Opportunity Update

The Opportunity Update (OU) is a weekly newsletter of selected research funding opportunities, postdoctoral fellowships, graduate fellowships and notices about events and programs of interest to the Virginia Tech research community.

An archive of all the updates is available online.

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DECEMBER 14, 2007 | FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

Although we have a good representation of this week's funding opportunities listed here, we could not possibly include every notice that might be of interest to everyone on campus. We suggest that you sign up for the Community of Science Funding Alert and consult the other resources available through this site.

 NOTICE

Limited Submission Process Changes
Office of the Vice President for Research

The Office of the Vice President for Research announces that the Limited Submission process has been automated. Effective December 10, 2007, submissions will be handled through the OVPR website at http://www.research.vt.edu/limitsubs.

Virginia Tech researchers interested in participating in the Limited Submission process can now do so electronically. After submitting a Notice of Intent on-line, researchers will automatically be notified about their status in the process. This information will include word that no competition exists and a submission can go forward to the funding agency or that an internal competition must be held and pre-proposals are required. At each stage of the Limited Submission process, researchers will receive e-mails keeping them abreast of various due dates, all in an effort to eliminate confusion and missed communications.

Other policies and procedures for Limited Submissions will remain the same except for those involving Tobacco Commission pre-proposals which have their own rules. Limited submissions will continue to be listed on the OVRP website calendar and in the Opportunity Update. The Limited Subs deadlines will also be available through RSS which can be subscribed to from the Limited Subs web page. If you have questions or problems with the new process, contact Larry Quisenberry at lquisenb@vt.edu or 1-5452.

 DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE

Integrated Organic Program (Organic Transitions and Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative) - USDA-CSREES-ICGP-001150
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES)
Integrated Research, Education, and Extension Competitive Grants Program

The Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) is requesting applications for the Integrated Organic Program for fiscal year (FY) 2008 to solve critical organic agriculture issues, priorities, or problems through the integration of research, education, and extension activities in two program areas: (1) Organic Transitions Program (ORG); and (2) Organic Agriculture Research and Extension Initiative (OREI). ORG funds the development and implementation of research, extension and higher education programs to improve the competitiveness of organic producers. OREI funds research and extension programs that enhance the ability of producers and processors who have already adopted organic standards to grow and market high quality organic food, feed, and fiber. More information

Deadline: January 9, 2008

Wood Education and Resource Center Competitive Grants Program for Fiscal Year 2008
United States Department of Agriculture
Forest Service

The USDA Forest Service, Wood Education and Resource Center (WERC), located in Princeton, WV, is accepting applications for cost-share demonstration projects that assist the WERC in meeting its mission of facilitating interaction and information exchange with the forest products industry that will enhance opportunities for sustained forest products production in the eastern hardwood forest region (VA). The anticipated funding available this fiscal year is expected to be approximately $1 million. Final amount will be determined once the Forest Service has received it's official budget for Fiscal Year 2008.

Completed applications are due to the WERC on or before February 4, 2008. Priority will be given to projects that accomplish one or more of the following items:
   - Maintain the economic competitiveness of the primary and secondary hardwood industries. Examples include encouraging the adoption of new technology to improve competitiveness and profitability.
   - Bring information and technology about processing, marketing and business-related skills to existing and emerging businesses involved in the development and manufacturing of wood products.
   - Bring information and technology to existing and emerging businesses that focus on urban wood utilization, hazardous fuels reductions, utilization options geared to improving stewardship, forest health, or the use of low value woody biomass.
   - Develop technology and markets to address emergency (global or domestic) issues including: 1.) Phytosanitation of wood packaging materials, firewood and similar products to eliminate these pathways for the transport of insect and disease pests, and 2.) development of markets for and utilization of unpredicted increases in volume of urban and rural wood due to incidents like new pest introductions (e.g. EAB) and weather events (e.g. tornados, ice storms).
   - Increase the sustainable use of woody biomass to meet our nation's energy and raw materials needs. Examples include public/private partnerships for the use of woody biomass in heating and cooling, process energy, cogeneration, district energy systems, and solid and liquid fuel production. Projects may also develop or maintain local markets and forest industry infrastructure through the increased utilization of woody biomass for both energy and value-added products.
   - Provide key information to address the economic, social, and ecological aspects of woody biomass production and use: including sustainable supplies, harvesting techniques, forest management, plantation development, and environmental implications. More information

Deadline: February 4, 2008

Microbial Genomics (A): Genome Sequencing - 08-511
United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)
Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES)

As a collaborative, interagency effort, the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and the National Science Foundation (NSF) are soliciting proposals for the Microbial Genome Sequencing Project. The availability of genome sequences provides the foundation for understanding how microorganisms function and live, and how they interact with their environments and with other organisms. The sequences are expected to be available to and used by a community of investigators to address issues of scientific and societal importance including - novel aspects of microbial biochemistry, physiology, metabolism, development and cellular biology; - the diversity and the roles microorganisms play in complex ecosystems and in global geochemical cycles; - the impact that microorganisms have on the productivity and sustainability of agriculture and natural resources (e.g., forestry, soil and water), and on the safety and quality of the nation's food supply; and - the organization and evolution of microbial genomes, and the mechanisms of transmission, exchange and reshuffling of genetic information. More information

Deadline: February 19, 2008

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 DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

No new program announcements this week.

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 DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE

Advanced Technologies for Detection, Discrimination, and Remediation of Military Munitions (SEED)
United States Department of Defense (DOD)
Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP)
SEED Solicitation (Federal and Non-Federal)
Munitions Management

The Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SERDP) is the Department of Defense's (DoD) corporate environmental R&D program, planned and executed in full partnership with the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), with participation by numerous other federal and non-federal organizations. Within its broad areas of interest, the program focuses on Environmental Restoration, Munitions Management, Sustainable Infrastructure, and Weapons and Systems Platforms.

The objective of this Statement of Need (SON) is to develop sensors, signal processing, platforms, systems, supporting technologies, phenomenology studies, or remediation technologies to address the diverse challenges associated with the cleanup of munitions and explosives of concern (MEC)-contaminated sites and sites contaminated with unexploded ordnance (UXO) and related items.

Capabilities are needed for a wide variety of site conditions, particularly those with difficult geology, terrain and vegetation, and complex ordnance and clutter distributions. Many sites or sections of sites have sparsely distributed subsurface ordnance and clutter items that can clearly be separated, while other areas have almost continuously overlapping suspected items, which need to be assessed. Ordnance ranging from 20-mm projectiles to 2000-lb bombs must be detected and discriminated from other non-hazardous items in the subsurface, although proposals need not address the entire range of potential ordnance. More information

Deadline: March 6, 2008

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 DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION

No new program announcements this week.

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 DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Atmospheric Radiation Measurement Climate Research Facility (ACRF)
United States Department of Energy (DOE)

The U.S. Department of Energy's Atmospheric Radiation Measurement (ARM) Program is now accepting requests for pre-proposals for use of the ARM Climate Research Facility's (ACRF's) ARM Mobile Facility (AMF) and Aerial Vehicles Program (AVP) services in FY 2010. ACRF users regularly conduct field campaigns to augment routine data acquisitions and to test and validate new instruments. Any field campaign that is proposed, planned, and implemented at one or more research sites is referred to as an intensive operational period (IOP). IOPs are held using the fixed and mobile sites; Southern Great Plains, North Slope of Alaska, Tropical Western Pacific, ARM Mobile Facility (AMF), and Aerial Vehicles Program (AVP). The AVP provides aerial measurement platforms that can be used to support experiments at the fixed sites, in conjunction with the mobile facility, or in support of other research activities independent of the ACRF. More information

Deadline: February 1, 2008

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 DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES

The Relationship Between Hypertension and Inflammation (R01)
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

The goal of this initiative is to foster the study of how hypertension and inflammation contribute to each other and whether a causal relationship exists between the elevation of blood pressure and the production of inflammatory factors.

Some examples of research topics for this PA include, but are not limited to, the following:
- determine the temporal relationship responsible for induction of cytokines by angiotensin II and other vasoactive substances,
- determine the temporal relationship between hypertension and inflammation,
- elucidate the role of ROS as the common transducing signals for hypertension and the inflammatory responses,
- identify the biochemical pathways and proteins which are targeted by oxidase-derived ROS, including post-translational modification,
- establish the genetic basis of the altered responsiveness to angiotensin II and other ROS-producing factors,
- determine whether biomarkers, such as ROS and C-reactive protein, are causally related to the inflammatory state and high blood pressure, and
- examine the mechanisms responsible for ROS generation and the endogenous antioxidant enzymes responsible for their removal.
More information

Deadline: February 5, 2008, June 5, 2008, and October 5, 2008

Prioritizing Molecular Targets for Cancer Prevention with Nutritional Combinations (R01)
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

This funding opportunity announcement, issued by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS) solicits innovative research project (R01) grant applications to enhance mechanistic understanding of the dynamic interrelationship between bioactive food components and/or food combinations and cancer prevention. Projects proposed in response to this announcement must focus on either multiple dietary bioactive components, intact foods, and/or multiple foods utilizing physiologically relevant concentrations of the bioactive agents. The objective is to investigate the impact of dietary components on complex cellular and molecular networks to better understand the basis for the multifaceted interactions of food components in cancer prevention. Proposed projects should apply new high-throughput genomic, epigenomic, proteomic, and metabolomic technologies to either evaluate multiple molecular targets within a cancer process or multiple processes. The main outcome of these studies must be the prioritization of targets/processes that are most relevant to cancer prevention by dietary components. The overall long-term goal is to use such information in developing dietary strategies to reduce cancer risk and/or modify tumor behavior. More information

Deadline: February 5, 2008, June 5, 2008, and October 5, 2008

Structural Biology of Membrane Proteins (R01)
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The purpose of this program is to encourage applications for research that will lead to the determination of membrane protein structures at high resolution. In addition to the structures of integral membrane proteins, the structures of the complexes formed between these proteins and their biological partners are of interest. Despite increases in the number of solved structures, the knowledge of membrane protein structures still lags far behind that of soluble proteins.

Applications are sought both for the development of new methods to approach the problem and for the application of current methods to the solution of specific membrane protein structures. Areas of interest include innovative methods for production of membrane proteins in sufficient quantities for characterization and structural studies of membrane proteins. Novel approaches to cloning, expression, oligomeric assembly, solubilization, stabilization and purification of membrane proteins are needed to advance the production of structurally and functionally intact membrane proteins suitable for structural studies. Innovative methods are also needed for structure determination, including crystallization, phasing, isotopic labeling, and collecting x-ray crystallographic, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), and other relevant data.

It is recognized that novel solutions may arise during the course of efforts to solve the structures of specific membrane proteins as well as through focused efforts stressing methods development. Investigators with different perspectives and backgrounds and with significant interests in the determination of membrane protein structures are particularly encouraged to apply. More information

Deadline: February 5, 2008, June 5, 2008, and October 5, 2008

Development of Disease Biomarkers (R01)
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

This funding opportunity will provide resources to validate candidate biomarkers for well-defined human diseases of the liver, kidney, urological tract, digestive and hematologic systems; endocrine and metabolic disorders; diabetes and its complications; and obesity, for which there are no or very few biomarkers, or for which standard biomarkers are currently prohibitively invasive or expensive. A biomarker is an indicator of a disease process, and could replace hard clinical end points as a measure of the effect of new therapies. Responsive studies will validate candidate biomarkers in well-defined patient populations, provide new technologies to monitor biomarkers or establish reliable assays for validated markers. More information

Deadline: February 5, 2008, June 5, 2008, and October 5, 2008

Nutrition and Diet in the Causation, Prevention, and Management of Heart Failure (R01)
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The purpose of this program announcement (PA) is to encourage submission of investigator-initiated research applications on the role of nutrition and diet in the causation, prevention, and treatment of cardiomyopathies and heart failure. Basic, translational, and applied interdisciplinary research applications with rigorous hypothesis-testing study designs using animals or humans are of interest. The overall goal is to develop a satisfactory science base for preventive approaches in high-risk individuals and for rational nutritional management of patients in various stages of heart failure. More information

Deadline: February 5, 2008, and June 5, 2008

Insulin Signaling And Receptor Cross-Talk (R01)
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and the National Institute on Aging (NIA), National Institutes of Health (NH), invite investigator-initiated research grant applications that will investigate crosstalk in insulin responses at molecular, cellular, and physiological levels. The purpose of this program is to stimulate novel and innovative research into the fundamental mechanisms of action of the insulin receptor in target tissues in the context of other cellular receptors and signaling pathways, and to broaden our understanding of how insulin signals act to regulate coordinated responses between and among insulin responsive tissues. Of particular interest is how such signaling interactions may affect the development and/or progression of diabetes and its complications. More information

Deadline: February 5, 2008, June 5, 2008, and October 5, 2008

Rapid Assessment Post-Impact of Disaster (RAPID) - (R03)
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)

The purpose of this program announcement (PA) is to provide a rapid funding mechanism for research on the post-impact of disasters, in order to permit access to a disaster area in the immediate aftermath of the event. The regular grant submission, review, and funding process is lengthy, such that it requires investigators who would conduct such studies to wait a minimum of nine months after the submission of the application to obtain the research funds, during which time important data may be lost. An emergency event of potential significance for mental health may occur with little or no warning (e.g., Hurricane Andrew, the Los Angeles earthquake, the Oklahoma bombing, or the terrorist attacks of September 2001, including bioterrorism) and therefore modified procedures are required to expedite the funding of research applications on such events.

The Traumatic Stress Research Program of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) recognizes that prompt assessment may be crucial to many kinds of mental health disaster studies, including those that focus on service seeking, on efficacy of outreach or prevention efforts, and on identifying high-risk victims on the basis of early response. Advances regarding post-traumatic psychopathology, which build on findings from basic research on cognitive processing, arousal, and memory, highlight the need for rapid data collection in the days and weeks following natural and human caused events. Rapidly supported pilot-type studies on the symptoms and course of traumatic stress reactions, the organization and delivery of mental health services, and approaches to intervention, can lay the foundation for larger studies on the neurobiological nature, cause, pathogenesis, treatment, and prevention of these conditions.

This kind of research most often has a serious urgency with regard to availability of, or access to, data or facilities. The Rapid Assessment Post-Impact of Disaster (RAPID) grants described in this PA are designed to provide a limited sum of money for early assessment to investigators who intend to follow up with a full research application, using the preliminary data from this initial effort as a basis for their larger application. More information

Deadline: Continuous.

Protein Interactions Governing Membrane Transport in Pulmonary Health and Disease (R01)
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Completion of the human genome project and technological advances provide, for the first time, a unique opportunity to identify the key protein interactions and biological processes associated with membrane trafficking in pulmonary health and disease. These in turn will permit the rational development of means to stimulate misfolded protein trafficking from the ER to the cell surface. The purpose of this initiative is to delineate the global protein interactions governing membrane trafficking pathways operative in pulmonary health and disease and develop novel therapeutic interventions.

Listed below are examples of areas of interest. Research relevant to this program announcement is not limited to these examples. Studies with human lung specimens are especially solicited.
1. Identification and functional characterization of key or global protein interactions and pathways involved in folding and biosynthesis, processing and trafficking in the normal lung.
2. Characterization of the protein interaction networks and pathways regulating transport and function in lung disease.
3. Determination of the role of the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway in maintenance of lung homeostasis and its dysfunction in disease.
4. Examination of the functional, physiological, and health consequences of rescuing mutant/misfolded protein from degradation.
5. Determination of how global protein interactions respond to environmental challenges such as infection; assess the interactions in different compartments, the temporal stoichiometry, and the regulatory inputs that modify these interactions.
6. Identification of new drug targets for novel treatment strategies that promote trafficking of mutant protein and functional correction of the transport defec.
7. Development of new and improved high throughput methods of evaluating multiple protein interactions, their quantification, and for testing drugs that may influence these interactions.
8. Manipulation of proteasome dysfunction as a potential therapeutic intervention in pulmonary disease for both conformational and non-conformational disorders of specific proteins.
9. Elucidation of the mechanisms by which lung cells handle and sequester normal and misfolded proteins into aggresomes in pulmonary health and disease.
10. Identification of mechanisms underlying protein processing and trafficking pathways in common lung diseases, in addition to rare lung diseases, need to be explored.
More information

Deadline: February 5, 2008, June 5, 2008, and October 5, 2008

Technology Development in Epigenetics (R01) (R21)
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The NIH invites qualified investigators from academic or research institutions to submit an application for this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) with the goal of stimulating the development of revolutionary epigenetics technologies. Transforming technologies are needed to enable researchers to discover, monitor and catalogue epigenetic events, changes, and alterations related to development and disease. This FOA focuses on innovative research developing new technologies that will significantly change the way that epigenetics research can be performed. There is a sibling announcement to this FOA focused on similar projects, that may not necessarily have preliminary data, using the R21 mechanism (RFA-RM-07-012). In the long term, advances in these areas will enhance our ability to investigate, diagnose and ameliorate human disease with a significant epigenetic component. More information and additional information

Deadline: February 14, 2008

Discovery of Novel Epigenetic Marks in Mammalian Cells (R01) (R21)
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The goal of this funding opportunity announcement (FOA) is to stimulate the identification of novel epigenetic marks and establish their utility in mammalian cells. It is anticipated that the results of these studies would quickly be translated to global epigenome mapping in human cells. Epigenetic processes are critical to the normal development and function of multicellular organisms. Understanding these processes and in particular their susceptibility to perturbation may provide novel insights into disease pathogenesis and therapeutic approaches. This FOA is restricted to studies in mammalian cells which propose to identify novel epigenetic marks and validate their role in transcriptional silencing or activation. There is a companion announcement to this FOA, focused on discovery of putative epigenetic mechanisms in both mammalian and non-mammalian model systems, using the R21 mechanism (RFA-RM-07-016). In the long term, advances in these areas will enhance our ability to investigate, diagnose and ameliorate human disease with a significant epigenetic component. More information and additional information

Deadline: February 14, 2008

Studies of the Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) of Human Microbiome Research (R01)
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The purpose of this FOA is to solicit applications for studies that address the ethical, legal, and social implications (ELSI) of human microbiome research: the study and application of the metagenomic analysis of the human microbiota. Both proximal issues related to the conduct of this research and distal issues related to potential applications of the research are within the scope of this initiative.

The complex and dynamic communities of microbes that are present on and within the human body (the human microbiota) are thought to be able to profoundly influence human physiology, nutrition, immunity and development. Disruption of community dynamics may play a role in triggering, or be affected by, disease or may interfere with normal development.

Manipulation of microbial communities may, on the other hand, be a means of promoting health or recovery from disease. However, the full range and magnitude of any such effects or uses are not known. Understanding the human microbiota, therefore, is an untapped area of knowledge that may be vital for the understanding, prevention and treatment of human diseases.

Genomic approaches to the study of the collective DNA of community members of the human microbiome have been spurred by recent advances in DNA sequencing and other technologies, and have created the new field of metagenomics (determining the DNA sequence of genomes from a mixed community of organisms), allowing genomic and other -omic analysis of the human microbiome to begin. More information

Deadline: February 15, 2008

Development and Application of Nanotechnology-based Tools to Understand Mechanisms of Bioremediation (R01)
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences (NIEHS)

The purpose of this solicitation is to enhance the overall understanding of the basic structural and functional properties of biological populations that are involved in the bioremediation of hazardous substances by integrating or adapting innovative nanotechnology-based tools for sensing, detecting, and elucidating processes at the molecular and nano-scale. Nanotechnologies, defined as the use and manipulation of matter at dimensions between 1 and 100nm, show potential for real-time assessment of changes in microbial species composition, alterations in nutrient transfer, and detection of spatio-temporal characteristics of the ecosystem. With a better understanding of these phenomena, NIEHS will be better equipped to determine and therefore overcome the rate-limiting steps in bioremediation applications, such as lack of essential nutrients or critical bacterial species, or co-contaminant toxicity. By studying the fundamental processes responsible for biologically-mediated reduction or stabilization of environmental contaminants, work funded under this RFA will be a step towards promoting improved bioremediation processes. It is the intent of this initiative to develop the mechanistic understanding of the science and foster the integration of these new techniques to substantially advance bioremediation practices. More information

Deadline: February 15, 2008

School-Based Interventions to Prevent Obesity (R01)
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The purpose of this program is to form partnerships between academic institutions and school systems in order to develop and implement controlled, school-based intervention strategies designed to reduce the prevalence of obesity in childhood. This initiative also encourages evaluative comparisons of different intervention strategies, as well as the use of methods to detect synergistic interactions between different types of interventions. More information

Deadline: February 5, 2008, June 5, 2008, and October 5, 2008

Indo-U.S. Vaccine Action Program (VAP) Small Research Grant Program (R03)
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID)

This initiative offers to support Vaccine Action Program (VAP) research activities and encourages research leading to the development of new and improved vaccines and related products and technologies to combat important infectious diseases of importance in India, the U.S., the South Asian region and globally. While applicants must provide evidence of ongoing or proposed scientific collaborations specific to the research proposed in the grant application, this initiative will not require joint application, review and funding of proposals by the U.S. and India as was required in previous VAP-supported research projects. Standard NIH application and review procedures will be followed. NIAID will fund the grants supported by this program. More information

Deadline: February 16, 2008, June 16, 2008, and October 16, 2008

Nutrition and Alcohol-Related Health Outcomes (R03)(R21)
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

This funding opportunity announcement (FOA), issued by the National Institute of Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA), National Cancer Institute (NCI), and Office of Dietary Supplements (ODS), solicits Research Grant (R03) applications from organizations that propose to examine associations between nutrition and alcohol-related health outcomes in humans and animal models. The goal of this program announcement is to stimulate a broad range of research on the role of nutrition in the development, prevention, and treatment of a variety of alcohol-related health outcomes including alcohol dependence and psychiatric co-morbidities, chronic and acute diseases, and organ function and damage. Study designs may include biomedical research, epidemiologic approaches, and intervention studies. More information and additional information

Deadline: February 16, 2008, June 16, 2008, and October 16, 2008

Interactions Between Stem and Progenitor Cells and the Microenvironment (R21)
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), the National Institute on Aging (NIA), the National Eye Institute (NEI), the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB), the National Cancer Institute (NCI), and National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA) invite applications for studies on the cellular and molecular signaling between the local environment within organisms and stem and progenitor cells that are either introduced as transplants or are normally resident within host tissues and organs. The objective of this initiative is to promote a thorough exploration and characterization of the bi-directional communication between multipotent cells and the three-dimensional local milieu or niche that they encounter in vivo under normal and compromised states, such as with aging or following injury, disease, or drug exposure. Of particular interest is the rigorous characterization of how interactions with localized cues in space and time regulate stem cell survival, migration, replication, and 'plasticity' in the nervous system and other parts of the body. Projects that address comparisons between the responses of stem cells within niches in the developing and mature or aging nervous system in vivo, or in host microenvironments modified by injury, disease, or by exposure to drugs and alcohol would also be directly relevant to this program announcement with set-aside (PAS), as are studies to compare different classes of stem cells or progeny at progressively more advanced stages of differentiation when placed in the same sites in vivo. More information

Deadline: February 16, 2008

Proteomics in Auditory Developmental and Disease Processes (R21)
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD)

This serves as an initial program announcement (PA) of the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) to expand support of proteomic research in the auditory system. This announcement seeks to promote the use of proteomic technologies to investigate the molecular and cellular mechanisms of normal and abnormal auditory development, and maintenance, as well as specific disease states of hearing tissues and sensory organs. The utilization, development, and improvement of innovative proteomic technologies to address these issues are encouraged through applications relevant to these biological areas. More information

Deadline: February 16, 2008, June 16, 2008, and October 16, 2008

Reference Epigenome Mapping Centers (U01)
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)
National Institutes of Health (NIH)

The purpose of this funding announcement is to establish Reference Epigenome Mapping Centers (REMC). There is not one single epigenome, but rather multiple epigenomes or epigenetic profiles; each one defining specific gene expression profiles and therefore the phenotype of a specific cell type, e.g., neuron, T-lymphocyte, type II lung cells, or pancreatic beta cells. For the purposes of this RFA, reference epigenomes are the epigenetic profiles from specific normal cell types that direct gene transcription in a manner that defines the expression profile and therefore phenotype of the normal cell or tissue.

The REMC initiative seeks to develop reference epigenomes of government-approved human embryonic stem cells, differentiating cells, and selected differentiated cell lines and human primary cells that are relevant to complex human disease. In addition the REMC program will generate data and resources that will be integrated/coordinated with existing genomic databases and infrastructure to accelerate application of epigenetics to biology and disease.

These reference epigenomes will serve as a resource to be utilized by the community to identify potential therapeutic targets, pursue therapeutic opportunities in stem cell based and tissue regeneration strategies, enhance understanding of disease mechanisms, provide additional insights to genetic susceptibility of disease, provide new information regarding environmental components of disease, and information about normal differentiation, development and aging/senescence. More information

Deadline: March 7, 2008

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 DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY

No new program announcements this week.

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 DEPARTMENT OF HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

No new program announcements this week.

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 DEPARTMENT OF INTERIOR

No new program announcements this week.

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 DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE

No new program announcements this week.

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 DEPARTMENT OF STATE

No new program announcements this week.

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 DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION

No new program announcements this week.

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 ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

No new program announcements this week.

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 NATIONAL AERONAUTICS AND SPACE ADMINISTRATION

No new program announcements this week.

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 NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION (NSF)

Disclaimer - we only list the more recently announced NSF opportunities in the Update. We urge you to explore the many NSF opportunities available at the NSF website. For a complete listing of deadlines and target dates from the previous month and for the next 4 months check the NSF deadline website.

The NSF E-Bulletin provides key dates on which grant proposals are due at NSF for the current 4 months.

Ecological Biology
National Science Foundation
Division of Environmental Biology

The Ecological Biology Cluster supports research that advances the conceptual or theoretical understanding of species interactions and community dynamics in terrestrial, wetland and freshwater habitats. We encourage projects that integrate theoretical, modeling, and empirical approaches, or that promote synthesis, across spatial and temporal scales. The cluster seeks to fund projects that are transformative -- that is those that will change the conceptual bases of ecology and have broad implications for future research. Proposals that develop research questions within the context of existing theory, consider alternate mechanisms, and design critical tests to distinguish among mechanisms are particularly encouraged, together with those that use contemporary approaches to develop new paradigms. Inter- and multi-disciplinary proposals that cross traditional programmatic boundaries are welcomed in the Ecological Biology Cluster. Research focused on dynamics of single species should be directed to the Population and Evolutionary Processes Cluster. Studies that focus on the ecology of marine organisms should be directed to the Biological Oceanography Program in the Division of Ocean Sciences. Research focused on human disease or health is not supported. The Ecological Biology Cluster funds projects within the Ecology Program as well as LTREB, OPUS, and CAREER. Other relevant funding opportunities are listed below as well as on DEB Home (see link on left).

The Ecology Program supports studies of interspecific interactions and species diversity at diverse spatial and temporal scales. These include, but are not limited to, (1) food-web structure and trophic dynamics, (2) biotic interactions, including mutualism, competition, predation and parasitism, (3) mechanisms of coexistence, community assembly and the maintenance of species diversity, (4) co-evolution and (5) landscape ecology, habitat fragmentation and macroecology. Ecology particularly encourages studies that can be applied to a wide range of habitats and taxa across multiple scales. Unsolicited proposals should be prepared as described in the Grant Proposal Guide (GPG). More information

Deadline: January 9, 2008 and July 9, 2008.

Geography and Regional Science
National Science Foundation
Division of Behavioral and Cognitive Sciences

The Geography and Regional Science (GRS) Program sponsors research on the geographic distributions and interactions of human, physical, and biotic systems on the Earth's surface. Investigations are encouraged into the nature, causes, and consequences of human activity and natural environmental processes across a range of scales. Projects on a variety of topics (both domestic and international) qualify for support if they offer promise of contributing to scholarship by enhancing geographical knowledge, concepts, theories, methods, and their application to societal problems and concerns. Support also is provided for projects that explicitly integrate undergraduate and graduate education into the overall research agenda.

Related Funding Opportunities

Related funding opportunities are available for geographers, regional scientists, and related scholars. For more information about these opportunities, visit the Cross Directorate Activities webpage. Here, you will find a brief synopsis about other programs, as well as links guiding you to the appropriate program solicitations.

Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement (DDRI) Awards

Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement Awards are made by the Geography & Regional Science program. Consult the SBE Doctoral Dissertation Research Improvement (DDRI) Grants announcement NSF 06-605 and the Geography & Regional Sciences DDRI specifics page.
More information

Deadline: Research proposals – January 15, 2008, and August 15, 2008
Doctoral proposals – February 15, 2008, and October 15, 2008

Annual Solicitation for Research in Support of the National Space Weather Program (NSWP) - NSF 07-520
National Science Foundation
Directorate for Geosciences
Division of Atmospheric Sciences

The National Space Weather Program (NSWP) is a multi-agency Federal research program seeking to mitigate the adverse effects of space weather. The NSWP goal is to ultimately achieve timely, accurate, and reliable space environment observations, specifications, and forecasts. Information about the NSWP can be obtained from the National Space Weather Program Strategic Plan and Implementation Plan. Both of these documents are available online through the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Meteorology. Proposals may be submitted for basic research in solar, heliospheric, magnetospheric, ionospheric, and thermospheric physics aimed at meeting the goals of the NSWP. More information

Deadline: January 16, 2008

Methodology, Measurement, and Statistics (MMS) - NSF 04-504
National Science Foundation
Directorate for Social, Behavioral & Economic Sciences
Division of Social and Economic Sciences

The Methodology, Measurement, and Statistics (MMS) Program is an interdisciplinary program that supports the development of innovative methods and models for the social and behavioral sciences. The MMS Program interacts with the other programs in the Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE), as well as other programs in the Foundation, most notably the Statistics and Probability Program in the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences (MPS). In general, MMS seeks proposals that are interdisciplinary in nature, methodologically innovative, and grounded in theory. The MMS Program welcomes proposals in the following areas: general research and infrastructure activities; mid-career research fellowships; research on survey and statistical methodology; and doctoral dissertation research. More information

Deadline: January 16, 2008, and August 16, 2008

Assembling the Tree of Life (ATOL) - NSF08-515
National Science Foundation
Directorate for Biological Sciences
Directorate for Geosciences
Directorate for Computer & Information Science & Engineering

A flood of new information, from whole-genome sequences to detailed structural information to inventories of earth's biota to greater appreciation of the importance of lateral gene transfer, is transforming 21st century biology. Along with comparative data on morphology, fossils, development, behavior, and interactions of all forms of life on earth, these new data streams make even more critical the need for an organizing framework for information retrieval, analysis, and prediction. Phylogeny, the genealogical map for all lineages of life on earth, provides an overall framework to facilitate information retrieval and biological prediction. Currently, single investigators or small teams of researchers are studying the evolutionary pathways of heredity usually concentrating on taxonomic groups of modest size. Assembly of a framework phylogeny, or Tree of Life, for all 1.7 million described species requires a greatly magnified effort, often involving large teams working across institutions and disciplines. This is the overall goal of the Assembling the Tree of Life activity. The National Science Foundation announces its intention to continue support of creative and innovative research that will resolve evolutionary relationships for large groups of organisms throughout the history of life. Investigators also will be supported for projects in data acquisition, analysis, algorithm development and dissemination in computational phylogenetics and phyloinformatics. More information

Deadline: March 14, 2008

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 OTHER FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES

We the People Challenge Grants in United States History, Institutions, and Culture
National Foundation for the Arts and the Humanities
National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) invites applications for We the People Challenge Grants in United States History, Institutions, and Culture. This program, part of NEH's We the People program, is designed to help institutions and organizations secure long-term improvements in and support for humanities activities that explore significant themes and events in American history, thereby advancing knowledge of how the founding principles of the United States have shaped American history and culture for more than two hundred years. The Endowment particularly welcomes proposals for programming at America's historic places (historic sites, neighborhoods, communities, or larger geographical regions) as well as applications that address this theme through the use of digital technologies. NEH challenge grants are capacity building grants. NEH challenge grants help institutions and organizations secure long-term improvements in and support for their humanities programs and resources. Grants may be used to establish or enhance endowments that generate expendable earnings for program activities. Funds may also be used to support long-term costs, such as construction and renovation, purchase of equipment, acquisitions, and conservation of collections. Because of the matching requirements, these NEH grants also strengthen the humanities by encouraging nonfederal sources of support. More information

Deadline: February 5, 2008

Five-Star Restoration Matching Grant Program
National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF)

The National Association of Counties, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, and the Wildlife Habitat Council, in cooperation with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Southern Company, and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), solicit applications for the Five Star Restoration Program. The Five Star Restoration Program seeks to develop community capacity to sustain local natural resources for future generations by providing modest financial assistance to diverse local partnerships for wetland, riparian, and coastal habitat restoration.

Elements of a Five Star Project include the following:

1. On-the-Ground Restoration: Projects must include on-the-ground wetland, riparian, in stream, or coastal habitat restoration.
2. Environmental Education: Projects must integrate meaningful education into the restoration project either through community participation or integration with the K-12 environmental curriculum.
3. Partnerships: Projects must involve a diverse set of community partners to accomplish the project's objectives.
4. Measurable Results: Projects must result in measurable ecological, educational, or social benefits.
More information

Deadline: February 15, 2008

Grants
PepsiCo Foundation

The PepsiCo Foundation focuses its grant making in the following areas:

1. Health and Wellness
2. Diversity and Inclusion
3. Environment
4. Thought Leadership

The foundation's mission in Health and Wellness is to advance the knowledge about how to encourage healthy lifestyles and effect positive behavior change. Initiatives of particular interest are those which address one or more of the following focus areas:

1. Community Activation
2. Minority Communities
3. Health Professionals

PepsiCo Foundation's mission in Diversity and Inclusion is to support education and community organizations that advance opportunities in three core areas:

1. Undergraduate and graduate education, skill development, and economic mobility
2. Women- and minority-owned business
3. Workplace equality

Specifically, the foundation provides support to a select number of colleges and universities that provide opportunities for individuals of all backgrounds to gain leadership skills and experience. Programs at the high school level with an emphasis on skill development for students of color and students from low-income households also receive foundation support. The foundation also considers organizations that help foster a positive environment for minority-owned and women-owned businesses as well as workplace climates for the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community.

The foundation's mission in the Environment funding area is to advance the knowledge and methods of water resource management that are sustainable and positively impact both quantity and quality of water supply in developing nations.

The foundation's mission in the Thought Leadership funding area is to support organizations and research initiatives that help to address issues critical to the betterment of society. More information

Deadline: Continuous

Community Assistance Program
National Forest Foundation (NFF)

The National Forest Foundation (NFF) chartered by Congress, engages America in community-based and national programs that promote the health and public enjoyment of the national forest system, and administers private gifts of funds and land for the benefit of the national forests. The NFF believes that communities should play a significant role in determining the future of the national forests and grasslands.

The NFF established the Community Assistance Program (CAP) to promote the creation of locally-based organizations or groups seeking to resolve natural resource issues through a collaborative, dialogue-based process. The program will support newly forming or significantly re-organizing groups or nonprofit organizations that are in need of start-up funds for capacity building and that intend to proactively and inclusively engage local stakeholders in the community in forest management and conservation issues on and around National Forests and Grasslands.

The NFF defines collaboration as a voluntary process through which a broad array of interests, some of which may be in conflict, enter into civil dialogue to collectively consider possible recommendations and actions that improve the management of natural resources to benefit both the environment and surrounding communities. Collaboration is different from a partnership in that collaboration involves a diverse array of stakeholders; a partnership is likely to engage a few parties that are interested in working together on a specific project. More information

Deadline: Continuous.

 POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWSHIPS

No new program announcements this week.

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 GRADUATE FELLOWSHIPS

Business Plan Competition
Licensing Executives Society Inc. (LES)
Licensing Executives Society Foundation

LES is a professional organization in the field of intellectual property (IP) transfer and commercialization in the U.S., and Canada.

To participate, entrants must submit a comprehensive business plan with a core IP licensing component. Entries receive world-class review and evaluation from LES members, who provide valuable feedback to each team. Entries are judged on a variety of factors including attractiveness of the venture, quality of the product/service offered, market opportunity and investment potential. The winning team will receive $10,000 and in-kind prizes worth in excess of $45,000. Each runner-up team will take home $1,000 and all the teams are eligible for a $5,000 Global Award. The deadline is March 1, 2008.

Five teams, to be named on April 4, will receive an all-expenses paid trip to the finals at the 2008 LES International Conference in Chicago, May 4-7, where they will present their plans. The winning team will be announced during the meeting. The LES Foundation will cover transportation, hotel and meeting registration costs for team members and a faculty advisor (up to three individuals per team).

For more information, contact Linda Chao at bplan@lesfoundation.org or visit the LES Foundation at www.lesfoundation.org.

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UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH

No new program announcements this week.

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Upcoming Limited Submission Program Internal Deadlines

Get more information on Limited Submission Programs.

Limited Submission Process Changes

The Office of the Vice President for Research announces that the Limited Submission process has been automated. Effective December 10, 2007, submissions will be handled through the OVPR website on the Limited Submissions page.

Virginia Tech researchers interested in participating in the Limited Submission process can now do so electronically. After submitting a Notice of Intent on-line, researchers will automatically be notified about their status in the process. This information will include word that no competition exists and a submission can go forward to the funding agency or that an internal competition must be held and pre-proposals are required. At each stage of the Limited Submission process, researchers will receive e-mails keeping them abreast of various due dates, all in an effort to eliminate confusion and missed communications.

Other policies and procedures for Limited Submissions will remain the same except for those involving Tobacco Commission pre-proposals which have their own rules. Limited submissions will continue to be listed on the OVRP website calendar and in the Opportunity Update. The Limited Subs deadlines will also be available through RSS which can be subscribed to from the Limited Subs web page. If you have questions or problems with the new process, contact Larry Quisenberry at lquisenb@vt.edu

Tagging for Efficient “Filing”

One of the newest features in COS Funding Opportunities, tagging and sharing funding records, can also be one of the most useful — especially to anyone who searches for funding for others. When you find a good opportunity, you can simply track the record to your COS Workbench and tag it with whatever labels suit you. Then just click to sort on a tag and click again to share all records with that tag. (See the October 25 COS Newsletter for more information).

Tagging is becoming a common feature on many social websites, such as del.icio.us, where users share bookmarks, and Flick'r, which allows users to share images, and other sites where users can comment on or share information.

What makes tags different from other labels or keywords is that they are entirely up to the user--there are no preset lists you must choose from. So you can give a record tags that are meaningful to you, even if not to someone else.

If an opportunity is appropriate for the whole neuroscience department, offers a large amount of money, but the application paperwork will be unusually laborious, you might use tags like these: neuro, big-money, ugh.

If another opportunity might be appropriate for Dr. Kyte, Dr. Thompson and Dr. Smith, but will require an internal competition, you might use these tags: Smith, Thompson, Kyte, compet.

There are some guidelines to remember about tags:

  • Tags are separated by spaces, so you cannot include a space in your tag
  • Tags can include periods (.), underscores (_) and hyphens (-), so you can have multi-part tags by using these symbols. For example, you can tag something with "thompson_primary" but not "thompson primary".

If you haven't already tried tracking, tagging and sharing funding records, go ahead and give it a try. Once you get used to assigning tags and develop your own personal system, I'm sure you will find this an invaluable feature in managing your funding search.

 
 
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