Transitioning funding for macrosystems biology and NEON-enabled science

November 14, 2023

Over the last 13 years since the creation of the Macrosystems Biology and NEON-Enabled Science (MSB-NES) program began, the field of macrosystems biology has grown in size and recognition and has pioneered technical and conceptual advances to study processes that intrinsically play out at large spatial scales with significant relevance to a variety of areas in environmental and biological science.

Additionally, NSF’s National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) has now been in operation for several years and is producing resources, data, and assignable assets used broadly across the biological sciences community. Over 500 publications already cite the use of NEON data.

As such, these areas have outgrown the need for a special call for proposals to highlight NSF’s support for them. Therefore, the MSB-NES program will "graduate" after awards made in Fiscal Year 2024, the deadline for proposals having just passed. This means that there will be no funding for new awards by the program in Fiscal Year 2025, but support for macrosystems biology and biological research supported by NEON data will expand through other programs.

Where to submit macrosystems biology and/or NEON-enabled science proposals moving forward
NSF will continue to support macrosystems biology and NEON-enabled science through programs including Core Programs within the Division of Environmental Biology (DEB), the Integrative Research in Biology (IntBIO) Track in Core Programs across the Directorate for Biological Sciences, infrastructure programs, workforce development efforts, and programs aimed at supporting interdisciplinary biology.

Researchers wishing to conduct macrosystems biology or NEON-enabled science can send proposals to these programs and/or discuss their project ideas with NSF Program Directors prior to proposal submission.

As a reminder, BIO Core Programs (including the Innovation, Capacity, and Sustaining programs in the Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI)) accept proposals at any time.

Division of Environmental Biology (DEB)

Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI)

Biology Integration Institutes (BII)
Biodiversity on a Changing Planet (BoCP)
Organismal Response to Climate Change (ORCC)

Proposals using NEON data and/or resources* to advance an area of biology may also be applicable to the following programs, depending on the area of biology on which they focus.

Division of Integrative Organismal Systems (IOS)

Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB)

* Proposals that plan to use NEON resources that are not generally available in the public NEON data catalogue, such as NEON assignable assets, on-site sampling or experiments, access to specimens or samples, or other work outside the standard, available NEON data must include a letter of collaboration from the NEON Project management organization that attests to the anticipated availability of the resources. See for further instructions on obtaining this letter.

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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