Signals in the Soil DCL

A new Dear Colleague Letter (DCL), NSF 18-047, was recently released announcing a cross-directorate initiative, Signals in the Soil (SitS). The program, conducted in collaboration with ENG, BIO, CISE, and GEO, focuses on several subjects of possible interest to the DBI community, including soil sensors, sensor networks, advanced cyber systems and data analytics, and modeling soil ecosystems.

The goal of this initiative is to encourage proposal submissions of Early-Concept Grants for Exploratory Research (EAGER) for early-stage, high-risk, high-reward research on technologies, models, and methods to better understand dynamic soil processes, including interactions of the macro- and microbiomes with soil nutrients, the rhizosphere, and various abiotic and biotic processes within the soil. Also, for proposals that are relevant to both the Signals in the Soils DCL and the NSF “Rules of Life,” submissions of Research Advanced by Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering (RAISE) proposals are encouraged.

The DCL solicits two-page Research Concept Outlines that will be treated as prospectuses for EAGER and RAISE proposals. Potential research areas include development of novel and inexpensive sensors for sensing soil biological/metagenomics, chemical, or physical characteristics; advances in wireless data collection and telemetry systems for sensors buried in soils; new methods for data fusion and analytics of soil sensor data with high frequency and fine spatial resolution; and innovative models of soil biological, chemical, and physical components that use the new sensor data.

The deadline for the Research Concept Outlines is April 13, 2018.

For questions relating to the disciplines under DBI, contact Dr. Michael Binford, DBI’s Program Officer involved with the DCL.

For general inquiries please email: