Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation Announces Request for Ideas for Marine Microbiology and Marine Microbial Ecology Research
Marine Microbiology Initiative seeks research community’s most creative ideas
Sep. 17, 2010
Palo Alto, Calif — The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation today announced that its Marine Microbiology Initiative has issued a request for ideas (RFI), to identify the most promising opportunities where a strategic, focused effort over the next five years will help to break open ‘black boxes’ in the field and take understanding of marine microbial communities to a new level.
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation’s Marine Microbiology Initiative has supported research in marine microbiology and marine microbial ecology since 2004. Building on advances in the field, the initiative is preparing to enter its second phase. To do so, it seeks input from the international scientific community.
“We seek to gather and incorporate the best thinking from scientists working at the forefront of the field into our funding portfolio,” said Vicki Chandler, chief program officer for the Foundation’s Science Program. “We value calculated risks and innovation that can transform fields and take us to entirely new places in science. This RFI is a tool to gather the community’s best ideas and initiate a dialogue to foster research collaboration. Our intent is that the resulting synergy will yield a whole far greater than the sum of its parts.”
Excellent progress has been made toward the understanding of microbial diversity in the sea, making it clear that most ecosystems contain large numbers and varieties of microbial inhabitants from multiple domains (e.g. archaea, bacteria, eukaryota, and viruses) that interact with each one another and with their surrounding environment. Identifying, quantifying, and modeling the complex biological, physical, and chemical interactions that, in sum, produce functioning microbial ecosystems poses distinct challenges. Therefore, in its next phase, the initiative aims to target research toward understanding the specific functional roles of community members (“who’s doing what?”), functional relationships within microbial communities (“who’s interacting with whom?”), and the environmental parameters that affect both microbial community structure and function (“how does the environment affect them and vice versa?”).
While the emphasis during the initiative’s second phase will remain on marine systems, submission of ideas using other microbial systems that would contribute to furthering knowledge in the marine field is welcome.
Researchers interested in contributing an RFI for consideration by the Foundation should submit a two-page idea summary by November 8, 2010. Detailed information on the RFI is available at http://www.moore.org/mmi-rfi.aspx, including the criteria, timeline, and process.
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, in consultation with external advisors, will review the idea summaries and choose a subset of the most exciting opportunities for further exploration, which best align with the Foundation’s goals. The Foundation will identify synergistic ideas and encourage collaborations during subsequent project development. Authors will be notified of the results of the initial review process in February 2011.
About the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation
The Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, established in 2000, seeks to advance environmental conservation and scientific research around the world and improve the quality of life in the San Francisco Bay Area. The Foundation’s Science Program aims to make a significant impact on the development of provocative, transformative scientific research, and increase knowledge in emerging fields. Within the Science Program, the Foundation’s Marine Microbiology Initiative supports discovery and dissemination of scientific findings and technological developments in the fields of marine microbiology and microbial ecology, which contribute to ocean health and productivity. For more on the Marine Microbiology Initiative, please visit http://www.moore.org/marine-micro.aspx.
For RFI questions and submission: email@example.com
For media inquiries: Genny Biggs, 650-213-3021, firstname.lastname@example.org###