version of the Spring 2013 C-DEBI Research RFP]
The NSF Science and Technology Center for Dark Energy Biosphere
Investigations (C-DEBI) invites proposals up to $50,000 for
projects that are relevant to deep biosphere research and
in particular complement the scientific program of recent
or scheduled IODP drilling expeditions. These grants are intended to provide ‘seed’ money, and we strongly encourage grant awardees to seek out further funding opportunities as appropriate. C-DEBI encourages
women and members of underrepresented groups to apply.
C-DEBI seeks to support deep biosphere research concerning
life in marine sediments and the ocean crust. There are four
- Activity in the deep biosphere: function &
rates of global biogeochemical processes
- Extent of life: biomes and the degree of connectivity
(biogeography & dispersal)
- Limits of life: extremes and norms of carbon,
energy, nutrient, temperature, pressure, pH
- Evolution and survival: adaptation,
enrichment, selection, and cell repair
C-DEBI seeks to integrate across these disciplines and encourages
knowledge transfer and collaborations across different laboratories
and institutions. Although proposals are not limited to these
areas, successful proposals will clearly state how they contribute
to advance knowledge in the context of these themes.
C-DEBI’s objectives include support of research activities
related to the study of subseafloor life in the deep ocean,
including analysis of samples and data from past expeditions;
participation in upcoming expeditions; and field, laboratory,
theoretical and synthesis studies.
C-DEBI has a deep appreciation of the specific challenges
that accompany microbiological investigations and the study
of biogeochemical processes in the subseafloor biosphere,
and encourages research that addresses these challenges through
approaches such as timely analyses of perishable samples,
experiments with live samples, refining or adapting difficult
sampling or analytical techniques, or applying well-established
methods to the analysis of substantial sample sets. C-DEBI
also encourages basic research on biogeochemical processes
that will lead to better understanding of subsurface microbial
activities, and marine hydrogeological studies performed in
the context of C-DEBI research themes.
Proposed projects should be innovative and aim to answer
current fundamental research questions and/or contribute to
the development of new hypotheses and goals for future studies.
Successful proposals will clearly articulate the relevance
of proposed research for C-DEBI, indicate sources of samples
and/or data (where necessary), and describe the qualifications
of the applicant(s). Entrainment
of new researchers previously not funded by C-DEBI will be
a major consideration in the decision process.
See the Grants
Programs FAQs for additional review details.
Proposals will be considered for pre- and post-expedition
research using samples and data, and/or participation on upcoming
expeditions. Proposed research can also focus on theoretical,
experimental and/or modeling studies of the deep biosphere
in a broader sense, e.g., testing novel techniques for deep
biosphere research, lab-based experiments with deep biosphere
organisms, model development, or metabolic studies of growth
under deep subsurface conditions. Fundamental studies of microbial
metabolism that can be applied to subseafloor conditions will
also be considered.
In addition to the general call which targets all appropriate C-DEBI research, the current proposal call includes a special focused topic for funding projects that involve field, experimental, or theoretical approaches related to an oceanographic expedition to the Dorado Outcrop. This expedition is scheduled for 6-27 November 2013 to explore for and sample from springs discharging cool (5 to 20°C) hydrothermal fluids on 23 m.y. old seafloor on the eastern flank of the East Pacific Rise (PIs Wheat (UAF), Fisher (UCSC), and Hulme (MLML)). The expedition will include multi-beam mapping with a surface ship and the AUV Sentry, and seafloor exploration, sampling, and measurements using the ROV Jason [more on the Dorado project and the NSF proposal]. Opportunities, including limited berths, exist for C-DEBI "add-on" science that can be completed without diverting significantly from primary operations. To avoid potential conflicts please consult with a PI prior to submittal. C-DEBI anticipates that a third to a half of funds will go to support high quality proposals on this topic.
Applicants who wish to use samples or data collected as part
of IODP or other oceanographic expeditions must ensure that
their proposed projects do not conflict with existing expedition-related
projects (e.g., shipboard scientists’ projects). Proponents
and their intended advisors should resolve this issue by contacting
expedition co-chiefs and shipboard scientists before they
submit their proposals. In this respect, it should be noted
that receiving research support from C-DEBI does not guarantee
access to samples or data that are not available to the community
at large. Applicants for C-DEBI support are responsible for
securing access to all samples and data needed to complete
proposed work, and should provide evidence of access to the
samples in the proposal, if appropriate. For the IODP Sample,
Data and Obligations Policy and other sample and data access
information, visit http://www.iodp.org/access-data/.
|Application and Submission
Proposals should include a cover page form (PDF
form), a short project summary of 200 words maximum written
for a broad audience, a project description of not more than
5 pages (font size not smaller than 11 points), a reference
section, a detailed budget and budget justification including
institutional overhead, and NSF-style 2-page CVs of all participating
This request for proposals is open to all interested researchers
at US institutions able to receive NSF funding as a subaward.
A principal goal of C-DEBI is to recruit scientists from related
fields to deep biosphere research and to build a well-connected
future community of deep-biosphere researchers. C-DEBI
encourages women and members of underrepresented groups to
The next deadline for
this semiannual call is April 1, 2013.
Please submit your proposal by email, preferably
as a single PDF document, to C-DEBI at firstname.lastname@example.org
to the attention of:
C-DEBI Co-Managing Director
If you have any questions regarding proposal submissions
you may also contact one of the four theme team leaders or the PIs of the Dorado Expedition:
- Theme 1 (Activity): Beth Orcutt (email@example.com)
- Theme 2 (Extent of Life): Andreas Teske (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Theme 3 (Limits of Life): Tom McCollom (email@example.com)
- Theme 4 (Evolution and Survival): Bill Nelson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Dorado Expedition: Geoff Wheat (email@example.com), Andy Fisher (firstname.lastname@example.org), Sam Hulme (email@example.com)
> Read our Grants
Programs FAQs to understand how C-DEBI proposals are reviewed
> What research projects have been funded?