Preliminary proposal due December 28, 2018 Full proposal due May 13, 2019

In 2016, the National Science Foundation (NSF) unveiled a set of "Big Ideas," 10 bold, long-term research and process ideas that identify areas for future investment at the frontiers of science and engineering (see https://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/big_ideas/index.jsp). The Big Ideas represent unique opportunities to position our Nation at the cutting edge of global science and engineering leadership by bringing together diverse disciplinary perspectives to support convergence research. As such, when responding to this solicitation, even though proposals must be submitted to the Division of Emerging Frontiers in the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO/EF) , once received, the proposals will be managed by a cross-disciplinary team of NSF Program Directors.

This solicitation describes an Ideas Lab on "Building a Synthetic Cell." Ideas Labs are intensive workshops focused on finding innovative solutions to grand challenge problems. The ultimate aim of this Ideas Lab organized by the National Science Foundation is to facilitate the generation and execution of innovative research projects aimed at designing, fabricating, and validating synthetic cells that express specified phenotypes. The aspiration is that mixing researchers who have diverse scientific backgrounds will engender original thinking and innovative approaches that will transform our understanding of cellular processes, the molecular mechanisms that underscore the building and function of systems that reproduce life traits, the self-assembly of life-like systems, soft condensed matter, and the physics and chemistry of life that are needed to design and build cellular components, cells and multicell systems.

View the full NSF solicitation here

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