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Office for Research and Graduate Education

College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


You're Invited! Using Rules of Life: Workshop and Postdoc Incubator Invitation from NSF

March 23, 2022
Researchers working in a lab with large machinery

We would like to share the below opportunity with you to participate in a few workshops held by the National Science Foundation. These workshops are aimed at postdocs and begin in April. They will occur along with a few incubator events to provide networking and engagement opportunities for the participants. Note that the application deadline is next Tuesday, March 29! If you are interested please get your application submitted soon.

On March 15, 2022, the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) held a Town Hall bringing together a multidisciplinary group of researchers to discuss this topic and to identify challenges ripe for this approach. Knowinnovation is a company specializing in accelerating scientific innovation - we are facilitating this program on behalf of the NSF. The ideas from that Town Hall have been distilled into four topics which will serve as focal points for four separate workshops.

Each workshop will consider how all the STEM disciplines (including biology, chemistry, computer sciences, engineering, geosciences, mathematics, physics, social, behavioral, and economic sciences) could be used to tackle a specific problem. All workshops will incorporate cross-cutting themes of diversity, equity, and inclusion and STEM education, training, and workforce development. Additional ‘incubator’ events will provide further engagement for postdocs attending the workshops.

Participation in the workshop is by application only. Applications close on Tuesday March 29, 2022.

Apply using this link:

Workshop 1: Stewarding an Integrated Biodiversity-Climate System (April 14, 2022 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM EDT)
We are learning the Rules of Life that govern the essential role of biodiversity in controlling function, maintenance, and adaptation of every ecosystem on Earth. We are also learning that biodiversity and climate are inextricably linked and that everything affecting one affects the other. How might these lessons help us to predict, preserve, and harness the benefits of biodiversity for human society and the natural world?

Workshop 2: Achieving a Sustainable Future (April 19, 2022 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM EDT)
We are learning the Rules of Life that govern the complexity of interconnected living systems at multiple scales, e.g., from natural and synthetic cells to organisms, populations, communities, ecosystems, and the biosphere. As we learn more about the ways that living systems use and re-use natural resources, how might these lessons help us devise strategies to improve sustainability?

Workshop 3: Harnessing Microbiomes for Societal Benefit (April 21, 2022 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM EDT)
We are learning the Rules of Life that govern the individual and collective metabolism, physiology, signaling, and interaction of different microbiomes, as well as their composition and responses to evolving environments. As we learn more about the roles of microbiomes in all living systems, how might these lessons help us to improve human society and the biosphere?

Workshop 4: Leveraging AI and Data for Predicting Mechanisms (April 26, 2022 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM EDT)
We are learning the Rules of Life that govern the prediction of an organism’s observable characteristics from interactions of its genome with the environment.  At the same time, novel research on artificial intelligence and data analytics is providing essential tools for integrating Rules of Life data.  How might these lessons help us to improve our ability to use AI and Data Science?

Postdoc 'incubators'

All postdoc participants will also be invited to attend a series of incubators to complement the workshops:

  • Kick-off Incubator (all selected postdocs): April 12, 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM EDT
  • Writing Incubator A: April 22, 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM EDT  (for attendees of workshops 1 and 2)
  • Writing Incubator B: May 2, 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM EDT (for attendees of workshops 3 and 4)
  • Wrap-up Incubator (all selected postdocs): May 17, 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM EDT