2014 FGSC budget circumstances

Q: How is the FGSC supported?

A: The FGSC has been supported for over 50 years by the US National Science Foundation. This support is through the Bio Directorate and in the Division of Biological Infrastructure. For many years, the program was called "Living Stock Collections for Biological Research" (LSCBR, eg., NSF 09-550) and the support emphasized "sustenance" over research. Indeed, LSCBR-supported staff were prohibited from using their grants to support research with the materials in the collection.

Q: What has changed?

A: The NSF has recently sustained the old living stock collection program by moving it into the larger natural history collection program, historically known as Improvements to Biological Research Collections (nsf09548). The new program is known as Collections in Support of Biological Research (13-557).

Q: What is the current FGSC Budget situation?

A: The FGSC submitted a grant proposals on July 16, 2013.  On January 15, 2014, we were informed that this proposal was not selected for funding and for the first time since 1960, the FGSC will not have an NSF grant.

We have some NIH funds (PO1 GM068087, Dunlap; RO1 AI100272-02, Madhani), and some user fee funds, and these will allow the FGSC to continue to provide high quality research materials for the immediate future.

Q: What will happen now?

A: In order for the FGSC to continue to provide the same level of service in the future, alternative support mechanisms must be identified. The NIH has repeatedly informed the FGSC staff that support is not available. 
The Ecological Society of America has released a report on the Collections in Support of Biological Research program and that report is available online. Reviews of the 2013 proposal indicate that the lack of support from the hosting institution is a significant shortcoming. The FGSC staff will also consider placing core materials in other collections.

Q: What can I do to help?

A:  The FGSC is seeking a new institutional home. Please see the request for proposals that was released by the FGSC Advisory Board May 2, 2014 and asks for support for two positions as well as space for the FGSC laboratory. 

Also, if you have outstanding invoices, please pay them. If you do not remember whether you have paid, please ask. The FGSC has over $150,000 in unpaid invoices since 1998. 

Finally, the FGSC Curator is the leader of an effort, recently rewarded by an NSF Research Coordination Network grant, to develop a network of collections in the USA. Please visit our website and get involved in the living collection effort.

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