The Evolutionary Processes Cluster supports research that makes inference about micro- and macroevolutionary processes and their consequences, over any addressable spatial or temporal scale. The cluster addresses evolutionary processes at multiple levels including: 1) the genome and epigenome; 2) the phenotype; 3) intraspecific evolution and adaptation, including life history evolution; 4) the evolutionary genetics and evolutionary ecology of lineage divergence and speciation; 5) interspecific interactions and evolution (e.g., hybridization; parasitism; etc.); and 6) biogeography. We encourage both empirical and theoretical approaches. Projects should address one or more fundamental questions of broad significance that will substantially advance science.
Appropriate topics of investigation include (but are not limited to) population and quantitative genetic examination of the processes responsible for phenotypic and genotypic evolution; ecological and/or genomic processes maintaining genetic variation; how genetic architecture shapes and is shaped by evolutionary processes; life-history evolution; the evolutionary dynamics of population diversification (including phylogeography and speciation); the evolution and coevolution of species interactions; the dynamics of natural and sexual selection; and reciprocal interactions between ecological and evolutionary processes. The Cluster also welcomes proposals that cross programmatic boundaries at NSF, provided there is a strong component of inference about evolutionary processes. The Program will work with other NSF Programs to facilitate interdisciplinary approaches.
The Cluster funds proposals submitted in response to the CAREER, RCN, LTREB, MCA and OPUS solicitations. The Cluster also funds Conference proposals, requests for supplemental funding, and RAPID, EAGER, or RAISE applications. These should be submitted only after consulting a Program Officer, following the standard guidelines directly in response to the PAPPG.
NOTE: Other programs in the Biological Sciences Directorate support research on evolutionary patterns and processes. The following guidelines may help you find the most appropriate program for your research interests. Proposals focused on phylogenetic diversification, and the origins and maintenance of biodiversity at the clade and higher levels should be directed to the Systematics and Biodiversity Sciences Cluster in DEB. Proposals addressing molecular genetic mechanisms or the structure, maintenance, expression, transfer, and stability of genetic information in DNA, RNA, chromosomes, and proteins and how those processes are regulated and evolve are considered by the Genetic Mechanisms Cluster (Division of Molecular and Cellular Biosciences). Proposals addressing the genetic bases of traits, or among-species comparisons of behavioral, physiological or developmental systems, that look at outcomes of evolution alone or in addition to the evolutionary processes that gave rise to those outcomes, are covered by programs in the Division of Integrative Organismal Systems. Program Officers stand ready to answer more specific questions about the best program, or combination of programs, for your particular research plans.