NSF Directorate of Biological Sciences Update

The  changes announced in the October 2017 Dear Colleague Letter from the Biological Sciences  Directorate went into effect with the beginning of the federal 2018 calendar year. These changes impact most programs within the directorate.  Summarized here, the full text of the letter can be found online at https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2018/nsf18011/nsf18011.pdf.

  • “No-deadline” mechanism introduced for full-proposal receipt and review to allow interdisciplinary teams ample time to build strong teams and to prepare well-crafted applications to core programs within the following.

    • Division of Environmental Biology (DEB)

      • No preliminary proposals in federal year 2018

    • Division of  Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS)

      • No preliminary proposals in federal year 2018

    • Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB)

    • Research Resources Cluster of the Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI)

A new (October 2018) Dear Colleague letter announced the release of new solicitations in addition to the core programs. Check out the Rules of Life track! See https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/big_ideas/life.jsp

To accommodate the anticipated increase in proposal submissions, individuals are now limited on the number of times they may serve as PI or CoPI. Note one can submit to multiple Divisions. Likewise, there is NO cap on the number of times one can be listed as subaward PIs (Senior Personnel).


Proposal limit as PI/CoPI









Rules of Life track


Programs like the CAREER and REU sites programs have their own deadlines and solicitations that will not be impacted by these changes.

Published: Oct 17, 2018 11:56am