NSF’s Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI) will produce two webcasts, one on October 13, 2015 and another in early 2016, each with a duration of 60-90 minutes.  Both events are open to the public.

The October 13th webcast will start at 3 PM ET, live from Stafford I, Room 350 at the NSF headquarters, 4201 Wilson Boulevard, Arlington, VA  22230. 

The National Science Foundation (NSF) was established by Congress through the NSF Act of 1950, as an independent agency of the Federal government " ... to promote the progress of science; to advance the national health, prosperity and welfare; and to secure the national defense."

The Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) awards Postdoctoral Research Fellowships (PRFB) in Biology to recent recipients of the doctoral degree for research and training in selected areas supported by BIO and with special goals for human resource development in biology.  The fellowships encourage independence at an early stage of the research career to permit Fellows to pursue their research and training goals in the most appropriate research locations regardless of the availability of funding for the Fellows at that site.  For FY 2016 and beyond, these BIO programs are (1) Broadening Participation of Groups Under-represented in Biology, (2) Research Using Biological Collections, and (3) National Plant Genome Initiative (NPGI) Postdoctoral Research Fellowships.

The first webcast is targeted to potential applicants for the upcoming annual deadline on November 3, 2015.  The later webcast is targeted to graduate advisors of future applicants and established scientists interested in serving as sponsoring scientists to NSF Fellows in the future.

Communications Objective and Strategies

The postdoctoral research experience represents a critically important career transition for future leaders in biology.  As an early career opportunity, the BIO postdoctoral fellowships are designed as a first independent postdoctoral research experience; yet, many graduate students are not aware of the PRFB opportunity prior to completing their graduate program and miss a year of eligibility.  The PRFB program seeks to change the timing when graduate students begin to plan and apply for postdoctoral opportunities by using a new approach rather than relying solely on individual outreach efforts and the program solicitation.

These webcasts will provide information on when and how to apply to potential applicants and also inform academic advisors on how to assist and attract potential postdoctoral fellows to their research programs.

Each year the program receives a large number of non-compliant applications, which must be returned without review.  The webcast will provide a new communication channel to inform potential applicants of pitfalls and problems and for the program to receive feedback on the requested information. 

PRFB awards are made to individuals, not institutions, and applicants must register and apply directly with NSF without the assistance of a sponsored research office.  The first webcast is designed to assist potential applicants with accurate information on the application process.  The second webcast is designed to increase knowledge and participation of potential mentors and sponsors.

By recording and posting the webcasts on the program website, the information will remain available to potential applicants and sponsors who cannot attend the sessions.


About NSF
The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2009, its budget is $9.5 billion, which includes $3.0 billion provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to over 1,900 universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 44,400 competitive requests for funding, and makes over 11,500 new funding awards.MORE

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