Special Competition in Systematic Biology

James E. Rodman jrodman at NSF.GOV
Fri Aug 12 10:48:52 CDT 1994

Dear Colleagues:
        The National Science Foundation (NSF) of the USA announces a
new special competition to support taxonomic revisionary and
monographic research, described briefly here (if I am successful in
attaching the text) and available as brochure NSF 94-109 and
electronically through NSF's "STIS" system (accessed as
stisserv at nsf.gov by InterNet using the simple command "get index"
without the quotes):


     Retirement of taxonomic specialists, shifts in academic
recruitment and staffing, and reductions in graduate training all
conspire to diminish the knowledge that is needed to answer what
the National Science Board has labeled a global biodiversity crisis
("Loss of Biological Diversity: A Global Crisis Requiring
International Solutions", NSB 89-171).  The rate of "extinction"
among professional taxonomists led a National Science Foundation
task force to call for enhanced training in taxon-specific
expertise ("Adapting to the Future: Report of the BBS Task Force
Looking to the 21st Century", NSF 91-69).
     In partnership with academic institutions, botanical gardens,
freshwater and marine institutes, and natural history museums the
National Science Foundation seeks to enhance taxonomic research and
help prepare future generations of experts.  NSF announces a
Special Competition, Partnerships for Enhancing Expertise in
Taxonomy (PEET), to support competitively reviewed research
projects that target groups of poorly known organisms.  Projects
must encourage the training of new generations of taxonomists and
translate current expertise into electronic databases and other
formats with broad accessibility to the scientific community.
     Projects designed for 5 years of effort are encouraged, with
yearly budgets not to exceed $150,000 (direct plus indirect costs),
or $750,000 total.  Group Proposals could increase the budget
according to the number of Principal Investigators involved.
Standard components of taxonomic monography--species description
and diagnosis, geographic distribution, scientific nomenclature,
identification keys, illustration--are expected in all projects;
training of two students and computerization activities are also
required.  NSF anticipates making 10-20 awards in Fiscal Year 1995
in this Special Competition, contingent upon availability of funds
and quality of proposals received.
     Proposals should be submitted for a March 1, 1995 postmark
deadline to the address given in the "Grant Proposal Guide" (NSF
94-2, page 2). NSF's "Grant Proposal Guide" provides relevant forms
and rules for proposal preparation.  On the cover sheet, upper left
corner, write "DEB-PEET (NSF 94-109)" to expedite processing.
     Institutional cost-sharing in accordance with standard NSF
rules is expected on all projects. Institutional commitment to the
employment of taxonomists during and beyond the duration of PEET
projects provides one clear example of partnership in answering the
scientific and societal challenge of diminishing taxonomic
     For the PEET Special Competition announcement, contact:
Division of Environmental Biology (PEET)
National Science Foundation, suite 635
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, VA 22230
703-306-1481; fax: 703-306-0367; e-mail: sysrev at nsf.gov
NSF 94-109 (new)

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