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Science Policy & Funding

Funding Opportunity: DOD Releases FY 2015 MURI BAA

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – September 24, 2014

On September 22, the Department of Defense (DOD) released the broad agency announcement (BAA) for the fiscal year (FY) 2015 Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) as part of the larger University Research Initiative (URI) aimed at institutions of higher education.  MURIs remain one of the signature DOD research programs for the university community and stand as the benchmark for building a defense-oriented research capability on campus.  DOD’s continuous increase of basic research budgets has slowed recently due to DOD leadership’s concern that these increases have subsequently diminished investment in more applied accounts.  The overall funding amount for FY 2015 MURI awards reflects this shift, though some in Congress have advocated for restoration of proposed cuts to basic research accounts in future DOD policy and spending legislation.

Through the MURI program, DOD seeks to fund basic research bringing together more than one scientific discipline focused on enhancing fundamental knowledge across fields related to national security.  DOD seeks to leverage its investment in basic research and notes that MURI research will have defense as well as commercial applications further downstream.  As in years past, DOD funds MURI research across a wide range of disciplines that vary by branch needs.  This year’s topics include: Read the rest of this entry »

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CNSF statement on Senate introduction of America Competes Act

From CNSF: 

The Coalition for National Science Funding (CNSF) thanked Chairman Jay Rockefeller and his colleagues on the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee for introducing legislation for reauthorization of the America COMPETES Act. CNSF states that it is pleased with the proposed five-year budget growth for the National Science Foundation (NSF), which acknowledges the importance of NSF and its dedication to funding research and education across all fields of science, engineering, and mathematics at all education levels.

View the full statement on the CNSF website.

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DARPA seeks approach to predict chikungunya virus spread

From Science Magazine:

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is turning to scientists to help forecast the next outbreak of the mosquito-borne chikungunya virus, announcing its first  health-related challenge. DARPA is offering $150,000 for the best new approach.   The virus causes high fever, joint and muscle pain, headache, nausea, fatigue, and rash While the infection is very rarely fatal, the painful swelling of joints is usually prolonged and can be disabling. DARPA has a special interest in protecting U.S. soldiers in different parts of the world from being infected.

Read the full story on sciencemag.org.

 

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NSF funding opportunity: Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future

From the NSF: 

Designing Materials to Revolutionize and Engineer our Future (DMREF) is the primary program through which the National Science Foundation participates in the national Materials Genome Initiative (MGI) for Global Competitiveness.  MGI recognizes the importance of materials science to the well-being and advancement of society and aims to “deploy advanced materials at least twice as fast as possible today, at a fraction of the cost.”

DMREF seeks to promote activities that significantly accelerate materials discovery and development by building the fundamental knowledge base needed to progress towards designing and making materials with specific and desired functions or properties from first principles.  Also of interest is research that seeks to advance fundamental understanding of materials across length and time scales to elucidate the effects of microstructure, surfaces, and coatings on the properties and performance of materials and devices.  Read the rest of this entry »

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BD2K Training program FOAs

From NIH/NCI: 

The NIH Big Data to Knowledge (BD2K, http://bd2k.nih.gov/) initiative announces the release of three related RFAs for new training programs and revisions to existing training programs in biomedical Big Data Science:

The first deadline for these applications is July 28, 2014, with an optional letter of intent due June 28, 2014.

Please view full details by going to the links above.

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New NSF Mathematical Sciences Innovation Incubator (MSII) activity

From the NSF: 

The National Science Foundation (NSF) Division of Mathematical Sciences (DMS) aims to enhance the synergistic relationships between the mathematical sciences and other NSF-supported disciplines through the Mathematical Sciences Innovation Incubator (MSII) activity. The MSII activity encourages and supports new research collaborations among mathematical scientists and other scientists and engineers working in NSF-supported research areas of high national priority by:

* facilitating DMS co-review and co-funding of multi-disciplinary research collaborations involving mathematical scientists;

* providing leverage for investments of non-DMS NSF programs in projects that include mathematical scientists; and

* providing a uniform mechanism through which collaborative research teams involving mathematical scientists can request DMS co-review.

To view more details, please visit the MSII page. To apply and to view this complete letter, go to:

http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2014/nsf14063/nsf14063.jsp

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FY 2015 Budget Request: Programs in applied mathematics and computational science

From Lewis-Burke Associates LLC: 

President Obama proposes significant national investments in agencies and programs critical to the applied mathematics and computational science research communities:

  • National Science Foundation  – $7.255 billion in FY 2015 (1.2 percent above the FY 2014 enacted funding level); DMS would see a decrease of 0.5 percent from the FY 2014 level.
  • Department of Energy’s Office of Science – $5.11 billion in FY 2015 (0.9 percent above the FY 2014 level), with Advanced Scientific Computing Research increasing 13.2 percent over the FY 2014 level;
  • Department of Defense Basic Research – $2.02 billion in FY 2015 (6.9 percent down from the FY 2014 level), with DARPA Defense Research Sciences decreasing by 0.9 percent from the FY 2014 request level.
  • National Institutes of Health – $30.4 billion in FY 2015 (0.7 percent over the FY 2014 level).

Please see a full report of Programs of Interest to the Applied Mathematics and Computational Science Communities in the President’s FY 2015 Budget Request.

 

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National Science Foundation Research Traineeship (NRT) Program

From the NSF: 

The NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program is a new NSF graduate education initiative. It is designed to encourage the development of bold, new, potentially transformative, and scalable models for STEM graduate training that ensure that graduate students develop the skills, knowledge, and competencies needed to pursue a range of STEM careers.

The NRT program initially has one priority research theme – Data-Enabled Science and Engineering (DESE); in addition, proposals are encouraged on any other crosscutting, interdisciplinary theme. In either case, proposals should identify the alignment of project research themes with national research priorities and the need for innovative approaches to train graduate students in those areas. NRT projects should develop evidence-based, sustainable approaches and practices that substantially improve STEM graduate education for NRT trainees and for STEM graduate students broadly at an institution. NRT emphasizes the development of competencies for both research and research-related careers.

View more details on the NSF site here.

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Development of Software and Analysis Methods for Biomedical Big Data

From the NSF:

The NIH Big Data to Knowledge initiative (BD2K,) recently announced the release of an RFA for software and methods development in biomedical Big Data Science:

Development of Software and Analysis Methods for Biomedical Big Data in Targeted Areas of High Need (U01) (RFA-HG-14-020):

http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/rfa-files/RFA-HG-14-020.html

This opportunity targets four topic areas of high need for researchers working with biomedical Big Data,

1.    Data Compression/Reduction

2.    Data Provenance

3.    Data Visualization

4.    Data Wrangling

The receipt deadline for applications is June 19, 2014, with an optional letter of intent due May 19, 2014.

BD2K is a new major trans-NIH initiative that aims to support advances in data science, other quantitative sciences, policy, and training that are needed for the effective use of Big Data in biomedical research. Interested applicants are encouraged to join the listserv (on the BD2K homepage) to receive the most up-to-date information about BD2K events and funding opportunities.

Please share this opportunity with your interested colleagues. If you have questions, please contact David Miller at bd2k_targeted@mail.nih.gov.

 

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Funding Opportunity: NSF Announces New Ideas Labs on Undergraduate STEM Education

Lewis-Burke Associates LLC – January 29

On January 26, the National Science Foundation (NSF) released a Dear Colleague Letter entitled “Preparing Applications to Participate in Phase I Ideas Labs on Undergraduate STEM Education.”  NSF will be hosting three ideas labs in March and April on improving science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in the areas of engineering, biology, and geosciences. Applications are due February 4.

NSF Ideas Labs bring together a group of participants with expertise in a relevant area to work in teams over a five day, intensive workshop to develop proposals.  Following the workshop, select teams will be invited to submit proposals to a competition for funding.  Ideas Labs generally involve 20-30 participants who are assisted by scientists with relevant expertise and a team of facilitators.  Ideas Labs provide an opportunity to form new multidisciplinary collaborations and gain real-time iterative feedback to improve proposal ideas.

Each of the disciplines involved in the Ideas Labs have outlined their priority workforce development needs in the Dear Colleague Letter.  The biology Ideas Lab will focus on giving students mathematical and computational skills, the engineering Ideas Lab will focus on social equality in engineering education, and the geosciences Ideas Lab will focus on broader access to undergraduate courses for diverse populations.  Read the rest of this entry »

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