Funding Ideas

Want to improve Symbiota?
Include it in your next grant.

Improvements to Symbiota are primarily supported by grant-based funding. Therefore, if you are planning a collections improvement, digitization, or research project that includes the use of one or more portals, the Support Hub encourages you to consider including funding for Symbiota development in your proposal. Because the Symbiota code is shared amongst all portals, contributions made by your project can have wide-reaching broader impacts for the community of Symbiota users. Contact the Hub early in the proposal preparation process to discuss the options.

Some funding opportunities of particular relevance are listed below.

US National Science Foundation

Capacity: Biological Collections
  • Goal: To support major improvements to or digitization of biological collections and collection-based information increasing the broader applicability of collections
  • Deadline: none (rolling)
    • Proposals are reviewed 3-4x per year (~6-month turnaround time)
  • Amount: variable
  • Funding duration: variable
  • Priorities:
    • To enhance, secure, and improve existing research collections
    • To improve the accessibility of collection-related data
    • To develop capacity for curation and collection management
    • To transfer ownership of collections
  • Types of collections supported:
    • Non-federal collections (federal collections may be included as unfunded partners
    • Living stock/culture (e.g. botanical gardens)
    • Natural history voucher collections
Additional NSF programs of relevance:
Getting started
  • Review current funding opportunities (some relevant options are listed above).
  • Search NSF’s database for previously funded projects that are similar to what you have in mind, e.g. “digitization AND collections”. Note that these results can be downloaded in a spreadsheet format for easier sorting and review.
  • If you identify a program of interest and want to make sure it’s an appropriate fit for your proposal, contact the Program Officer with questions. If you’ve already been in touch with the Program Officer, you can send them a one-page summary of your ideas formatted to reflect a Project Summary (be sure to include an Overview, Intellectual Merit, and Broader Impacts section) for additional feedback.
  • Attend Office Hours for the relevant directorate (e.g., BIO, GEO). See NSF’s events calendar.
  • Carefully review the PAPPG, as well as submission criteria specific to the solicitation you’re responding to (usually in Section 6a), before you begin preparing your proposal.
  • Contact the Support Hub early in the process for advice on how to most appropriately integrate support for your portal and related improvements into your proposal.
Recordings
Funding opportunity updates
Presentation made by the National Science Foundation for iDigBio’s Biodiversity Digitization Conference on September 28, 2022 outlining funding opportunities for US-based collections (first ~17 mins) followed by a discussion on the CHIPS Act (see Sec. 10355 on page 198).
Presentation made by the National Science Foundation on October 4, 2021 outlining funding opportunities for US-based collections.
Recent procedural updates
Presentation covering updates to the Biographical Sketch requirement of NSF proposals on January 19, 2023.

US Institute for Museum & Library Services

Museums for America: Collections Stewardship & Access
  • Goal: To advance the management and care of collections and their associated documentation
    • To support cataloging, inventorying, and registration; collections information management; and collections planning
    • To support conservation and environmental improvement and/or rehousing; conservation surveys; and conservation treatment.
    • To support database management, digital asset management, and digitization
  • Deadline: November
    • Awardees notified in the following August
    • Projects begin Sept. 1
  • Amount: $5,000-250,000
    • Amount above includes direct and indirect costs
    • Budget must include 1:1 non-federal cost share from your institution
  • Funding duration: 1-3 years
  • Types of collections supported:
    • Natural history voucher collections
    • Botanical gardens, arboretums, nature centers, aquariums, zoological parks
    • And more (see: Funding Eligibility Requirements)
Getting started
  • Review current funding opportunities.
  • Search IMLS’s database for previously funded projects that are similar to what you have in mind, e.g. Program = “Museums for America”. Note that these results can be downloaded in a spreadsheet format for easier sorting and review.
  • If you identify a program of interest and want to make sure it’s an appropriate fit for your proposal, contact a Program Officer or Program Specialist with questions. Before meeting with them, outline some clear ideas and intended goals for your proposed project.
  • Attend or rewatch relevant IMLS-hosted events and webinars.
  • Carefully review the PAPPG, as well as submission criteria specific to the solicitation you’re responding to (usually in Section 6a), before you begin preparing your proposal.
  • Carefully review the Notice of Funding Opportunity for the program you intend to apply to, as well as review criteria specific to the solicitation you’re responding to (usually in Section E), before you begin preparing your proposal.
  • Contact the Support Hub early in the process for advice on how to most appropriately integrate support for your portal and related improvements into your proposal.
Recordings
Presentation about the Museums for America funding program
Presentation about choosing an IMLS funding opportunity for your project

Save America’s Treasures Collection Grants

A brief overview of the Save America’s Treasures funding program

The Save America’s Treasures program is administered by the IMLS. Search past awards here. More content coming soon.

Support for non-US Institutions

Various programs that support relevant collaborations and initiatives at non-US based institutions can be found on GBIF.org.