In the last century, the study of biology has slowly fragmented into subdisciplines, creating a dynamic tension between unifying principles and increasingly reductionist pursuits. The aim of this solicitation is to bring researchers together around the common goal of understanding how the processes that sustain life and enable biological innovation operate and interact within and across different scales of organization, from molecules to cells, tissues to organisms, species, ecosystems, biomes and the entire Earth. The Biology Integration Institutes (BII) program supports collaborative teams of researchers investigating questions that span multiple disciplines within and beyond biology.
Integration across biological disciplines is essential if we hope to understand the diverse and ever-increasing data streams of modern biology and tackle emergent questions about living organisms and the environment. Of equal importance is the need for groundbreaking and sustainable training programs that prepare the next generations of scientists to navigate the breadth of biological sciences, training in multiple disciplines without sacrificing depth of learning or innovation. In addition, the biology community must continue to develop practices and adopt strategies that leverage rapid advances in cyberinfrastructure and other technologies to bridge and integrate across subdisciplines and make resources accessible, re-usable, and adaptable for unanticipated purposes. In these ways,BIO Integration Institutes will enable the discoveries of life’s innovations that will inspire new applications to drive our bioeconomy and provide solutions to societal challenges.
While this solicitation focuses on the integration of biological disciplines, any field beyond biology may be included as needed to address the overarching biological theme. Proposals may be submitted in one of two tracks: (1) Design proposals are for teams to develop communities and groundbreaking ideas to be submitted to later competitions as Implementation proposals through diverse and sustained activities, including workshops and follow-up meetings. (2) Implementation proposals are for teams that have already a) developed an Integrative Research Plan around a theme of significance, b) designed an educational approach that employs effective methods for depth and breadth of training, AND c) prepared a cohesive and sustainable Management Plan that is ready for deployment.
- Established Investigator