National Science FoundationThe National Science Foundation is seeking applications for its Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology program. The fellowships encourage independence at an early stage of the research career to permit Fellows to pursue their research and training goals in the most appropriate research locations regardless of the availability of funding for the Fellows at that site.

The Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) offers postdoctoral fellowships in the following competitive areas:

  • Broadening Participation of Groups Underrepresented in Biology. This area supports a wide range of biological research and training across BIO’s research programs. “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.” Applications should describe how the Fellow will “broaden or effectively encourage broadening the participation of underrepresented minorities in biology supported by BIO.”
  • Research Using Biological Collections. This area “seeks transformative approaches that use biological collections in highly innovative ways to address grand challenges in biology.” Applications should include “substantive and significant use of specimens and/or data from existing, archived biological research collections and their associated collection databases.”
  • National Plant Genome Initiative. Co-sponsored by the US Department of Energy and USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, this programs allows “recipients to focus their studies in plant genomics with an emphasis on quantitative genetics, modern breeding approaches, and bioinformatics.” “The purpose of these fellowships is 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.”

Although fellowships are made to individuals, the work supported must be conducted at an appropriate U.S. or international host institution, under the mentorship of a sponsoring scientist(s). Awards are only available to U.S. citizens, nationals, or permanent residents.

Thanks to GSA, Fellows are able to remain at their doctoral institution as long as the sponsoring scientists or departments “offer a significant opportunity to broaden your research focus and training.”

Fellows generally receive a stipend of $54,000 per year with an additional $15,000 provided annually for research- and training-related costs and fringe benefits.


Program Solicitation:  NSF 15-501: Postdoctoral Research Fellowships in Biology

Deadline:  November 3, 2015, 5 pm local time (first Tuesday in November annually thereafter)


Adam Fagen was formerly Executive Director of the Genetics Society of America.

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