Posted: 4/18/2022

Collections in Support of Biological Research (CSBR)

Collections in Support of Biological Research (CSBR) provides for enhancements that secure and improve existing research collections, improve the accessibility of collection-related data, develop capacity for curation and collection management, and to transfer ownership of collections that are significant to the NSF BIO-funded research community.  Requests should demonstrate a clear and urgent need to secure or improve the collection, and the proposed activities should address that need. Types of biological collections that are supported include established living stock/culture collections, established natural history voucher collections, and jointly-curated ancillary collections such as preserved tissues and libraries of genetic and genomic materials. 

Biological research collections support essential research activities in the biological sciences. Collections are used to document biodiversity, identify species, understand organismal systems, recognize environmental shifts, explore alternate energy sources, understand evolutionary patterns, and improve agricultural, biomedical, and manufacturing applications.  Natural history collections contain records of life on earth that are unique and irreplaceable, including specimens of extinct species and temporal information on changes in the ranges of native and introduced species. Many collections also house voucher-linked ancillary research materials (including DNA and frozen tissue samples, digital images, audio and video files). Living collections play a key role in the advancement and preservation of biological knowledge by providing well-characterized and documented experimental organisms to researchers at modest cost.

CSBR provides support with the goal of strengthening the infrastructure critical to conducting basic research in areas of interest to the NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO). In addition to providing support for securing the collections themselves, a high priority is placed on preserving and integrating collection information. CSBR funds activities that serve a broad community of biological researchers. Activities involving the implementation of new and improved curatorial techniques and tools related to the maintenance, provision, care, preservation, storage, and data management of collections are encouraged. Proposals should consider priorities that include:

  • Evidence of the collection's importance to NSF BIO-funded research or biological conservation on a regional, national, or international scale.
  • How the value of the collection will be enhanced by support from CSBR and how its contributions will further advance biological sciences.
  • Demonstration of an organizational commitment to adequate staffing and operating support that will result in long-term maintenance collection, associated data, and ancillary products.
  • Education and outreach contributions related to the collection's activities and demonstration of how the collection contributes to public understanding and appreciation of science and the diversity of life.

Proposal should be prepared and submitted following instructions in the Infrastructure Capacity for Biology (ICB) (core programs)solicitation.  Proposal requests must be designated to fit within one of three areas: Natural History Collections, Living Stocks, or Transfer of Ownership and the title should reflect the designation.

Full Proposal Accepted Anytime: Submit to Infrastructure Capacity for Biology solicitation (NSF 18-594)

Duke Awardees

2014 Gregg Gunnell - Fossil Primates
CSBR: Ownership Transfer: Miocene Colombian Vertebrates and Conservation of the Duke Lemur Center Fossil Collections

Funding Type
Sponsor: Rolling