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NSF, USDA to Set Aside $15M in RFA for Microbial Genome Sequencing Projects

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) — The US Department of Agriculture and the National Science Foundation today said they hope to set aside $15 million RFA that invites research proposals for high-throughput genome sequencing projects of microorganisms. 
The NSF said it will work with the USDA to select researchers that will screen and implement strategies to “make currently available genome sequencing tools more valuable to the user community."
The Microbial Genome Sequencing Program for 2007 will fund projects such as high-throughput screening of “viruses, bacteria, archaea, fungi, oomycetes, protists, and agriculturally important nematodes,” the NSF said.
The NSF said investigators will use the sequences to study: novel aspects off microbial biochemistry, physiology, metabolism, development and cellular biology; the diversity and the roles microorganisms play in complex ecosystems and in global geochemical cycles; the impact that microorganisms have on the productivity and sustainability of agriculture and natural resources; and the organization and evolution of microbial genomes, and the mechanisms of transmission, exchange and reshuffling of genetic information.
Around $10 million will come from the NSF and $5 million from the USDA “pending availability of funds”. The agencies said “most awards” will range between $100,000 to $2.5 million for periods up to three years.
The exact award amount “will depend on the advice of the reviewers, agency priorities and the availability of funds,” the NSF said. By comparison, FY 2006 the awards ranged in size from $300,000 to $2 million.
The deadline for a full proposal is March 8, 2007. The NSF said applicants may respond to the solicitation via or the NSF FastLane system. See here for more information about the funding opportunities, and for contact information for NSF administrators.

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