Inaugural ESA Course on Sustaining Biological Infrastructure

The Sustaining Biological Infrastructure training initiative—launched by the Ecological Society of America and sponsored by the National Science Foundation—aims to provide project directors with the core business planning, marketing, and communication skills they need to ensure their resource can continue delivering services that are recognized and valued for their contributions to scientific research.

Lectures, group work, discussions, and case studies detailed by expert faculty—including NatureServe president and CEO Mary Klein—will highlight the inaugural training sessions, including:

  • Step-by-step instructions on how to create a strategic and sustainable business plan for their research infrastructure project
  • Planning tools that participants will use to analyze and assess their specific project and develop methods for financial sustainability
  • Essential strategies for effective communication with users and funders
  • Guidance and best practices to help participants succeed as they innovate and add value to their projects
Who should attend?

Ideal applicants include Directors and Principal Investigators of biological infrastructure projects (such as digital data resources, collections, and field stations or laboratories) that have been established for at least two years. Their project must have direct relevance to the biological research community, and the applicant should be able to express their need and preparedness for training in business planning, marketing, and communication. Up to 20 participants will be selected based on these qualities, and to ensure an appropriate mix of project and participant diversity. Participants will be notified of their acceptance status as soon as possible in April 2014.

How to apply

The deadline to apply is 5pm (Eastern) on Monday, March 24th. The fee is $600, which includes all course materials. NSF funding covers a meal and accommodation costs, as well as an offered travel stipend to all 2014 participants. Visit for more information on the course, faculty, and to access the online application form. If you have any questions, please contact Jill Parsons, ESA Science Programs Manager, at