April 4, 2016 [Updated April 27 & June 8, 2016]
In March, 2016, it was announced that the Collections in Support of Biological Research (CSBR) program within the Directorate for Biological Sciences’ (BIO) Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI) will not be accepting new project proposals in 2016. Proposals submitted by the September, 2015, CSBR solicitation deadline and recommended for funding will be funded and supported for the duration of the award along with continuing increments for prior awards. The CSBR program has been placed on a biennial competition schedule as of 2017 and new project proposals will be considered in the next cycle. Additional guidance regarding potential opportunities for support for emergency circumstances and priorities for support will be provided by October 1, 2016 in the form of a Dear Colleague Letter and an update on the CSBR web page.
In BIO’s fiscal year 2017 (FY17) budget request, plans were included regarding the evaluation of smaller DBI programs, such as CSBR, with the goal of informing the FY18 budget request. The BIO Directorate is currently performing an internal evaluation of DBI research resource programs, including CSBR, which will be completed in November, 2016. This internal evaluation is an opportunity to assess the important role of CSBR in the context of the Postdoctoral Collections Fellowship program and the Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections program, which includes iDigBio. The evaluation will be performed by an internal working group, comprising representatives from each of BIO’s divisions and NSF’s Office of Evaluation and Assessment.
The biological collections and research communities have provided very helpful feedback on the CSBR program, and this input will be analyzed and used to assess program needs.
The CSBR program continues to welcome community response to the following questions:
- Is the scope of collection support provided by CSBR adequate and appropriate to address the research and education community needs? If there are gaps, what are these and how should they be addressed?
- What is known about how the collections-related programs (CSBR, ADBC, and the Collections track of PRFB) leverage one another (anecdotal evidence is welcome!)?
- What are the impacts of the CSBR program that are innovative and/or transformative in understanding unanswered questions in biology or that significantly impact education or outreach?
- Are there other issues or metrics that should be considered during evaluation of the CSBR program; e.g., encouraging data publications that cite specimens, societal benefits (such as environmental impacts, education/workforce development, and economic benefits), etc.?
Responses to these questions should be directed to DBICSBR@nsf.gov. We have already received feedback from many of you, which will be incorporated into the evaluation, and those who have already commented should feel free to submit additional information in response to the questions above. Thank you for your interest and support!
April 27, 2016: Thank you for your feedback. At this time, comments will no longer be registered on the blog. Please direct future comments to the email address provided above. Please see our blog policy regarding moderation of blog comments.