NOSI Encourages Collaboration Among Synthetic Biologists and Infectious Disease Specialists

Funding News Edition: December 16, 2020
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If you are a synthetic biologist or an infectious disease scientist who wants to advance research activities relevant to synthetic biology, apply for research funds through the Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Synthetic Biology for Biomedical Applications. NIAID participates in this NOSI alongside several other NIH institutes and centers (ICs).

Research Objectives

Synthetic biologists design and construct new biological systems and redesign existing and natural biological systems to advance medical science. Examples are the recently developed messenger RNA (mRNA)-based vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 that were submitted for Emergency Use Authorizations in less than one year. Collaboration between synthetic biologists, computational scientists, cell biologists, engineers, geneticists, or infectious disease specialists has the potential to increase the impact of engineering biology on human health.

This NOSI encourages collaboration between synthetic biologists and infectious disease scientists or immunologists for basic or translational applications.

The overarching goals of this NOSI are to:

  • Develop tools and technologies to control and reprogram biological systems.
  • Apply synthetic biology approaches to develop biomedical technologies.
  • Increase the fundamental understanding of synthetic biology concepts as they relate to human health.
  • Gain fundamental biological knowledge by applying synthetic biology approaches.

NIAID Statement of Interest

NIAID sees potential for synthetic biology technology to improve researchers’ ability to prevent, diagnose, and treat infectious and immune-related diseases and to better understand complex host immune responses to these diseases.

Through this NOSI, NIAID-relevant research interests include

  • Basic research including novel cell, tissue, and animal-based model systems to better understand the complexities of infectious disease and immune disorders, and immune responses in such diseases.
  • Tools and technologies to facilitate designing and developing novel sensors, therapeutics, antibodies, or vaccine approaches to overcome roadblocks in infectious disease diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and eradication.
  • Translational and clinical studies for precisely detecting, targeting, and treating a wide range of infectious and immunological diseases, including remodeling of the disease microenvironment.

Application and Submission Information

Through this NOSI, NIAID will consider applications submitted using either of the parent R01 funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) listed below—clinical trials required or clinical trials not allowed. Applicants must include “NOT-EB-20-017” (without quotation marks) in the Agency Routing Identifier field (box 4B) of the SF 424 (R&R) form to be considered for this initiative.

This NOSI is active for due dates on or after January 19, 2021, and subsequent receipt dates through January 18, 2024.



First Available Due Date

Expiration Date

Participating IC(s)


NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01, Clinical Trial Required)

February 5, 2021

May 8, 2023



NIH Research Project Grant (Parent R01, Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

February 5, 2021

May 8, 2023


Applicants should follow all instructions in the SF 424 (R&R) Application Guide and the relevant FOA.

Direct all NIAID-related questions to Dr. Reed Shabman, Dr. Brigitte Sanders, or Dr. Conrad Mallia, NIAID’s scientific/research contacts for this initiative.

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