Office of Grant Writing & Publications.

NSF Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections (ADBC) Program

Office of Grant Writing & Publications

202 Jesse Hall
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211

573 882-9500 phone
573 884-8371 fax

Limited Submission Announcement

The National Science Foundation (NSF) invites applications for the Advancing Digitization of Biological Collections (ADBC) Program. This program seeks to create a national resource of digital data documenting existing biological 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 distribution, environmental habitat data, phenology, information about associated organisms, collector field notes, tissues and molecular data extracted from the specimens, etc. is a rich resource for providing the baseline from which to further biodiversity research and provide critical information about existing gaps in our knowledge of life on earth.

This solicitation, representing the first year of the program, will accept two types of proposals: the Home Uniting Biocollections (HUB) and Thematic Collections Networks (TCN), outlined below. Future solicitations will address digitization technology development and further thematic networks.

Home Uniting Biocollections (HUB) – The successful entity will be expected to play a key role in the development of a national resource, and to develop a coordination network with members from the funded thematic network proposals. In addition to forming the coordinating scientific team, the HUB will be responsible for performing a variety of functions in order to unite the collections community, oversee implementation of standards and best practices for the collections, plan for the long-term sustainability of the national resource, facilitate communication and standards for training, and assure that results are disseminated to the scientific community utilizing collections, the collections community, and other similar efforts internationally. The HUB should promote outreach activities for research, education, and downstream user communities, and facilitate novel and traditional uses of collections data. Documenting the use of digitized collections data will be an important function of the HUB, which should design and maintain a living resource that tracks research outcomes, outreach activities, and innovative discoveries that result from this support.

Thematic Collections Networks (TCN) – Submissions for two-to-four year awards based on size of the collections to be digitized. Recipients will perform fundamental collections digitization but will also be engaged in training activities and the development of appropriate technology and standards to produce an interoperable network. Collaborative TCN proposals are strongly encouraged.

Because MU is limited to one application for this program, letters of intent must be submitted to the Office of Research,, no later than 4:00 p.m. on Friday, October 17, 2010. Letters of intent should be limited to three pages and should include the type of project (HUB or TCN) and a summary of the proposed project. Additionally, please provide names of three MU personnel who would be qualified to serve as internal reviewers for letters of intent under this program.


Up to $10,000,000 as a Continuing Grant or Cooperative Agreement

Campus Deadline for Letter of Intent:

4:00 p.m., Friday, October 17, 2010

External Proposal Deadlines:

December 10, 2010


URL for more information:

All limited submission announcements can be tracked by deadline via the Calendar at or by announcement date via the Limited Submissions listing at