individual or family health insurance (any combination of medical, vision, and/or dental) whether purchased as a group or individual plan, disability insurance, retirement savings, dependent care, and moving expenses. All payments are made directly to the Fellow as an electronic funds transfer into a personal account at a financial institution.

The fellowship amount can be increased to include a Facilitation Award for Scientists and Engineers with Disabilities (FASED) and joint funding with the International Research Fellowship Program (IRFP) but otherwise cannot be increased or supplemented. When requesting FASED and IRFP funding, applicants should contact the NSF BIO Postdoctoral Fellowship Program prior to applying.

The Fellowship tenure under the Broadening Participation area is normally 36 continuous months. Fellowships under the Intersections area is normally 24 continuous months except when the Fellow spends more than a year abroad. In this case, the original application may request a 36-month tenure. Both fellowships can also include the teaching option for up to an additional 12 months. The fellowship tenure for NPGI Postdoctoral Fellowships is 36 continuous months.

AGENCY CONTACT:
Diana E. Anderson
Program Director
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard, Room 615 N
Arlington, Virginia 22230
Telephone: (703) 292-2209
Fax: (703) 292-9063
Email: danderso@nsf.gov
Web: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2011/nsf11499/nsf11499.htm

REMARKS: The fellowship application requires a sponsoring scientist statement. Because of the multidisciplinary focus of the fellowships, it is expected that dual sponsorship will be common. An important basis for judging the suitability of the host institution is the degree to which the sponsoring scientist statement describes and offers a research environment and mentoring opportunity that could not be obtained without fellowship support. Please see the program announcement above for more information regarding the sponsoring scientist statement.

Applications must be submitted via FastLane, NSF’s web-based system for proposal submission and review. For more information about FastLane, or to register as a FastLane user, please contact India Adams (adamsi@bu.edu) or A. B. Effgen (abeffgen@bu.edu) in the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP) at x3-4365. Investigators should contact the OSP Assistant Director assigned to their school or department as soon as possible to coordinate submission through FastLane.

Complete program guidelines and application material (NSF 11-499 and NSF GPG 11-1) may be obtained from the web site listed above or from the Office of Sponsored Programs (OSP). Please distribute this notice to any faculty or staff members who might be interested in the information. For more information, please contact the OSP at X3-4365 or ospinfo@bu.edu, or visit the OSP web site at http://www.bu.edu/osp.