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Systematic Biology and Biodiversity Inventories

Status: Archived

Archived funding opportunity

This document has been archived. See NSF 24-543 for the latest version.

Important information for proposers

All proposals must be submitted in accordance with the requirements specified in this funding opportunity and in the NSF Proposal & Award Policies & Procedures Guide (PAPPG) that is in effect for the relevant due date to which the proposal is being submitted. It is the responsibility of the proposer to ensure that the proposal meets these requirements. Submitting a proposal prior to a specified deadline does not negate this requirement.


The Systematic Biology and Biodiversity Inventories Cluster supports research in taxonomy and systematics that contributes to: 1) using phylogenetic methods to understand the evolution of life in time and space, 2) discovery, description, and cataloguing global species diversity, and 3) organizing information from the above in efficiently retrievable forms that best meet the needs of science and society.  The Systematic Biology and Biodiversity Inventories Cluster funds projects within the two Programs, Systematic Biology and Biodiversity Inventories, in addition to the PEET and PBI solicitations listed below. In addition, the cluster participates in  AToL and other related funding opportunities. 

The SBBI Cluster continues to encourage and support studies that seek to synthesize available and new species-level taxonomic information in the context of providing revisionary treatments and predictive classifications for particular groups of organisms.  Proposals of this nature, submitted as Revisionary Synthesis in Systematics (REVSYS) proposals, can be submitted to either the Biodiversity Inventories or Systematic Biology Programs and should be identified as such using  "REVSYS:" at the beginning of the project title. 

The Systematic Biology Program supports the scientific study of biological diversity and phylogeny, for all groups of organisms and for all habitats on Earth, including marine environments.  Activities include the discovery and description of species, the organization of taxonomic information into hierarchical predictive classifications associated with efficient, reliable identification keys, and the analysis of evolutionary and biogeographic relationships among groups of species and across the tree of life.  This program also supports revisionary and monographic research on species that fully utilize modern information technology at all stages from data capture and analysis to electronic dissemination of results. Unsolicited proposals should be prepared as described in the GPG.

The Biodiversity Inventories Program supports expeditionary work to discover, describe, and document plant, animal, and microbial diversity throughout the world, whether terrestrial, freshwater, or marine, and with emphasis on well-vouchered natural history collections, or stocks and cultures including associated databases. Supported surveys may be primarily area-based (i.e., focusing on species inventory and discovery, including biogeographic or evolutionary hypothesis testing), clade-based (i.e., continental-scale to global species inventory for a particular taxonomic group, including evolutionary hypothesis testing), or guild-based (i.e., surveys that couple species inventory and discovery with ecological hypothesis testing).  DNA inventory projects that do not address organismal diversity are discouraged in this program. Unsolicited proposals should be prepared as described in the GPG.

Partnership for Enhancing Expertise in Taxonomy (PEET) is a biennial special competition to address three biodiversity-related goals: monographic research on poorly known groups of organisms or groups that for which taxonomic expertise is being lost; training of at least two new taxonomic experts; and web-based bioinformatics for taxonomic resources. The deadline is March of odd-numbered years. Apply to PEET

Planetary Biodiversity Inventories (PBI) is a biennial special competition to accelerate the discovery and study of the world's biodiversity. Proposals are invited from teams of investigators to conduct a worldwide, species-level systematic inventory of a major group of organisms. Each project should conduct fieldwork necessary to fill gaps in existing collections, produce descriptions, taxonomic revisions, web-searchable databases, and interactive keys (or other automated identification tools) for all new and known species in the targeted group, analyze their phylogenetic relationships, and establish predictive classifications for the group. Proposals may target any particular group of organisms from terrestrial, freshwater, or marine habitats, at any feasible level in the taxonomic hierarchy, but must be global in scope. The deadline for proposals is January 10 of even-numbered years. Apply to PBI

Assembling the Tree of Life (AToL) is an annual special competition to construct a phylogenetic tree that includes all major groups of organisms, the "Tree of Life." Proposals are invited that either focus on a particular taxonomic group or on the development of a tool, methodology or theory that supports the mission of AToL.  Apply to AToL

Program contacts

Rafael O. de Sa
rdesa@nsf.gov (703) 292-7836
Sarah Mathews
smathews@nsf.gov (703) 292-4415
Maureen Kearney
mkearney@nsf.gov (703) 292-7187 BIO/DEB
Susan L. Perkins
sperkins@nsf.gov (703) 292-4821

Awards made through this program

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