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CSBR Update

October 12, 2016

Announcement of update on CSBR Program

In March, 2016, it was announced that the Collections in Support of Biological Research Program (CSBR) 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 in the Fall of 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. Additionally, 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 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 results from the internal evaluation will be used to inform commissioning of a more in-depth evaluation of DBI’s research resource programs, including CSBR. The BIO Directorate recognizes the changes occurring in the biological sciences community regarding infrastructure, specifically data storage, access and analysis. DBI’s programs have overlapping and synergistic goals as well as important connections with the research programs they serve within BIO, so it makes sense to look at all of DBI’s programs in the context of program roles and community needs. An update on the status of the external evaluation will be provided by September 30, 2017.

Dr. James L. Olds

Assistant Director

Directorate for Biological Sciences


(Originally posted: May 25, 2016)

(Last updated: October 12, 2016)

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2018, its budget is $7.8 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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