University of Southern California


NSF 13-569 – Advancing Digitization of Biodiversity Collections (ADBC)

Slots:                                                     One                                                                                      
Nomination per School:               One      
Proposals may not be submitted directly by the PI; nominations are submitted by the School’s Research Dean’s Office.    
LOI:                                                        N/A                                                                                       
Internal Deadline:                           June 16, 2014
External Deadline:                          October 17, 2014

Award Information:                        Type: Standard Grant or Continuing Grant
Estimated Number of Awards: 4 to 12
Anticipated Amount: approximately $10,000,000 total amount available across all awards in this program for FY2014, pending availability of funds.

Materials to Office of Research: Single Page Proposal Summary (0.5” margins; single-spaced; font type: Arial, Helvetica, or Georgia typeface; font size: 11 pt.).
CV – (4 pages maximum)

Link to Award:

Purpose: 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, paleogeography 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 duration 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.

Proposals that address the goals of specimen digitization through innovative plans, strong collaborations among large and small institutions, and mechanisms to build upon existing digitization projects are strongly encouraged. Proposals that increase efficiency and numbers of specimens digitized will have a stronger priority for funding (e.g. by reducing the time and cost per specimen or by developing new workflows). Current practices cannot achieve a goal of digitizing the existing collections within a ten year period and if this goal of the community strategic plan is to be achieved, there must be new approaches applied to the effort.