Notice of NHGRI Participation in the National Science Foundation Molecular Foundations for Biotechnology (MFB) Partnerships to Transform Emerging Industries - RNA Tools/Biotechnology
Notice Number:

Key Dates

Release Date:

February 8, 2023

Related Announcements

NSF 23-554 - Molecular Foundations for Biotechnology (MFB) Partnerships to Transform Emerging Industries

Issued by

National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)


The purpose of this Notice is to announce that the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH)  is collaborating on the multi-agency funding opportunity, Molecular Foundations for Biotechnology (MFB) Partnerships to Transform Emerging Industries (NSF 23-554).

The National Human Genome Research Institute will participate in the MFB initiative led by the National Science Foundation (NSF). MFB applications must aim to develop and provide proof-of-concept testing of tools, methodology and/or theory that address one or both themes: (i) Accelerate fundamental discoveries about RNA structure, interactions, and functions at molecular, genome, and transcriptome-wide scales, and/or (ii) Create innovative RNA-based applications for various sectors of the bioeconomy such as agriculture, energy production, or efforts to mitigate the effects of climate change, improve environmental sustainability, and/or combat global pandemics. The NHGRI will consider applications that are relevant to the NHGRI mission to accelerate scientific and medical breakthroughs that improve human health.

Detailed information about this program can be obtained on the NSF website:

NIH Partner Interests

National Human Genome Research Institute

NHGRI supports resources, approaches, and technologies that accelerate genomic research focused on the structure and biology of genomes; the genomics of disease; the implementation and effectiveness of genomic medicine; computational genomics and data science; the impact of genomic technology, advances, and implementation on health disparities and health equity; and ethical, legal, and social issues related to genomic advances. NHGRI recognizes the importance of diversity in the genomic workforce, without which the promise of genomics cannot be fully achieved. 

In general, NHGRI supports studies that provide generalizable methods and knowledge about genomics in relation to human health. NHGRI will consider MFB applications that can demonstrate utility or relevance to human health or disease, provided they also focus on the development of methods or novel applications that demonstrate approaches that are generalizable beyond single-gene, single-trait, or single-disease relevant phenotypes.

Application Preparation and Submission Instructions

The deadline for submission of applications to NSF in response to the MFB Program is May 11, 2023. The deadline for required letters of intent is March 16, 2023.

Applications must be submitted to the NSF in accordance with NSF-23-554 and not to the NIH. The scientific review of the MFB applications will be a jointly-conducted initial peer review organized by NSF. Meritorious applications may be recommended for funding by either NSF or NIH, at the option of the participating agencies. Subsequent to the NSF review, eligible applicants whose research is appropriate for NHGRI and have received highly meritorious scores will be provided with instructions on how to submit their applications in an NIH-approved format directly to the Center for Scientific Review ( of the NIH for further processing. Subsequent submission and grant administration procedures will be in accordance with NIH policy.

Potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact NIH or NSF program officials prior to submitting an application.

Award Information

It is anticipated that the MFB program will issue approximately seven awards in the summer or fall of 2023. All awards are subject to the availability of funds. The award duration is no more than three years for NSF and NIH awards. For this solicitation, award sizes are expected to range from approximately $250,000 to $400,000 per year in direct costs. This range is offered as a guide to help applicants understand what has historically been fundable in the MFB program. The project budget and duration must be commensurate with the scale and scope of the research. Applicants requesting budgets toward the larger end of the range should make it clear why a larger budget is necessary for the success of the project.


Please direct all inquiries to:

Jennifer Strasburger, M.S.
National Human Genome Research Institute
National Institutes of Health
Telephone: 240-281-9121