Genomics, Proteomics, Bioinformatics

NSF Dear Colleague Letter – Assembling the Tree of Life Solicitation

By Keith Cowing
January 17, 2008

Dear Colleague, The National Science Foundation’s Assembling the Tree of Life (AToL) solicitation has recently been renewed and updated (see the program solicitation, NSF 08-515; As in the past, the AToL competition will support creative and innovative research to resolve evolutionary relationships for large groups of organisms. The program also supports research on theory and methods and tool development for these large scale phylogenetic investigations. With this letter we wish to draw your attention to several new and/or enhanced areas of interest. Proposals in the following areas are especially encouraged:

1. Proposals that seek to understand the role and importance of lateral gene transfer and reticulation in evolutionary history, as well as proposals to develop methods and theory that will address this important issue in phylogenetic research and phyloinformatics.

2. Proposals to develop tools to facilitate the efficient integration and management of the diverse types of data and extensive amounts of data that are generated by these large-scale phylogenetic studies.

3. Proposals that focus on major taxonomic groups not yet addressed in ongoing or completed AToL projects. Examples include but are not limited to: viruses and the various major groups of prokaryotes, protists, and lower invertebrates.

The deadline date for proposal submission to the AToL program is 14 March 2008. NSF FastLane requirements ( apply to all proposals. Proposals must conform to all format requirements in the Grant Proposal Guide; in addition there are special proposal requirements for this competition (see AToL solicitation Investigators with questions about AToL proposals are encouraged to contact the AToL Working Group ([email protected]). A link to the list of previous AToL awards and abstracts can be found on the AToL web page (

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