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NSF Sets Aside $35M for Plant-Genome Projects; Unconventional Ideas Sought

NEW YORK, Sept. 27 - The National Science Foundation today said it has set aside $35 million to support plant genome-research projects in 2003. And it appears that the more "unconventional" and "high-risk" they are the better.


As part of its four-year-old plant-genome program, the NSF said it has enough money to fund 40 five-year functional-genomics projects among three kinds of awards: virtual-center awards, for as much as $2 million per year; individual and small-group awards, for between $300,00 and $500,000 per year; and young-investigator awards, for as much as $350,000 per year.


The deadline for the first two types of proposals is Jan. 24, 2003; proposals for young-investigator awards is April 7. Funding decisions will be made between June and August 2003, according to the NSF.


Flush from a "recent infusion of funds," the NSF said these new awards will "support basic research" and "accelerate ... new technology and innovative approaches to plant genomics." The agency is "especially looking for proposals that are conceptually new and different from many of the already well-supported ongoing projects. ..."


According to the NSF, virtual-center awards would go to "large-scale collaborative research" groups; individual and small-group awards would support "individual laboratories or small groups of investigators;" and young-investigator awards will continue the YIA program that began in FY2002.


Click here for more information about the awards.

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