Submit to Infrastructure Capacity for Biology solicitation (NSF 21-501).
The Biological Collections Programmatic Area supports major improvements to or digitization of biological collections and collection-based information, enabling the advancement of biological understanding in important research areas, and increasing the broader applicability of collections. Types of biological collections that are supported include established vouchered biological and paleontological collections, established living stocks and culture collections, and jointly-curated ancillary collections such as preserved tissues and libraries of genetic and genomic materials. Biological research collections provide critical research infrastructure for the biological sciences by allowing researchers to conduct a range of research including: documenting biodiversity and ecosystems, understanding species, evolution and organismal systems, quantifying environmental shifts, and providing knowledge for agricultural, biomedical, and manufacturing efforts. The scope of the proposed projects include either: improvements that secure existing biological collections (including ownership transfer), or thematic-based digitization projects that increase research potential and accessibility of biological collections-related data. Requests for improvements should demonstrate a clear and urgent need. Digitization requests must align with research priorities and should define, or partner with, a thematic network of collections that extends the value of the specimens for research. Projects that are not supported in this programmatic area are establishment of new collections or living stocks, collecting activities, single-taxon natural history collections that are narrowly-focused, federally-owned collections, or digitization of literature sources, observation records, or other library items. Projects are expected to produce quality products, result in important science outcomes that will be achieved by the users of the resource, and have the potential to be used by a community of researchers beyond a single research team.