The Marine Microbiology Initiative seeks to support scientists who are conducting research in fields relevant to our goals of uncovering the principles that govern the interactions among microbes (who interacts with whom, how, when, where, and the consequences thereof) and that influence the microbially mediated nutrient flow in the marine environment (who consumes and excretes what, where, how much, when, and the consequences thereof). This includes scientists such as microbial ecologists, biogeochemists, modelers, evolutionary biologists, bioinformaticians, and more.
We received over 180 applications.
Our review process was designed to provide us with the most helpful information for our selection process, not for providing feedback to the applicants. The applicants and reviewers were promised confidentiality to protect the integrity of the process—to protect the ideas of the applicants and for the reviewers to provide us with their thorough and candid assessments of an application.
Yes. The foundation treated all application materials, including ideas and descriptions of future plans, as strictly confidential. External reviewers were also required to maintain confidentiality on all materials and sign confidentiality agreements.
No. Our goal was to identify awardees regardless of these considerations.
Investigator grants are for five years (non-renewable). Awards will range from approximately $200,000 to $500,000 per year in direct costs. The monetary size and structure of awards to investigators will be determined through discussions with foundation staff and are subject to approval by the foundation’s Board of Trustees.
No,we do not anticipate holding another competition in the near future.
The RFI identified specific high impact research questions from individual scientists or teams of researchers. In contrast, this competition focuses on people—identifying current and emerging leaders in the field who will be evaluated, in part, based on how their future research will drive the field forward. Thus, the RFI emphasized specific research project outcomes, whereas the current investigator competition emphasizes identifying leaders in the field (of which ideas for research projects are just one component).