Here is the next RFP from MSR - this one is on Synthetic-Biology and is open worldwide.  See the RFP for more details:

Synthetic-Biology Request for Proposals
Microsoft Research launched a $500,000 request for proposals in synthetic biology Nov. 4. Synthetic biology lies at a junction between engineering and biology, and Microsoft is accepting proposals to address related computational challenges.

Synthetic Biology lies at a junction between engineering and biology. Much of modern biology is based on three breakthroughs: (1) understanding the structure and operation of DNA, (2) manipulating DNA with restriction enzymes and the Polymerase Chain Reaction, and (3) understanding the genome through DNA sequencing. Synthetic Biology is based on three new developments: (1) direct synthesis of DNA, (2) abstraction of biological function, and (3) the growth of an industry of standard biological parts. Long-term research goals include how to best design and build engineered biological systems and to promote the open and transparent development of tools for engineering biology. Long-term social goals include enabling new industries based on the rational engineering of biological systems and materials, and constructing a society that can productively apply biological technology.

Source: Microsoft Research Home

Cross Posted from Dan Fay's Blog (http://blogs.msdn.com/dan_fay)