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New interagency program in plant biology

mdilwort at NSF.GOV mdilwort at NSF.GOV
Wed Feb 26 14:38:00 EST 1992

            Division of Energy Biosciences / D.O.E.
National Research Initiative Competitive Grants Program / U.S.D.A.
           Directorate of Biological Sciences / N.S.F.

Dear Colleague:

     We are pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of
Agriculture (USDA), the Department of Energy (DOE), and the
National Science Foundation (NSF) plan to initiate a new
interagency program in plant biology in FY 1992.  The three
agencies signed an agreement "USDA, DOE and NSF Cooperative
Agreement on Plant Science Research and Training" on September
17, 1991.  This is a continuation of the interagency
collaboration begun in 1988 with the DOE/NSF/USDA Plant Science
Center's program.

     The rationale for the new interagency program is based on
the recognition of the central importance of fundamental plant
biology in agriculture, energy, environment and biotechnological
developments as well as the continued needs to promote multi-
disciplinary approaches in plant biology research.  The new
initiative will be called "DOE/NSF/USDA Joint Program on
Collaborative Research in Plant Biology".  Please note that this
letter is not a call for submission of proposals.  It is to alert
the plant biology research community of the plan so as to provide
sufficient time for preparation of proposals.  The three agencies
anticipate issuing a formal Program Announcement shortly and plan
soliciting proposals in the spring of 1992.

     The program will support collaborating research groups
through multi-institutional research coordination group awards
and interdisciplinary research training group awards.  These
group activities should be centered on those research-related
activities that cannot be supported as individual research
grants.  The focus of the program is on fundamental plant
biology, and research approaches drawing on a broad range of
scientific disciplines are encouraged.  The three agencies are
particularly interested in important research questions that are
not currently receiving sufficient attention or that are
considered recalcitrant due to technical or conceptual

     When issued, the Program Announcement will provide detailed
proposal guidelines.  Briefly, the two group awards are:

     Research Coordination Group Awards - These awards will
     provide support for groups of investigators to form a
     research network to communicate and coordinate their
     research efforts across institutional or geographical
     boundaries.  The objectives are to facilitate open
     communication and exchange of information and resources, to
     integrate researchers working independently on topics of
     common interests, and to minimize isolation and over-
     competitiveness that lead to unnecessary duplication of

     Interdisciplinary Research Training Group Awards - These
     awards are designed to ensure availability of individual
     plant scientists capable of performing interdisciplinary and
     creative science.  The projects must involve direct
     participation in research training on coherent research

     Those who are interested in obtaining the Program
Announcement are requested to send a self-addressed mailing label
to the NSF representative identified below.  Prior to the
issuance of the Program Announcement, additional information on
the initiative may be obtained from the three agency
representatives whose signatures appear below.  


Anne Datko               Robert Rabson            Machi Dilworth
NRI Competitive Grants   Div of Energy Biosci     BIR/BIO
CSRS/USDA                US Dept of Energy        Rm 312, NSF
Rm 323 Aerospace Ctr     ER-17, GTN               1800 G st, N.W.
Washington, DC           Washington, DC           Washington, DC
20250-2200               20545                    20550
(202)401-4871            (301)903-2873            (202)357-7652

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