Designing Synthetic Cells Beyond the Bounds of Evolution National Science Foundation
Because of recent technological advances in synthetic biology and bioengineering, researchers are now able to tailor cells and cell-like systems for a variety of basic and applied research purposes. The goal of this solicitation is to support research that (1) develops cell-like systems to identify the minimal requirements for the processes of life, (2) designs synthetically-modified cells to address fundamental questions in the evolution of life or to explore biological diversity beyond that which currently exists in nature, and (3) leverages basic research in cell design to build novel synthetic cell-like systems and cells for innovative biotechnology applications.
Highest funding priority is given to proposals that have outstanding intellectual merit and broader impacts, while proposals with weaknesses in either category (or those that are perceived as likely to have an incremental impact) will not be competitive. Proposals submitted to this solicitation should address social, ethical, and safety issues associated with designing and building synthetically modified cells as an integrated component of the project.
Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI-2024/25) Biocomputing through EnGINeering Organoid Intelligence (BEGIN OI)
The Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) program of the NSF Directorate for Engineering (ENG) serves a critical role in helping ENG focus on important emerging areas in a timely manner. The EFRI Biocomputing through EnGINeering Organoid Intelligence (BEGIN OI) solicitation supports foundational and transformative research to advance the design, engineering, and fabrication of organoid systems that are capable of processing information dynamically while interfacing with non-living systems.
This solicitation will be coordinated with the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO), the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE), the Directorate for Mathematical and Physical Sciences, and the Directorate for Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences (SBE).
The EFRI program seeks proposals with potentially transformative ideas that represent an opportunity for a significant shift in fundamental engineering knowledge with strong potential for long term impact on national needs or a grand challenge. The proposals must also meet the detailed requirements delineated in this solicitation.