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Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences: Investigator-initiated research projects (MCB)

Status: Archived

Archived funding opportunity

This document has been archived. See NSF 24-539 for the latest version.

Important information for proposers

All proposals must be submitted in accordance with the requirements specified in this funding opportunity and in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that is in effect for the relevant due date to which the proposal is being submitted. It is the responsibility of the proposer to ensure that the proposal meets these requirements. Submitting a proposal prior to a specified deadline does not negate this requirement.

Supports research on living systems at the molecular, subcellular and cellular levels. Core areas supported include cellular dynamics and function; genetic mechanisms; molecular biophysics; and systems and synthetic biology.


The Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences (MCB) supports quantitative, mechanistic, predictive, and theory-driven fundamental research designed to promote understanding of complex living systems at the molecular, subcellular, and cellular levels. While recognizing the need for thorough and accurate descriptions of biological complexes and pathways, the priority of the Division is to support work that advances the field by capturing the predictive power of mechanistic, quantitative, and evolutionary approaches.

Proposals are solicited to support research relevant to the four MCB core clusters:

MCB gives high priority to research projects that use theory, methods, and technologies from life and physical sciences, mathematics, computational sciences, and engineering to address major biological questions that elucidate the rules governing subcellular and cellular processes.  Research supported by MCB uses a range of experimental and computational approaches--including in vivo, in vitro and in silico strategies--and a broad spectrum of model and non-model organisms, including microbes and plants. Typical research supported by MCB integrates theory and experimentation. Projects are particularly welcome that address the emerging areas of: multi-scale integration; transformative methods and resources (when driven by compelling biological questions); molecular and cellular evolution; the synthesis of life-like systems; and the quantitative prediction of the phenome from genomic information. Highest funding priority is given to applications that have outstanding intellectual merit and strong 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 that are motivated by relevance to human health and disease treatment are not appropriate for the Division and will be returned without review.


Program contacts

Manju M. Hingorani
mcb-gm@nsf.gov (703) 292-7323 BIO/MCB
Matthew J. Buechner
mcb-cdf@nsf.gov (703) 292-4675 BIO/MCB
Jaroslaw Majewski
mcb-mb@nsf.gov (703) 292-7278 BIO/MCB
Anthony G. Garza
mcb-ssb@nsf.gov (703) 292-8440 BIO/MCB

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