Future of Microbiology Funding at NSF?

Just got pointed to slides from Jim Collins’ recent talk at the ASM Meeting in Boston (Collins is the Assistant Director of the NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences) . Unfortunately, I missed his talk but you can get a PDF file of his slides (with proprietary ones removed) and it makes for some interesting viewing.  

There are clearly some big changes planned at NSF for “microbial” research and there seems to be a plan to merge what used to be microbe focused projects into other programs such as NEON, Assembling the Tree of Life, and others. There do appear to be some “Microbe” specific programs that will still be around including a new one “Microbial Systems in the Biosphere” which seems to be replacing/merging with the Microbial Genomes and the Microbial Observatories program.  

Anyway … it seems that some changes are afoot at NSF.  Since I missed the talk it is hard to tell what the general plan and big picture is here.  If anyone out there went to his talk or have seen other talks of his it would be useful if you could post some impressions here.

Wanna sequence a microbial genome? Try applying to this NSF-USDA

Contrary to rumors that I had heard (and I confess was spreading too) the NSF and USDA have announced the continuation of their Microbial Genome Sequencing program. This is by far and away my favorite grant program pretty much ever. I have gotten funding for most of my favorite projects through this program. So – I hate to bring in competition, but I thought I should post an announcement here:

Microbial Genome Sequencing Program FY2008
As a collaborative, interagency effort, the National Science Foundation (NSF), and the Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service (CSREES) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture invite research proposals (i) to support high-throughput sequencing of the genomes of microorganisms, and (ii) to develop and implement strategies, tools and technologies to make currently available genome sequences more valuable to the user community.

Full Proposal Deadline: February 19, 2008

The link for the solicitation should be up later today at:
http://www.nsf.gov/publications/pub_summ.jsp?ods_key=nsf08511