4/12/2021 Virtual Office Hours Recap – Getting to know the Division of Biological Infrastructure: Opportunities and Priorities

The Division of Environmental Biology (DEB) held its latest Virtual Office Hour on April 12, 2021. Program Officers provided information on the Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI), including information on REU sites, collections, databases, and more.  Representatives from DBI were available for questions. We host these office hours from 1-2 pm Eastern Time on the 2nd Monday of every month. Each session has a designated theme, but attendees are welcome to ask about other NSF-related topics.

The presentation and other documents are available here:

Slides (PDF)

PAPPG 20-1

If you were unable to attend, here are some of the questions asked during the Q & A section:

Q: What is a typical budget size for Infrastructure Capacity for Biological Research proposals?

A: There is no cap on budget, size, and duration of these proposals. These are determined by the applicant and should be dependent on the complexity and scope of the work. Budgets tend to be in the 6-7 digits range, but please contact a Program Officer if you have questions specific to your project.

Q: Can someone apply for to the Infrastructure Capacity solicitation focusing on cyberinfrastructure without having an Infrastructure Innovation for Biological Research award first?

A: Yes, you don’t need to have any prior award to apply to any of these solicitations.

Q: Do applicants to the Postdoctoral Fellowship Program have to be US citizens?

A: According to the solicitation, applicants must be a citizen, or US permanent resident, they can, however, work at an international organization.

Q: If I have a mature software project that was funded by an ABI Development grant, is there a logical program that will fund ongoing maintenance and development of this software tool?

A: If you are looking to maintain the software, a Sustaining grant may be the solicitation to apply to. These types of proposals focus on widely used mature software, and you will need to be able to comment on the usage numbers and the impact of the software on the field. If you are looking to enhance the software, you could apply to the capacity building solicitation. In either case, we recommend you draft a 1-pager and send to a managing Program Officer who can help you determine the best solicitation for you.

Q: Will DBI continue to accept proposals at any time into the near-term future?

A: DBI has some human resources solicitations that will continue to have deadlines, while the research resources solicitations will remain no-deadline.

Q: What are the different types of collections or non-traditional use of collections that are allowed in the Collections programmatic area?

A: DBI supports natural history collections including zoological, paleontological, or botanical collections with a focus on research collections and those that can be used in teaching. Proposals should focus on the improvement of natural history collections, including curation and digitization. DBI does not support the collection of new material from the field, as this should be accounted for in your research-based proposals.  DBI also provides support for Living Stocks of use to the NSF-funded research community, which includes support for culture collections and quality-controlled stock of other “non-model” organisms.  Many of these collections are also providing genetic resources, tissues, and some research services.

Please reach out to a Program Officer if you have any questions about the proposal submission and review process in DBI or DEB programs. NSF has suggested 5 Tips on Working with Program Officers as part of the NSF 101 series on our Science Matters blog.

Our next virtual office hours will be held May 10th, 2021, from 1-2pm Eastern Time and will provide information on the Faculty Early Career Development Program (CAREER) Solicitation (NSF 20-525).

Be sure to check back here or on the NSF Events Page for information on how to register.

Upcoming Office Hours and Topics:

May 10: CAREER Solicitation

June 14: How to Write a Great Proposal *moved from April

July: No Office Hours. See you in August!