Symbiosis in Aquatic Systems Initiative funding opportunities 

Over the next nine years, the Symbiosis in Aquatic Systems Initiative will invest $140 million to support development of new tools, theory and concepts about aquatic symbioses and to bring different research communities together to learn how symbioses involving microorganisms function, evolve and serve critical ecosystem roles in marine and freshwater environments.

We are motivated by the fact that aquatic environments comprise the largest habitat on the planet and have served as an incubator of evolution since life began on Earth almost four billion years ago. Today, these marine and freshwater ecosystems host a substantial proportion of the biodiversity on our planet, yet much of this diversity remains unexplored. As scientists study biology in aquatic environments, they have realized how powerfully the interactions of organisms define their evolutionary history and ecological functions.

The Symbiosis in Aquatic Systems Initiative will advance knowledge of how symbiotic associations function and participate in ecology and evolution in marine and freshwater systems through four strategic approaches:

  1. Invest in technology and resources to enable discovery.
  2. Support scientists and engineers with unrestricted funding to innovate and explore through an investigator program.
  3. Stimulate collaborations of multidisciplinary teams to reduce silos between scientific disciplines and communities.
  4. Build community to create a broader, yet more integrated field.

There are three opportunities to apply for funding in 2019:

  1. Investigator Awards. CLOSED: the deadline was June 3, 2019.
  2. Symbiosis Model Systems. Survey and pre-application window is OPEN; submission deadline is August 8, 2019.
  3. Origin of the Eukaryotic Cell, a joint solicitation between the Moore Foundation and Simons Foundation. Proposal window is OPEN; submission deadline is September 30, 2019.


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