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NSF Creates New Grants to Cultivate Plant Genome Research

NEW YORK, Jan. 3 — The National Science Foundation announced it will make available grants of up to $350,000 each year under a new program to support young investigators conducting plant genome research.

 

The grants, which are open to scientists who finished a Ph.D. on or after January 1997, will be up to $225,000 per year for individual grants and $350,000 annually for collaborative projects. The NSF plans to make 12 of these awards, which will last up to five years.

 

"There are obviously lots of reasons" for the new grants, said Christopher Cullis, program director of the NSF's Division of Biological Infrastructure. "We're trying to reach out to increase participation—we're looking for people.

 

"A few years back there was a plant postdoc program that was very successful in recruiting people in plant molecular biology," he went on. "The bigger your community, the better, and I think the NSF is looking at ways that they can fund innovatively."

 

Cullis said that the NSF was especially interested in solicitations from investigators at institutions that are not already funded through the Plant Genome Research Program.

 

Grant proposals are due on May 1, 2002.

 

The funding comes as a new project of the NSF Plant Genome Research Program, which underwrites functional genomics, plant pathway identification, and the development of new bioinformatics tools with a special emphasis on commercially useful plants. In fiscal year 2002, the NSF plans to award approximately 15 grants totaling about $20 million through that program.

 

More information about the awards is available at www.nsf.gov/bio/new.htm.

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