Plant Sciences Institute Scholar Program RFP Announcement

  • Application Deadline: October 25, 2021 @ 8:00 AM
  • Expected Effective Date of Award: January 1, 2022

The Plant Sciences Institute (PSI) requests applications for the appointment of outstanding researchers as PSI Faculty Scholars. The PSI Scholars program is intended to identify, support, and empower talented researchers at ISU who have the potential to significantly contribute to the complex and rapidly emerging discipline of predictive phenomics. PSI Scholars will build upon their existing strong funding and publication track records to enhance ISU’s research prominence in the plant sciences. A listing of current PSI Faculty Scholars and their research interests is available here.

Priorities/Desired Outcomes

PSI Scholars will utilize innovative approaches to capitalize on traditional ISU strengths (plant breeding/crop improvement, crop genetics/genomics, bioinformatics, statistics, engineering) as well as the emerging research in massive data integration and predictive modeling. Their research will provide new biological insights, develop new methods for analyzing phenomics-related data sets, and create new measurement tools that will deepen our understanding of the relationships among genotype, environment and phenotype and thereby further strengthen ISU’s reputation as a leader in plant science research. Collaboration with scholars on and off campus is encouraged whenever the research program of the applicant could benefit from such collaboration.


Ph.D. with tenure-track position as an assistant professor or higher academic rank at Iowa State University. Biologists with documented experience in field-based phenomics of crop plants will be given preference over biologists without documented experience. Engineers and data scientists should explain how they would apply their existing skillsets to advancing the discipline of field-based crop phenomics. Experience can be most readily documented by citing publications and funded grants.


The application will include the following documents:

  • An overview of the applicant's current and proposed research programs and a statement of how the proposed research will contribute to advancing the field of predictive phenomics (three pages maximum).
  • A list of colleagues (with institutional affiliations) with whom the applicant has collaborated on phenomics-related research.
  • A document identifying individuals (collaborators, co-authors, co-editors, graduate and post doctorial advisors/advisees and other affiliates) with whom the applicant may have a conflict of interest.
  • A curriculum vitae (CV), which includes a complete bibliography (with the five most significant and phenomics-related publications identified). The CV should also include a link to the applicant's Google Scholar profile (no page limit).
  • A list of research support which includes all current and pending awards and awards that have expired within the past five years. This document should also include all internal funding received over the past five years and the impacts from that internal funding (no page limit).
  • The names of three professional references.
  • While a detailed budget is not required, applicants should provide a brief overview of how they would spend PSI funds if awarded (one page maximum).

Application materials should be emailed to Dr.An-Ping Hsia as a single pdf file. Questions regarding the application process may be directed to Dr. Hsia via email (). Questions regarding the PSI Scholars Program may be directed to Patrick Schnable, PSI director, via email ().

Selection Process

Applications will be ranked by a selection committee. Final award decisions will be made by the PSI director, in consultation with the Office of the Vice President for Research.


  • Up to approximately three awards are expected to be at $75,000 per year.
  • Funds must be expended within the fiscal year for which they are awarded (i.e. no carry-over funds will be allowed from one fiscal year to the next).
  • Funding in years two and three is not guaranteed, but will be renewable subject to annual review of progress by the PSI director.
  • All expenditures are subject to applicable university, state, and federal requirements for allowability, appropriateness and adequate documentation.