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NSF To Award $22M Under Biological Informatics Program

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The National Science Foundation said this week that it plans to award a total of $22 million annually under its Advances in Biological Informatics program, which aims to support the development of informatics tools and resources "that have the potential to advance, or transform, research in biology."

According to a program solicitation, NSF plans to award between 20 and 30 grants under the program, which seeks two main types of proposals: "innovation awards" that will develop new approaches for the application of informatics to biological problems; and "development awards" that will provide "robust cyberinfrastructure" to support biological research.

NSF said that the program will fund the development of new tools that scale well to complex biological data; theoretical research on data structures; design of user-friendly interfaces and tools for data input, manipulation, analysis, and extraction; and development of new types of databases.

Proposals supported by the program "must lead to the solution of significant problems in biology," NSF said.

In addition, the program will place a "higher priority" on informatics tools and databases "that are applicable to a broad range of biological research questions," rather than for specific research projects.

Proposals are due on Aug. 23.

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