FUNDING: Early Career Research Program
December 19, 2023
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Science invites applications for support under the Early Career Research Program (ECRP): DE-FOA-0003176. This opportunity includes the Biological and Environmental Research (BER) Program’s Biological Systems Science research.
BER is seeking research applications on Systems Biology Enabled Microbiome Research to Facilitate Predictions of Interactions and Behavior in the Environment.
Applications are requested for holistic, systems biology, and ‘omics-driven basic research on the contribution of microbial communities to biogeochemical cycling in terrestrial soil environments. Applications should focus on innovative approaches to understand regulatory, metabolic, and/or signaling networks of environmental microbes and microbiomes to enhance the ability to understand microbial interactions dynamically and predictively, from the molecular to the ecosystem scale.
BER encourages research that iterates between laboratory and natural ecosystems to move beyond the characterization of microbial and genetic diversity and facilitates realistic recapitulations of microbiome function in their natural habitat. Leveraging high-throughput cultivation and reconstruction of microbial communities to reconcile observed environmental community behavior is also welcome.
Of particular interest are projects that will provide insights into microbial processes that enhance the long-term storage of carbon in soils, thereby leading to net carbon removal from the atmosphere. Proposed research should include a strong computational foundation and advance understanding of the way microbial interactions, metabolic handoffs, and physiological dependencies lead to microbial function, behavior, and evolution in the environment.
Aims of proposed studies may include but are not limited to:
- Understand the rate and magnitude of microbe’s role in biogeochemical cycles (e.g., carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus, sulfur, and other relevant elements) to develop fundamental ecological principles that allow scaling and modeling of processes beyond the molecular realm;
- Provide insight into the mechanisms of microbial interactions with other microbes and with plants, signaling, resource sharing, and communication at the molecular, cellular, and community scales;
- Develop frameworks and technologies to manipulate environmental microbiomes to understand and predict their behavior;
- Develop novel environmental high-throughput and/or omics-based techniques (e.g., community-scale -omics, isotope tracing, visualization and quantification of activities, etc.) for the interrogation of microbial communities involved in BER-relevant processes.
More information on the Office of Science Early Career Research Program can be found here: https://www.energy.gov/science/listings/early-career-program.
Please see the announcement for additional details and eligibility requirements.