Systems Biology Research to Advance Sustainable Bioenergy Crop Development

Funding Agency:
Department of Energy

The DOE SC program in Biological and Environmental Research (BER) hereby announces its interest in receiving applications for research that supports the Genomic Science program ( In this FOA, applications are requested for:

i. Systems-level research to improve understanding of the molecular mechanisms underlying bioenergy feedstock productivity under changing and at times suboptimal environmental conditions;

ii. Systems biology-enabled investigations into the role(s) of microbes and microbial communities (including rhizosphere consortia, e.g. bacteria, fungi, diazotrophs, endophytes, viruses) in supporting plant productivity and vigor.

This FOA focuses on omics-driven basic research aimed at enabling the integrated development of sustainable bioenergy feedstock systems in terrestrial environments within the ecosystem context. Applications that include the development of integrative physiology-based models to attain a systems-level understanding of the plant and/or plant-microbiome ecosystem in order to identify key parameters of bioenergy plant sustainability are encouraged. Such applications should take into account key variables such as genomic properties of biofuel crops and relevant biological processes (e.g. resource use efficiency, carbon and nitrogen metabolism, phenology, adaptation, rhizosphere community functions), enabling the quantitative, accurate prediction of plant performance and ecosystem processes under changing environments. In addition, applications that directly address bioenergy crops and their abiotic responses in a field setting are highly encouraged, as well as innovative use of computational technologies (e.g. machine learning) for integrative analyses and predictive modeling.


  • Required Pre-Application: Jan. 27, 2020
  • Full Application: Mar. 9, 2020

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

All types of institutions are eligible to apply as the prime applicant (lead institution), except DOE/NNSA National Laboratories, other non-DOE Federal Agencies, Federally Funded Research and Development Center (FFRDC) Contractors, and nonprofit organizations described in section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 that engaged in lobbying activities after December 31, 1995.



Amount Description

Ceiling: $3,000,000 per year

Floor: $1,000,000 per year

Research Grant Awards are expected to be made for a period of up to five years as befitting the project.

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences

External Deadline

January 27, 2020