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NSF and NIH Opportunities of Note | August 2023

Synthesis Center for Understanding Organismal Resilience

Deadline: Preliminary proposal required by January 12, 2024

Additional Information -
Synthesis Centers are a mechanism used by NSF's Directorate for Biological Science (BIO) to bring together communities that leverage existing data to catalyze discoveries through synthesis, analysis, and integrative training.  Research supported by the Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS) in BIO focuses on organisms as integrated units of biological organization, i.e., why they are structured as they are and function as they do.

IOS seeks to establish a new Synthesis Center to advance our ability to explain and predict organismal resiliency and plasticity in response to complex and dynamic environmental circumstances encountered over a lifespan through the synthesis of varied data sets and types that bridge multiple scales and levels.

The Synthesis Center will enable innovative synthesis and analysis of available biological and related data by providing the vision, infrastructure, and expertise to advance new avenues of inquiry in organismal biology focused on organismal resilience and plasticity. To accomplish this vision, the Synthesis Center will adopt approaches that are based on open science, team science, and data-intensive methods that enable data synthesis, sharing and inclusive collaborations among researchers across multiple levels of biological inquiry that may include genomic, physiological, structural, developmental, behavioral, neural, immunological, and microbiological analyses across some or all the IOS subdisciplines. In addition to supporting data and knowledge synthesis, the Synthesis Center should train new generations of researchers in solving challenging research problems through data-intensive, open, cross-disciplinary, and collaborative science. The Synthesis Center is also expected to serve as an example in effectively engaging diverse scientists from different types of institutions and across multiple disciplines. These types of data syntheses are expected to provide the basis for fundamental scientific discoveries and/or potentially translational, use-inspired research. In doing so, the Synthesis Center will have a profound impact on the progress of science and society.

National Artificial Intelligence Research Institutes

Deadline: Preliminary proposal required by October 31, 2023

Additional Information -

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has advanced tremendously and today promises personalized healthcare; enhanced national security; improved transportation; and more effective education, to name just a few benefits. Increased computing power, the availability of large datasets and streaming data, and algorithmic advances in machine learning (ML) have made it possible for AI research and development to create new sectors of the economy and revitalize industries. Continued advancement, enabled by sustained federal investment and channeled toward issues of national importance, holds the potential for further economic impact and quality-of-life improvements.  

The 2023 update to the National Artificial Intelligence Research and Development Strategic Plan, informed by visioning activities in the scientific community as well as interaction with the public, identifies as its first strategic objective the need to make long-term investments in AI research in areas with the potential for long-term payoffs in AI. AI Institutes represent a cornerstone Federal Government commitment to fostering long-term, fundamental research in AI while also delivering significantly on each of the other eight objectives in that strategy.  The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence (NSCAI) identifies AI Institutes as a key component of a bold, sustained federal push to scale and coordinate federal AI R&D funding and to reinforce the foundation of technical leadership in AI.

This program is a multisector effort led by the National Science Foundation (NSF), in partnership with the Simons Foundation (SF), the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Department of Defense (DOD) Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OUSD (R&E)), Capital One Financial Corporation (Capital One), and Intel Corporation (Intel).

This program solicitation expands the nationwide network of AI Research Institutes with new funding opportunities over the next two years. In this round, the program invites proposals for institutes that have a principal focus in one of the following themes aimed at transformational advances in a range of economic sectors, and science and engineering fields:

  • Group 1 - Awards anticipated in FY 2024:
    • Theme 1: AI for Astronomical Sciences
  • Group 2 - Awards anticipated in FY 2025:
    • Theme 2: AI for Discovery in Materials Research
    • Theme 3: Strengthening AI

For the institute themes listed in Group 1, NSF anticipates awards to start in FY 2024; and for themes listed in Group 2, NSF anticipates awards to start in FY 2025. Each group has a specific set of due dates and review timeline pertaining only to that group. More detail is found under Due Dates and in the timeline provided in the Program Description.

Public Health Communication Messaging about the Continuum of Risk for Tobacco Products

Deadline: September 6, 2023

Additional Information -

The Avenir Award for Chemistry and Pharmacology of Substance Use Disorders program will support early stage investigators proposing transformative studies that open new avenues of research in the area of chemistry and pharmacology of addictive substances, substance use disorders and addiction. The research may focus on development of novel chemical, pharmacological, or computational methods and tools that can potentially be applied to investigate basic mechanisms, targets, and pathways of relevance to treating addiction and substance use disorders. Investigators outside the field of addiction who are interested in applying their novel approaches to the chemistry and pharmacology of addiction are encouraged to apply.

A hyperlink to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) Avenir Award Program for Chemistry and Pharmacology of Substance Use Disorders (DP1) is provided to assist Early Stage Investigators (ESI) in applying for this funding opportunity announcement. The URL for the FAQ web page is

This announcement is focused on substance use disorders and addiction, and not their medical consequences. Applicants interested in medical consequences of substance use disorders should contact the program official(s) listed at end of this announcement about alternative funding opportunities.

Avenir Award Program for Chemistry and Pharmacology of Substance Use Disorders

Deadline: December 6, 2023

Additional Information -

This Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) invites applications for a Cooperative Agreement (U01) that will utilize health communication research to better understand the impact that messaging about the continuum of risk for tobacco products may have on various segments of the population. Applications should consider effects on audiences for whom the messaging could potentially be useful (i.e., adults who use combustible products) and on those for whom the messaging could have negative consequences (e.g., youth).

The NIH and the FDA have formed an interagency partnership to foster research relevant to tobacco regulatory science within the framework of the Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act (FSPTCA). The awards under this NOFO will be administered by NIH using designated funds from the FDA Center for Tobacco Products (CTP) for tobacco regulatory science mandated by the FSPTCA. Funds for this program have been made available through the FSPTCA (P.L. 111-31). A full description of the FSPTCA can be found at:

Additionally, the NIH and FDA recognize the need to diversify the scientific workforce within the NIH Tobacco Regulatory Science Program (TRSP) portfolio by enhancing the participation of individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups identified as underrepresented ( in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral and social sciences research workforce. Diversity at all levels — from the kinds of science to the regions in which it is conducted to the backgrounds of the people conducting it — contributes to excellence in research training environments and strengthens the research enterprise. The NIH and FDA encourage applications proposing to support investigators from diverse backgrounds, including those from groups identified as underrepresented (see, e.g., NOT-OD-20-031) in the biomedical, clinical, behavioral, and social sciences research workforce.

A Consortium for Gut-Brain Communication in Parkinson’s Disease

Deadline: November 16, 2023

Additional Information -

The goal of this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) is to enhance our understanding of the temporal onset of GI symptoms in PD and changes in gut-brain communication that can be used to leverage the potential role of the GI tract in the pathogenesis and progress of PD and to improve patient diagnosis, care, and outcomes. To achieve this objective, two different types of centers will form a consortium.  This NOFO invites cooperative agreement applications for multiple Gastroenterology Neurology Research Centers (GNRC) that would work together with a biospecimen repository and Coordinating and Data Management Center (CDMC) described in the companion NOFO, RFA-DK-23-001.  Although a CDMC and GNRC may exist at the same institution, the two types of centers require separate applications, and these will be evaluated independently by the criteria outlined below.

The CDMC and GNRCs will work together cooperatively as a Consortium (GBPDC) to address these research objectives: 1) to collect prospective cross-sectional and longitudinal participant biospecimens with temporally coordinated evaluations of GI and neurological functions to better characterize the phenotype of PD patients with, versus those without, GI symptoms; 2) to elucidate the biological processes and pathways relevant to the role of the GI tract in pathogenesis and progress of PD with regard to disease heterogeneity or severity; 3) to characterize GI symptoms, pathology, and gut-brain communication in PD to detect early and longitudinal changes in gut function and activity that correspond to the development or progression of PD motor symptoms; 4) to identify possible novel gut-based functional/ molecular/other biomarkers, diagnostic tools, and therapeutic targets; and 5) to investigate the impact of neuroimmune interactions in the GI tract on gut-brain communication and PD risk.

Studies should focus on PD patients with and without overt GI symptoms and may include patients with GI pathologies (e.g., genetic markers, like LRRK2, associated with PD and chronic GI inflammation) who may be at higher risk for PD.

Studies must have age-matched healthy controls.  Participant enrollment targets should be supported by documentation of institutional availability, include recruitment and retention strategies that may be specific to the target population, and be sufficient to power the proposed functional and molecular analyses.  While participant enrollment and sample collection and analyses are critical components of the consortium, applications should also include pathobiological mechanism-based objectives.

Projects submitted to this NOFO should include expertise in both areas of clinical gastroenterology and clinical neurology with documented accomplishments in their field.  A previous or ongoing collaboration or record of collaboration is not required.