Symbiosis in Aquatic Systems Initiative funding opportunity for investigator awards
The Symbiosis in Aquatic Systems Initiative of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation is soliciting pre-applications for investigator awards. Each award will fund research in a single investigator's laboratory. Our goal with the awards is to provide scientists with the resources and flexibility to pursue innovative, risky research that has high potential for significant conceptual and methodological advances in aquatic symbiosis. We anticipate investigators will generate new technologies, resources, theory, natural history and hypotheses to spark discovery in understanding aquatic organisms and their symbioses. We envision a vibrant cohort of investigators that serves as a source of ideas for the initiative, collaborates among peers, and moves the community towards a more comprehensive understanding how marine and freshwater organisms interact in symbiotic associations involving microbes.
We anticipate awards encompassing one or more of three central themes: origins and evolution, mechanisms of symbiotic interactions, and/or ecology and natural history. We are interested in symbioses where at least one partner is a microbe and where the symbiosis takes place in a marine or freshwater environment. Studies centered on agriculture, aquaculture, aquaponics, the human microbiome, applied sciences, symbiosis in terrestrial systems, symbioses without a microbe, predator-prey relationships, and pathogen research are outside the scope of this funding opportunity.
Investigators will be selected based on their potential to conduct research that illuminates how aquatic symbioses involving microbes function and how these interactions shape ecology and evolution in marine and freshwater habitats. We anticipate the initiative will support approximately 12 scientists for five years (2020-2025) who represent both early and established career stages and include both current and emerging leaders in their fields. Investigators will convene at an annual symposium to share research findings and build connections across symbiosis researchers. Awards will range from approximately $200K-$400K/year in direct costs.
We recognize the value of diversity and encourage individuals from all identities and backgrounds to apply. Applications are welcome from scientists based in the United States and internationally. The initiative expects successful candidates will represent a variety of scientific backgrounds, perspective, and disciplines to enhance the diversity of tools, ideas and approaches used to address outstanding questions in aquatic symbiosis. We invite applications from emerging and established aquatic symbiosis research leaders, as well as scientists and engineers who may not have worked extensively on the topic but who have essential perspectives, methods, and technologies to bring in. This particular opportunity is only open to individuals to apply.
Prospective applicants should read the FAQs for additional information about this call and the initiative.
Two additional funding opportunities, which will accommodate proposals for team collaborations, are planned later this year. One call will target advancing experimental model systems for aquatic symbioses. The other call will be managed and funded jointly with the Simons Foundation and will target the origin of the eukaryotic cell. We will provide information about these calls at a later date. If you would like to receive funding announcements from us, please add your contact information to our database using this link: Symbiosis in Aquatic Systems Initiative Announcements
June 3, 2019 by 23:59 PDT
Anticipated Notification Date
Applicants will be notified of a decision whether your application will proceed to the next stage by August 1, 2019. At this time, a subset of applicants will be invited to submit a full application for further consideration (due September 16, 2019).
- June 3, 2019 – pre-applications due
- August 1, 2019 – decision on pre-applications and invitation to subset of applicants to submit full application
- September 16, 2019 – full applications due
- November 15, 2019 – finalists notified
- Late 2019/early 2020 – prospective grant development
To be eligible for this competition, applicants must:
- Hold a tenured or tenure-track position (or equivalent) for a minimum of four years, with the first appointment no later than June 3, 2015;
- Have served as principal investigator on one or more major, competitive research grants (e.g., NSF, NASA, ERC, DFG, Wellcome Trust, Moore Foundation).
Current and previous Moore Foundation awardees are eligible to apply, although previous funding will not confer an advantage or disadvantage during the selection process. The opportunity is intended for individual investigators and is not open to teams or collaborative projects. There is no limit to the number of applicants who may apply from an institution. For a complete list of eligibility requirements, please review the FAQs.
Successful applicants will be among the most outstanding in the research community, regardless of career stage. These applicants will have established a research program supported by at least one major competitively awarded grant and should have a significant or emerging reputation for excellence in their research field. Researchers will be evaluated on the significance of their past research, the quality of their current research, the potential for continued groundbreaking science in the future, and the probability that their future work will contribute to the success of the Moore Foundation’s Symbiosis in Aquatic Systems Initiative. Pre-applications will be screened by foundation staff and external reviewers. A subset of applicants will be invited to submit a full application (August 1, 2019) due on September 16, 2019.
Please refer to the investigator competition FAQs for specific questions regarding the application process. If you have a question not answered in the FAQ document, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
This Symbiosis in Aquatic Systems Initiative investigator competition is open to all qualified applicants, regardless of age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, race, national origin, religion or disability. If you have any questions or need assistance or accommodation in completing this application, please contact Alexandra González by emailing email@example.com or calling 650-213-3121.