Request For Proposals for Research Based on Collections

William Moser Moser.William at
Fri Nov 20 16:30:50 EST 1998

Request For Proposals for Research Based on Collections 
of Polar Marine Invertebrates

19 November, 1998

The Office of Polar Programs at the National Science Foundation (NSF) has
identified the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH) as a Center for
Excellence for Polar Research. NSF has entered into a cooperative
agreement with the Department of Invertebrate Zoology at NMNH to provide
funding to support the archiving and management of the extensive
collections of marine invertebrates collected during Antarctic research
expeditions funded by NSF. The collections include preserved
representatives of most majexception of the unsorted plankton and certain
gelatinous taxa, in either ethanol or isopropanol. At present, we have no
archived collections of frozen tissue or DNA extracts from polar
organisms. Specific information about the processing status of our polar
collections, and the availability of specific taxa is currently available
on request from the USAP Project Coordinator, Department of Invertebrate
Zoology, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution,
Washington, DC 20560-0163, USA or moser.william at Collection
information is also accessible from the USAP Online Database Search Page.

Proposals are invited from scientists interested in working on USAP
collections. Limited support, through three categories of awards
(described below), is available through a competitive Research Awards
Program. Total funding for this program is $30,000 for 1999. We expect to
fund at least 3 and no more than 5 proposals this funding cycle. The
actual number of awards will depend on the funding requests in the highest
ranking proposals. The deadline for receipt of proposals is February 15,
1999. An External Advisory Committee will review the proposals on the
basis of merit and current Antarctic research needs. Successful applicants
will be notified by July 15, 1999. 

Collections-Based Research Awards:

     maximum award $10,000 -Stipends paid in 4 payments upon completion of
     specific milestones. 12-24 month project period. This award is
     intended to fund original basic research into the systematics,
     evolution, and biogeography of polar organisms.
      Priority wil be given to research projects that draw heavily on
      NMNH polar collections. Applicability of the proposed project to our
      understanding of the systematics of the invertebrate fauna collected
      in the current Palmer LTER studies may be a selective factor. 

Expected results: a publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. The
publication of species descriptions and taxonomic keys or other
identification tools is encouraged. 

Collection Improvement Awards:

     maximum award $5,000 -Stipends paid in 3 payments upon completion of
     specific milestones. 6-12 month project period. 
This award is intended to improve the curation level of the polar
collections, and thus the accessibility of the specimens and/or
specimen data. This includes technical or specialized sorting and
identification, taxonomic standardization, data enhancement, collection
culling, etc. Proposals for NMNH site visits to advise museum staff about
culling and disposal of USAP plankton samples are encouraged. 

     Expected results: a fully identified and curated collection, or a
     completed data enhancement project. 

Incidental Awards: 

     maximum award $500 
This award is intended to defray costs associated with the publication of
collection based Antarctic research (i.e., page charges, illustration
expenses, typing expenses). 

Proposal Guidelines:

Depending on the taxonomic group under investigation, scientists may be
expected to spend at least a portion of their research time at the
Smithsonian Institution in order to glean the taxa they are working on from
the collections. Researchers interested in using these collections, with or
without financial support are requested to submit succinct proposals
following the guidelines listed below:

   1.Provide the name, title, organization, e-mail address, and
   curriculum vitae of the principal investigator. Bibliography
   associated with the CV must be limited  to the PI's 10 most recent
   publications. 2.Provide the names, titles, and organizations of all
   individuals collaborating on the proposed research. 3.Prepare a rigorous
   but brief (one-to two-page) proposal. Proposals longer than 2 pages will
   not be considered. If time permits, they will be returned to the PI for
   revision and resubmission. The proposal must include the following: 

        a.The proposal category (Collection
        Improvement,Collections-Based Research, or Incidental Award)
        b.A description of the research (if appropriate, its
        applicability to current Antarctic research activities) c.A
        list of the taxa of interest d.The expected results (e.g.,
        monograph, revision, species description, taxonomic key) e.A
        timetable for completion with milestones to be used as basis
        for disbursements, including dates when research is expected to be
        conducted at NMNH. Arrangements must be made well in advance of
        intended visit for research space in the Department of Invertebrate
        Zoology. f.A detailed budget including: 

 Travel costs to and from NMNH, Washington, DC. 
  A modest stipend ($ 2,000 per month for the time spent at NMNH -this is
  included in the award). 

            Research and expendable supplies, including supplies used
            in conjunction with histology, photography, etc. Curatorial
            supplies needed to  prepare the material for cataloging will be
            provided and need not be budgeted. Newly identified material
            will be cataloged by NMNH staff at the completion of the
            research project. Estimated publication costs, including page
            charges, illustration expenses, typing expenses, etc. 

Submit 8 copies of the proposal to:

     USAP Project Coordinator
     Department of Invertebrate Zoology
     National Museum of Natural History
     Washington, DC 20560-0163, USA

                                   Proposal Deadline: February 15, 1999
                                   Award Notification: by July 15, 1999
                                   Total Funding: $30,000 (3-5 proposals)

Additional information may be obtained from the USAP Project Coordinator:
moser.william at

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