Hello fellow ECN listservers, please see below for some information that may be helpful for the discussion on the CSBR.








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From: [log in to unmask] [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Bentley, Andrew Charles
Sent: Thursday, March 17, 2016 3:02 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [Nhcoll-l] NSF CSBR program on "hiatus"


Hi all


Some of you in the US may have heard that the National Science Foundation (NSF) Collections in Support of Biological Research (CSBR) grant program has been out on “hiatus”.  More info can be found here:  https://www.nsf.gov/funding/pgm_summ.jsp?pims_id=503651.


I was perplexed that this information was not articulated to the collections community in a more coordinated fashion but on hearing the news I sent an email to the program officers and below is the response from both off them.  It is encouraging that they will be engaging the collections community through SPNHC, NSCA and AIBS during the review process but still disturbing that this major avenue of funding collections infrastructure will be interrupted.  SPNHC and NSCA are in the process of crafting a response to this news to be sent to NSF and we would encourage anyone else with a viewpoint to do the same.  We will share our response on NHCOLL once completed.  We will actively engage NSF to ensure that the process described below is informative and productive for both parties.


Roland Roberts said:


Below is the text of the email that the program is sending in response to inquiries.


"The Collections in Support of Biological Research (CSBR) Program has been placed on hiatus for Fiscal Year 2017 by the NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences. During this time the program has been asked to evaluate its value to the research and education community. As part of this evaluation we welcome feedback from any stakeholders, including individuals, institutions, and professional societies. Please register comments through the CSBR email alias ([log in to unmask]) and/or on the DBI blog (https://dbinsfblog.wordpress.com/). During this period NSF’s commitments to all active CSBR awards will be honored." 


We appreciate any help you can provide in passing this information along. The more data we can collect on the impact of collections on education and research, including other societal benefits, the stronger the argument we can make for continued support of CSBR and other collections activities. The plan is to engage with umbrella organizations, such as yours, as we assess the impacts of this program.


Reed Beaman added:


In addition to the statement from Roland below, it is worth pointing you to the NSF’s FY17 budget request.  There’s one paragraph that may help explain somewhat more than we’ve said -- that I’ve quoted -- but you may to take a closer look through the full document:




“In FY 2017, BIO plans to assess the effectiveness of current DBI programs towards the evolving needs of the biology community, which have become more complex, diverse, and centered on data storage, access, and analysis. Evaluating current programs, assessing where investments can make a difference in the long term resource needs, and developing a robust STEM pipeline will be a priority. BIO will use FY 2017 to reexamine the goals and objectives of many of DBI’s longstanding research resource and human resource programs. Emphasis will be placed on evaluation, impact, and scalability, to gauge where support from BIO makes a difference and can be leveraged. Several programs will be put on a biennial competition schedule during their assessment and evaluation.

BIO expects this assessment to be complete in time to inform the FY 2018 budget.”


As we receive comments, the ones that constructively address the evolving needs for the bio research community will be the most valuable.


Hope this helps provide more information in this regard.






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Andy Bentley

Ichthyology Collection Manager

University of Kansas

Biodiversity Institute

Dyche Hall

1345 Jayhawk Boulevard

Lawrence, KS, 66045-7561



Tel: (785) 864-3863

Fax: (785) 864-5335 

Email: [log in to unmask]  


SPNHC President


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