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Directorate for Biological Sciences

In BIO’s fiscal year 2017 (FY17) budget request, plans were included regarding the evaluation of smaller Division of Biological Infrastructure (DBI) programs, such as IDBR, with the goal of informing the FY18 budget request. The BIO Directorate is currently performing an internal evaluation of DBI research resource programs, including IDBR. This internal evaluation is an opportunity to assess the important role of IDBR in supporting instrumentation and technology needs across a broad range of biological sciences.

The evaluation will be performed by an internal working group, comprising representatives from each of BIO’s divisions and NSF’s Office of Evaluation and Assessment. The internal evaluation will be completed in November, 2016; therefore, IDBR will not be accepting new project proposals in response to the current solicitation (NSF 13-561) in 2016.

The IDBR program welcomes helpful feedback from all stakeholders regarding the role of IDBR in supporting instrumentation and technology needs. Feedback will be analyzed and included in the internal assessment. Guidance for providing feedback is available on the DBI blog: https://dbiblog.nsfbio.com/2016/06/08/idbr_guidance/.

BIO has posted revised Guidance on Data Management plans (updated 10/01/15).  Please review before submitting a proposal to the Directorate for Biological Sciences.  

Christopher Sanford
csanford@nsf.gov, (703) 292-8470
Room 615

Robert D. Fleischmann
rfleisch@nsf.gov, (703) 292-7191
Room 615

Solicitation 13-561

Important Information for Proposers

A revised version of the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) (NSF 16-1), is effective for proposals submitted, or due, on or after January 25, 2016. Please be advised that, depending on the specified due date, the guidelines contained in NSF 16-1 may apply to proposals submitted in response to this funding opportunity.

Current but no Longer Receiving Proposals

The Instrument Development for Biological Research (IDBR) Program supports the development, production, and distribution of novel instrumentation that addresses demonstrated needs in biological research in areas supported by NSF Biology programs (see http://www.nsf.gov/bio). These systems would benefit a broad user community through mass distribution of the technology. Interdisciplinary collaborations are strongly encouraged, as are partnerships with U.S. industries that can facilitate knowledge transfer, commercialization and broad utilization in the research community. The program accepts two types of proposals:

Type A - Innovation: Proposals for the development of novel instrumentation that provides new research capabilities or, where appropriate, that significantly improves current technologies by at least an order of magnitude in fundamental aspects such as accuracy, precision, resolution, throughput, flexibility, breadth of application, costs of construction or operation, or user-friendliness.

Type B - Bridging: Proposals for transforming ‘one of a kind' prototypes or high-end instruments into devices that are broadly available and utilizable without loss of capacity. If appropriate, PIs should seek SBIR/STTR Program, or similar support mechanism for implementation of broad distribution following an IDBR award.

The IDBR program does not support access to an individual instrument in a user facility, or to data collected thereby; such proposals should be submitted to other relevant programs or agencies. Projects focused on enhancing research capabilities in a specific research lab, institution, center or consortium are not eligible for IDBR support. Similarly not eligible are projects for the development of methods, assays, or software for instrument operation, data acquisition or analysis, except as a component of the instrument development and testing.

In addition to NSF's standard merit review criteria (http://www.nsf.gov/bfa/dias/policy/merit_review/) the following additional criteria will be considered in proposal evaluation:

Type A - Innovation: Need and potential impact on biological research; novelty of the device or clear demonstration of at least an order of magnitude improvement over available technologies; feasibility of the technical plan; novelty of the dissemination plan; and inclusion of the biological user community.

Type B - Bridging: The magnitude of the potential biological user community and demonstrated strength of need; feasibility of the technical plan; and quality of the dissemination plan to make the technology broadly available to the community.

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