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NSF Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections (ADBC) -- Internal competition deadline
Wednesday, July 03, 2019, 08:00am - 05:00pm
Contact Bob McGarrett, VPR: bob.mcgarrett@austin.utexas.edu

Internal Submission Deadline: 5:00 pm CST, Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Funding Organization Deadline: 5:00 pm CST, Friday, October 11, 2019

Discipline/Subject Area: Biological Sciences, Geological Sciences

Funding Available: $2,500,000.00

Documents Required for UT Internal Submission (to be submitted in the following order as a single .pdf)

  • Brief (2-page maximum) project summary plus one page for key references and/or images
  • Current C.V.
  • List of collaborators on this project 

Overview of Opportunity 

This program seeks to enhance and expand the national resource of digital data documenting existing vouchered biological and paleontological collections and to advance scientific knowledge by improving access to digitized information (including images) residing in vouchered scientific collections across the United States. The information associated with various collections of organisms, such as geographic, paleogeographic and stratigraphic distribution, environmental habitat data, phenology, information about associated organisms, collector field notes, and tissues and molecular data extracted from the specimens, is a rich resource providing the baseline from which to further biodiversity research and provide critical information about existing gaps in our knowledge of life on earth. The national resource is structured at three levels: a central coordinating organization, a series of thematic networks based on an important research theme, and the physical collections. The national resource builds upon a sizable existing national investment in curation of the physical objects in scientific collections and contributes vitally to scientific research and technology interests in the United States. It will become an invaluable tool in understanding contemporary biological issues and challenges.


  • Only one Thematic Collections Networks (TCN) proposal may be submitted by any one organization as the lead organization. Organizations may be involved in more than one collaborative effort as a non-lead proposal.
  • An individual may appear as PI or co-PI on no more than one ADBC proposal submitted to any annual ADBC competition.
  • This solicitation focuses on proposals for Thematic Collections Networks (TCN) and proposals for Partners to Existing Networks (PEN) to link with existing TCNs:
    • Thematic Collections Network (TCN) proposals will be submissions for two-to-four year awards to digitize existing specimens based on a particular research theme. This research theme may be a grand challenge for biodiversity, a part of a grand challenge, or another important research theme requiring information from existing collections. Specimens to be digitized should be of critical importance to the research theme and the criteria for the specimen assessment should be indicated in the proposal. The collaborating institutions will conduct the actual digitization of the specimens (including imaging and mobilization of the data). The length of award and size of award will depend upon the number and size of the collections to be digitized. TCNs may request a maximum duration of 4 years; the budget should support the scope of work proposed.
    • Proposals to partner with and further the efforts of ongoing NSF-funded TCNs (PEN projects) are encouraged. The new partners must increase the number of specimens digitized in the ongoing project and fill gaps not addressed by the specimens in the existing TCN. Since the existing TCNs are working to integrate data via the National Resource for Digitization of Biological Collections: Integrated Digitized Biocollections at the University of Florida (iDigBio), a list of active or sustained projects is available through the iDigBio website. PEN awards will be for 2 to 3 years with a maximum request of $175,000, which includes a maximum of $150,000 for the PEN award plus up to an additional $25,000 as a subaward or as consultant services to the TCN for new costs to the existing network.
  • For both TCN and PEN proposals, priority will be given to innovative projects that 1) fill gaps in the effort to provide online access to specimen data for existing biological and paleobiological collections, 2) integrate with other ongoing digitization activities and 3) increase the efficiency and lower the cost of digitization.
  • This announcement provides only opportunity highlights. Please carefully review the sponsor's website for any requirements and expectations related to eligibility, budget, collaboration, priority research areas, letter of intent requirements, and review criteria before submitting to this internal competition.

Full Program Solicitation:


Important Dates: 

Documents due to CompetitionSpace: 5pm CST, Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Full Proposal Deadline: 5pm CST, Friday, October 11, 2019