Applications now open for the summer 2015 “Bioinformatics & Biodiversity” Undergraduate Workshop

Following on from a highly successful event last year, we’re very excited to announce the second annual “Bioinformatics & Biodiversity” Undergraduate Workshop at the University of New Hampshire, scheduled for July 27-30, 2015 in Durham, NH. Click here to download a PDF flyer – we encourage you to post and share this opportunity!

2015_workshop_flyer

Microscopic eukaryotes (meiofauna e.g. nematode worms, copepods, protists, fungi, etc.) are some of the most abundant animals on Earth, but species within these groups are often overlooked by the general public and even many biologists. This NSF-sponsored workshop will explore the field of environmental DNA sequencing, including collection and analysis of data. Students will learn how high-throughput approaches (rRNA gene surveys, metagenomics) are being used to investigate the biodiversity of microbial eukaryotes and deepen our knowledge of ecosystem function. The workshop program will be a combination of lectures and practical exercises, where students will learn about traditional taxonomic approaches and also gain experience using the command line and bioinformatics tools to analyze environmental DNA datasets.

We welcome applications from undergraduates currently enrolled in any higher-educational institution in the USA.  All applicants are expected to have taken, at minimum, an introductory college-level course in Biology. Successful applicants will receive a stipend to cover all costs including travel.

To apply, e-mail the following materials to eukhits@gmail.com by Monday April 13, 2015:

  • Curriculum Vitae (including contact details for references)
  • Statement of interest (indicating biology courses taken and how attending the workshop would benefit your long-term career goals; maximum length 1 page)
  • Reference letters are recommended but not required

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Can international/overseas students apply for this workshop? 

A.  No, unfortunately workshop application is restricted to students currently enrolled at US-based institutes (which includes international students attending US colleges). For future workshops we may extend the application process to students enrolled at overseas institutes (this will depend on the conditions of our funding). Thanks for your interest, and keep an eye on on the RCN website for future opportunities.

Q. For the CV (including references), exactly how many and what kind of references are preferred? 

A. One letter of recommendation can accompany the application (written by a professor or research supervisor) – this is optional, but may significantly increase the strength of your application. On your CV you can also list contact information for any additional professional references (up to three references); for example, you may want to list references relating to any relevant work experience or research projects.

 

NSF Dimensions of Biodiversity Funding Opportunity

[reposting an email from the American Society for Microbiology]

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has requested that ASM bring to the attention of interested members the following funding opportunity:

Dimensions of Biodiversity FY 2015
URL: http://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2015/nsf15533/nsf15533.htm 
Full Proposal Deadline: April 9, 2015 (due by 5 p.m. proposer’s local time)

Synopsis of Program:

Despite centuries of discovery, most of our planet’s biodiversity remains unknown. The scale of the unknown diversity on Earth is especially troubling given the rapid and permanent loss of biodiversity across the globe. The goal of the Dimensions of Biodiversity campaign is to transform, by 2020, how we describe and understand the scope and role of life on Earth.

This campaign promotes novel integrative approaches to fill the most substantial gaps in our understanding of the diversity of life on Earth. It takes a broad view of biodiversity, and focuses on the intersection of genetic, phylogenetic, and functional dimensions of biodiversity. Successful proposals must integrate these three dimensions to understand interactions and feedbacks among them. While this focus complements several core programs in BIO and GEO, it differs by requiring that multiple dimensions of biodiversity be addressed simultaneously, in novel ways, to understand their synergistic roles in critical ecological and evolutionary processes.

Award Information:      

  • Anticipated Type of Award: Standard Grant or Continuing Grant
  • Estimated Number of Awards: 8 to 12
  • Anticipated Funding Amount: $16,000,000 to $22,000,000

More Information:  

Matthew D. Kane, BIO/DEB: (703) 292-7186, Dimensions@nsf.gov

Sincerely,
Ronald M. Atlas, Ph.D.
Chair, Public and Scientific Affairs Board

Moore Foundation EOI call – Marine Microeukaryotes as Experimental Model Systems

Request for Expressions of Interest: Increasing the Potential of Marine Microeukaryotes as Experimental Model Systems through the Development of Genetic Tools

The Marine Microbiology Initiative (MMI) at the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation aims to enable scientists to uncover the principles that govern the interactions among microbes and that influence nutrient flow in the marine environment. MMI is targeting closing gaps in and supporting the advancement of experimental model systems in microbial oceanography to enable new ways to uncover fundamental biological mechanisms.

We are soliciting expressions of interest (EOIs) for early-stage research projects to develop methods to genetically manipulate marine microeukaryotes as a first step in breaking current bottlenecks in the advancement of experimental model systems. MMI has two primary foci for this expression of interest:

  1. Development of genetic tools for diatoms. Diatoms are key players in the world’s oceans, generating ~20% of the world’s organic carbon, and a strong community of researchers is in place suggesting broad use of successfully developed methods. We are specifically interested in projects to develop reverse and/or forward genetics.
  2. Screening laboratory-scale culture collections for transformable marine microeukaryotes.
    MMI will also consider projects to develop genetic tools and methods with other microeukaryotes that show promise for expanding the way the field can test hypotheses. If your idea does not fit category 1 or 2 above, please contact us prior to submitting your EOI.

MMI encourages EOIs from “inter-organismal” teams of researchers – i.e., complementary groups that have experience in a well-established model system and with a microeukaryote that is not currently genetically tractable – whose collaborative effort will bring innovative approaches to the field.

MMI invites you to send an expression of interest via email that briefly outlines a research project (one paragraph or less), using the following template:

  1. The lead researcher’s name, institution, and expertise.
  2. Indication of focus on genetic tools for diatoms (category 1 above) or laboratory culture screening for
    transformability (category 2 above).
  3. For category 1, the name of the organism(s); or, for category 2, the taxonomic group(s) to be screened.
  4. A methodological or technical challenge that is hindering the development of a genetically
    manipulable marine microeukaryotic system that is ripe for solving and how you would address this
    challenge (3-5 sentences).
  5. The research team that would tackle this challenge, and why each team member’s expertise is relevant
    (one sentence per team member; please include institutional affiliations).

The opportunities that best align with MMI’s strategies and goals will be invited to submit proposals. MMI has allocated $7–10M to support this effort and anticipates making multiple, 2–3 year awards beginning in mid- 2015.

Please submit your EOI by Tuesday January 6, 2015 to Samantha Forde at samantha.forde@moore.org.

NSF Genealogy of Life (GoLife) – call for proposals

A upcoming funding opportunity that may be of interest to RCN members:

Genealogy of Life (GoLife)

NSF Program Solicitation (NSF 14-527)

Proposal Deadline: March 26, 2014

Synopsis of Program: All of comparative biology depends on knowledge of the evolutionary relationships (phylogeny) of living and extinct organisms. In addition, understanding biodiversity and how it changes over time is only possible when Earth’s diversity is organized into a phylogenetic framework. The goals of the Genealogy of Life (GoLife) program are to resolve the phylogenetic history of life and to integrate this genealogical architecture with underlying organismal data.

The ultimate vision of this program is an open access, universal Genealogy of Life that will provide the comparative framework necessary for testing questions in systematics, evolutionary biology, ecology, and other fields. A further strategic integration of this genealogy of life with data layers from genomic, phenotypic, spatial, ecological and temporal data will produce a grand synthesis of biodiversity and evolutionary sciences. The resulting knowledge infrastructure will enable synthetic research on biological dynamics throughout the history of life on Earth, within current ecosystems, and for predictive modeling of the future evolution of life.

Projects submitted to this program should emphasize increased efficiency in contributing to a complete Genealogy of Life and integration of various types of organismal data with phylogenies.

This program also seeks to broadly train next generation, integrative phylogenetic biologists, creating the human resource infrastructure and workforce needed to tackle emerging research questions in comparative biology. Projects should train students for diverse careers by exposing them to the multidisciplinary areas of research within the proposal.

Moore Foundation Data-Driven Discovery Investigator Competition

A upcoming funding opportunity that may be of interest to RCN members:

Moore Foundation Data-Driven Discovery Investigator Competition

Pre-Proposal Deadline: February 24, 2014

Synopsis of Program:Our Data-Driven Discovery Initiative seeks to advance the people and practices of data-intensive science, to take advantage of the increasing volume, velocity, and variety of scientific data to make new discoveries. Within this initiative, we’re supporting data-driven discovery investigators – individuals who exemplify multidisciplinary, data-driven science, coalescing natural sciences with methods from statistics and computer science.

These innovators are striking out in new directions and are willing to take risks with the potential of huge payoffs in some aspect of data-intensive science. Successful applicants must make a strong case for developments in the natural sciences (biology, physics, astronomy, etc.) or science enabling methodologies (statistics, machine learning, scalable algorithms, etc.), and applicants that credibly combine the two are especially encouraged. Note that the Science Program does not fund disease targeted research.

It is anticipated that the DDD initiative will make about 15 awards at ~$1,500,000 each, at $200K-$300K/year for five years. Pre-applications are due Monday, February 24, 2014 by 5 pm Pacific Time. We expect to extend invitations for full applications in April 2014. Full applications will be due five weeks after the invitation is sent, currently anticipated for mid-May 2014.

Applications now open for “Bioinformatics and Biodiversity” Undergraduate Workshop

Our first student training event for RCN EukHiTS will be a  “Bioinformatics & Biodiversity” Undergraduate Workshop, to be held July 28-31, 2014  at the University of New Hampshire in Durham, NH. Click here to download a PDF flyer

This NSF-sponsored workshop will explore the field of environmental DNA sequencing, including the collection and analysis of data. Students will learn how high-throughput sequencing approaches (rRNA gene surveys, metagenomics) are being used to investigate the biodiversity of microbial eukaryotes and the ecosystem processes taking place in an environment. Students will gain experience in traditional taxonomic methods as well as processing and interpreting metagenomic data from environmental sequencing of whole sediment communities.

We welcome applications from undergraduates currently enrolled in any higher-educational institution in the USA.  All applicants are expected to have taken, at minimum, an introductory college-level course in Biology. Successful applicants will receive a stipend to cover all costs including travel.

To apply, e-mail the following materials to eukhits@gmail.com by Tuesday April 15th:

  • Curriculum Vitae (including references – see comment section below for additional information on references)
  • Statement of interest (indicating biology courses taken and how attending the workshop would benefit your long-term career goals; maximum length 1 page)

workshop_flyer