NSF Program Solicitation–Transitions to Excellence in Molecular and Cellular Biosciences Research (Transitions)

The National Science Foundation Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB) has developed a new opportunity, under program solicitation NSF 20-505 to enable researchers with a strong track record of prior accomplishment to pursue a new avenue of research or inquiry.

This funding mechanism is designed to facilitate and promote a PI’s ability to effectively adopt empowering technologies that might not be readily accessible in the PI’s current research environment or collaboration network. Transformative research likely spans disciplines and minimizing the practical barriers to doing so will strengthen research programs poised to make significant contributions. The award is intended to allow mid-career or later-stage researchers (Associate or Full Professor, or equivalent) to expand or make a transition in their research programs via a sabbatical leave or similar mechanism of professional development and then develop that research program in their own lab. This award will also enable the PI to acquire new scientific or technical expertise, facilitate the investigator’s competitiveness, and potentially lead to transformational impacts in molecular and cellular bioscience. The award would fund up to six months of PI salary during the first sabbatical or professional development year, followed by support for continued research for two subsequent years upon the PI’s return to normal academic duties.

Through this solicitation, MCB and NSF hope to develop a novel mechanism that will encourage investigators to expand and/or transition to new research areas aligned with MCB priorities, to increase retention of investigators in science, and to ensure a diverse scientific workforce that remains engaged in active research. Please see the full solicitation for additional information.

Proposals addressing major open questions at the intersections of biology with other disciplines, such as physics, chemistry, mathematics, computer sciences, and engineering are of particular interest to the program. Proposals are accepted at any time. Please contact OSRP if you are interested in submitting a proposal.