Call « Diversity of biological mechanisms” 2022

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The Institute for Biological Sciences (INSB) at CNRS is launching for the third year a call that aims at developing studies on non-canonical biological models and mechanisms. Studies to identify and/or develop new models to answer important and specific biological questions that cannot be addressed in the currently available model organisms will be considered. Well established models, such as mouse, Drosophila, Caenorhabditis, zebra fish, Arabidopsis, yeast, cell cultures*, are not eligible to this call unless they are used only as references in comparison to novel models. (* this list is not exhaustive)

Since life has appeared on earth, it has developed into a great diversity of forms as the result of adaption and evolution. This diversity remains to be described and understood since most of the species are largely unknown both on land and in the oceans. Investigating this biological diversity will be essential for understanding life history and evolution. Despite or because of this incredible diversity, most biologists have focused their studies on a limited number of models, from viruses to humans, which have been very instrumental to learn a lot about biological mechanisms. With the progress of DNA sequencing and manipulation coupled to new technologies for growing and imaging non-standard species, it is timely to develop and characterize new micro- and macro-models such as viruses, bacteria, archaea, protists, and multicellular organisms to answer important questions in biology and evolution such as eukaryote, plant or animal origins. Investigating this diversity of biological mechanisms will also allow to identify new molecular pathways and enzymes or products which might benefit the industry or medicine.

Therefore, the Institute for Biological Sciences (INSB) at CNRS is launching for the third year a call that aims at developing studies on non-canonical biological models and mechanisms. Studies to identify and/or develop new models to answer important and specific biological questions that cannot be addressed in the currently available model organisms will be considered. Well established models, such as mouse, Drosophila, Caenorhabditis, zebra fish, Arabidopsis, yeast, cell cultures*, are not eligible to this call unless they are used only as references in comparison to novel models. (* this list is not exhaustive)

Projects from laboratories primarily affiliated to INSB will be funded for two years with a budget up to 20 k€ per year. Budget should be dedicated to running costs and equipment strictly necessary for the project. Genome and transcriptome sequencing are eligible if required and justified. No salary or student allowance will be granted. Projects will be evaluated on their originality and the strong adequacy between the biological question and the models to be identified or developed. Original projects using longstanding models will not be eligible to this call. In addition, the applicants should benefit of the proper intellectual and technical environment to develop their project and collaboration are welcome if necessary (in such cases, travel, and meeting expenses to establish and/or strengthen collaborations will be eligible. The PI will engage the funds for all participating laboratories). Since identifying and developing new models may take several years, the selected projects will be able to reapply to the DBM call at the end of the first two years, providing a report demonstrating significant progress and perspectives for its extension.

Applications of 5 pages plus a CV of 2 pages (7 pages maximum in total including figures) should follow the following organization:

File naming: Applicant_NAME_DBM2021.pdf

  1. State of the art of the biological question
  2. Rationale for the identification or the choice of the model(s)
  3. Experimental plan
  4. References
  5. Milestones and planned achievements
  6. Work forces, infrastructures available and annual budget
  7. Validation and signature by the unit director

Applications corresponding to projects supported in 2020 should substitute points 1 and 2 by a report highlighting the progress made, reached milestones and/or difficulties encountered. The novel application should explain the strategies proposed to overcome technical obstacles if any and highlight scientific objectives for the coming 2 years.

The deadline is February, 9th, 2022 at 12am, Paris time.

Applicants will have to send their application as a single pdf file to the following address: insb.dbm@cnrs.fr

Selected projects will be announced by the end of March 2022.

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