Assembling the Tree of Life

Rodman, James E. jrodman at NSF.GOV
Fri Feb 15 12:20:41 CST 2002

U.S. National Science Foundation
Funding Opportunity for
(electronic solicitation NSF 02-074 for Fiscal Year 2002)

A flood of new information, from whole-genome sequences to inventories of
earth's biota, is transforming 21st century biology. Along with comparative
data on morphology, fossils, development, behavior, and interactions of all
forms of life on earth, these new data streams make even more critical the
need for an organizing framework for information retrieval, analysis, and
prediction. Phylogeny, the genealogical map for all lineages of life on
earth, provides an overall framework to facilitate information retrieval and
biological prediction. Currently, single investigators or small teams of
researchers are studying the evolutionary pathways of heredity within
particular phyla or domains. Assembly of a framework phylogeny, or Tree of
Life, for all 1.7 million described species requires a greatly magnified
effort by large teams working across institutions and disciplines. This is
the overall goal of the Assembling the Tree of Life activity. The U.S.
National Science Foundation invites research proposals from
multidisciplinary teams to conduct creative and innovative research that
will resolve phylogenetic relationships for large groups of organisms on the
Tree of Life. Teams of investigators also will be supported for projects in
data acquisition, analysis, algorithm development and dissemination in
computational phylogenetics and phyloinformatics.

Please see the Program Solicitation (NSF 02-074) soon to be posted on the
NSF website ( <> in the Documents Online
section) for description of the activity and guidance on proposal
preparation; note the deadline of May 17, 2002 and the optional Letter of
Intent requested by March 29, 2002.

James E. Rodman, Ph.D.
Program Director, Systematic Biology
Division of Environmental Biology, room 635
National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Blvd.
Arlington, VA 22230
703-292-7184 (tel)
703-292-9064 (fax)
jrodman at

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