Community Workshop Support

This is a rolling call.

DOC version of the 2016-2017 C-DEBI Workshop RFP

The NSF Science and Technology Center for Dark Energy Biosphere Investigations (C-DEBI) invites proposals for $15,000 on average (and up to $20,000) in direct funds for community workshops that will help to advance C-DEBI’s central research agenda: to investigate the subseafloor biosphere deep in marine sediment and oceanic crust, and to conduct multi-disciplinary studies to develop an integrated understanding of subseafloor microbial life at the molecular, cellular, and ecosystem scales. C-DEBI’s research agenda balances exploration-based discovery, hypothesis testing, data integration and synthesis, and systems-based modeling. C-DEBI welcomes proposals from applicants who would enhance diversity in C-DEBI and STEM fields.

C-DEBI Research Themes

Workshop proposals should clearly describe the workshop’s objectives and their explicit relation to primary C-DEBI goals and the three central research themes:

  1. Fluxes, Connectivity, and Energy centers on subseafloor environmental conditions and processes
  2. Activities, Communities, and Ecosystems emphasizes resident microbial communities
  3. Metabolism, Survival, and Adaptation concentrates on the actions and traits of individual microbe species

Although proposals are not limited to these areas, successful proposals will clearly state how they will advance knowledge within these themes. C-DEBI also seeks to integrate across these themes and encourages knowledge transfer and collaboration between laboratories and institutions, and projects that emphasize synthesis of results from multiple settings or using a variety of tools.

Proposal Parameters

Workshop proposals should focus on expected workshop deliverables and clearly articulate how the workshop will help move C-DEBI forward. The workshop’s target community should also be described, as should the proposed method of participant recruitment, and the anticipated number of workshop participants (typically 12-20). Early career scientists are encouraged to lead as well as be significant participants in each workshop.

Workshop proposals should include:

  • a title
  • a short project summary of ≤200 words written for a broad audience
  • a project (workshop) description including figures and tables of not more than 5 pages (font size ≥ 11 pt)
  • a separate bibliographic reference section
  • a detailed budget and budget justification
  • and NSF‐style 2‐page CVs of all workshop conveners

Workshop support will be provided as “participant support” (i.e. budget estimates should include only direct costs for travel/food/lodging/venue/etc. expenses), and USC administrative support will be provided as needed (e.g., for reimbursement). To support increased participation, C-DEBI encourages workshop proponents to secure additional (“matching”) financial support from other sources (e.g., the U. S. Science Support Program for IODP and the Deep Life Community of the DCO), and to indicate plans for doing so in their budget, budget justification, and/or description of the proposed workshop.

Please submit your proposal as a single PDF in the order above to Rosalynn Sylvan, C-DEBI Managing Director ( This is a rolling call.

Review Process

Successful proposals will be: thoughtfully conceived, carefully organized, clearly written, relevant to C-DEBI themes, highly impactful, and tractable given the budget and schedule. We anticipate making decisions on funding 1 month following submission, with successfully proposed workshops starting between 2-10 months following notification.

Contact Information

For questions regarding the scientific scope of this call, please contact:
Jan Amend (, C-DEBI Director
Julie Huber (, C-DEBI Associate Director

Questions regarding proposal submission can be addressed to:
Rosalynn Sylvan (, C-DEBI Managing Director

See also:

Meetings and Workshops