What is Biological Infrastructure?

Biological infrastructure, put plainly, is the infrastructure that supports biology across all scales and every level of life. As such, biological infrastructure encompasses many different things.

Our core programs, Infrastructure Capacity for Biology (ICB) and Infrastructure Innovation for Biological Research (IIBR) support and advance resources for biological research. These include cyberinfrastructure, field stations and marine laboratories, museums and living stock collections, and instrumentation.

Biological infrastructure encompasses more than those core programs, however. The human resources that make up the current and future scientific workforce in the field of biology are also supported through the Division of Biological Infrastructure. These include fellowships for postdoctoral research, research experiences for undergraduate students, and research coordination networks in undergraduate biology education.

Finally, biological infrastructure also includes biology centers and other mid- to large- scale infrastructure, existing either physically, virtually, or both, that address a particular scientific and educational mission and/or are designed to meet a particular community need in the biological sciences.

Core Programs:

Human Resources Programs:

Other DBI Community Funding Opportunities:

Centers and Other Mid- to Large-Scale Infrastructure:

DBI supports different types of Centers and other Mid- to Large Scale Infrastructure investments that provide resources to the scientific community. These investments generally fall into four categories: synthesis centers, science and technology centers, nanoscale science and engineering centers, and other mid- to large scale infrastructure. Below you will find a general description of each of these categories along with the particular investments DBI currently supports within each of these categories. These investments are not NSF programs that provide funding opportunities, but rather represent infrastructure developed to address a particular scientific mission in biology. That being said, several of the Centers do offer funding opportunities in the form of fellowships and other activities. For more information about opportunities provided by the Centers, click on the names of the Centers below to visit their websites.

Synthesis Centers synthesize scientific knowledge to develop new tools and standards for managing data, new analysis capabilities with broad utility, and host interdisciplinary workshops.

Science and Technology Centers support innovative, potentially transformative, research and education projects that lie at the interface of disciplines and/or employ fresh approaches within disciplines.

Nanoscale Science and Engineering Centers aim to advance nanoscale research and education and also address the social and ethical implications of such research.

Other Mid- to Large Scale Infrastructure: 

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