Funding for Biological Research

The Instrument Development for Biological Research (IDBR) Program supports the development of instrumentation that addresses demonstrated needs in biological research, in areas supported by NSF Biology programs. The program accepts two types of proposals:

(A) Innovation Proposals: Proposals for the development of innovative instrumentation that permits new kinds of measurements, or instruments that significantly improve current technologies by at least an order of magnitude in fundamental aspects (such as accuracy, precision, resolution, throughput, flexibility, breadth of application, cost of construction or operation, or user-friendliness).

(B) Bridging Proposals: 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 or similar support mechanism for implementation of broad distribution following an IDBR award.

The goal is to produce systems that would benefit a broad user community through mass distribution of the technology. This 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. 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.

In addition to NSF's standard merit review criteria (see below) the following points will be considered in proposal evaluation:

Innovation Proposals: 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, and feasibility of the technical plan.

Bridging Proposals: The magnitude of the potential user community and demonstrated strength of need, technical plan, and the dissemination plan for making the technology available to the community.

Deadline Date: July 29, 2011



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