Original NSF Proposal
"From the genome to the tree of life"
NSF Proposal Body Bibliography Initial Core Participant's statements
1. Results from Prior Support 5. Examples: Research Integrating Genomics / Phylogenetics
2. Background: Phylogenetics / Evolution 6. Proposed Coordination Activities
3. Background: Genomics 7. Management / Coordination Mechanisms
4. Theme: Research Coordination Group 8. Significance

Section 7: Management / Coordination Mechanisms

Coordination of the project.

Brent Mishler will serve as Project Director throughout the five years of this grant, and will supervise the overall collaboration and interface with related groups such as the existing GPPRCG and the NSF Plant Genome Initiative (see below). An initial Steering Committe (SC) for the RCN will be established, consisting of the PI plus six members (three phylogeneticists and three genomicists) selected from the initial Core Participants. Each year, two of the SC members will rotate off to be replaced by new members chosen by the SC. The SC will hold a conference call each month to review progress and activities. Even though a small group of Core Participants has prepared this proposal, inclusion in the RCN will be open to all who are interested in its activities, as was done with the GPPRCG collaboration (that ultimately had well over 200 participants). To encourage broader participation in the future, the SC will send letters of invitation to meetings to key researchers and those identified by the Core Participants as likely to be interested, and information on the meeting will be posted on the RCN's website and the websites of other relevant groups and societies.

UC Berkeley will be the lead institution for funding purposes, but there will be continuous interaction, data-sharing, and cross-training activities across all institutions represented in the group of Core Participants and beyond. An email list will serve for routine communication across labs. The entire group, including all collaborators, and students, as well as other relevant invitees, will meet as a whole at least once a year in a network retreat, and also in association with national meetings. These meetings will include progress reports as well as discussions and demonstrations of new techniques and approaches. Meeting proceedings and new data availability will be shared among these labs, and broadly with the general botanical public, by posting to a web page.

The proposed RCN in relation to the GPPRCG.

The GPPRCG (Deep Green) operates under a simple set of bylaws, with an elected Executive Committee that rotates on staggered 3-year terms. The current Executive Committee of the GPPRCG includes Brent Mishler (Chair), Charles Delwiche, Russell Chapman, Pamela Soltis, Elizabeth Zimmer, Mark Buchheim, and Ken Karol (as student representative). Four of these are either PI or Core Participants on this proposal, and will serve to coordinate the research proposed here with the other activities of the group. Future rotators onto the GPPRCG Executive Committee are very likely to come from the group of formal participants on this proposal, which will maintain continuity between the overall GPPRCG activities and the Steering Committee of the new RCN group.

The proposed RCN in relation to other groups.

The proposed phylogenomics RCN (nicknamed "Deep Gene") will also interface with the Arabidopsis Genome Initiative group (the AGI), and the NSF advisory group for that project; Daphne Preuss (one of the Core Participants of "Deep Gene") is currently the chair. The NSF Plant Genome Initiative also has annual meetings that bring together all award recipients. Five of the initial Core Participants of "Deep Gene" (Walbot, Preuss, Doebley, Somerville, and Tanksley) are PIs on these awards, and other PIs and their associates will be recruited to join the RCN later. The proposed "Deep Gene" RCN will also interface with another proposed RCN (nicknamed "Deep Time"; D. Soltis, PI) that will integrate molecular phylogenetics and paleontology in the angiosperms; the Soltis's are both Core Participants in the "Deep Gene" RCN. These connections between the curently proposed RCN and related groups will allow us to keep abreast of the activities and progress. Furthermore, correspondence and meetings of the leadership of these networks will maintain communication and lead to joint sponsorships and colloquia (e.g., a joint workshop on phylogenetics for molecular biologists and paleobotanists). Through coordination among these RCNs and other groups, the network of interacting scientists will expand to include geologists, paleobotanists, morphologists, phylogeneticists, and genomic botanists.

Assessment of research coordination activities.

At the conclusion of each workshop, symposium, meeting, or other group event, a questionnaire will be distributed to all participants to gauge their satisfaction with the operation and productivity of the session. The SC will consider the suggestions reported in the survey and make appropriate changes in the operation of future meetings. Based on our past experience with Deep Green, we are certain that this will be a positive and productive experience for all participants.

Information and material sharing.

Part of the success of Deep Green was undoubtedly the clear and repeated commitment of its organizers to individual ownership of data prior to publication and proper attribution of contributions by collaborators. We will continue this commitment. Therefore, on the RCN website we will indicate the availability of data rather than distribute any unpublished data of individual investigators. We will indicate what resources and data are available and from whom. Our previous experience suggests that this will prevent duplication of research effort and suggest possible collaborations by allowing everyone to see who is doing what. Contribution of data to collaborative analyses will not required by participants in the RCN, although we anticipate that those who participate will be interested in exploring such collaborations.

Increasing diversity.

The proposed RCN will welcome participation by a diverse array of scientists and will encourage participation by under-represented groups and those individuals in diverse types of institutions. The best way to increase the participation of under-represented groups in science is through public outreach and opportunities/information for students. The proposed K-12 teacher workshops, workshops at professional meetings, as well as learning modules on the web site, will be valuable knowledge transfer means for younger students as well as those at the undergraduate and graduate levels. These activities will increase the visibility of exciting science to all potential future scientists, including those in under-represented groups. Notices of the web site and workshops will be sent to biology and science departments at colleges and universities across the country, with an emphasis on minority-serving institutions, as well as to associations such as the National Association of Science Teachers and the National Biology Teachers Association. In each competition for student awards, a portion will be reserved for deserving women and ethnic minority students. We will also encourage the participation of individuals from institutions other than research universities by ear-marking some awards for these students and faculty.

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