Obtaining Project Baseline seeds for research

To maximize information obtained from the Project Baseline collections, seed distribution for research will occur incrementally over the next five decades as follows: 5% of samples may be distributed at 5 yr; 8% at 10 yr; 10% at 15 yr; 20% at 20 yr; 27% at 25 yr; 30% at 40-50 yr.

Requests to use Project Baseline seeds will be based on a formal research proposal process. In 2019, the first proposal solicitation to use the collection will be announced in multiple venues, including: journals and web pages of the Society for the Study of Evolution, the Botanical Society of America, the Genetics Society of America, Evolutionary Ecology Research, and the American Society of Plant Taxonomists, listservs such as EvolDir and Ecolog, the Project Baseline web page, and via PI seminars.

A Proposal Evaluation Committee will be convened by the Advisory Board (add link) and will be composed of seven people including PIs, co-PIs, consultants, and other researchers involved in Project Baseline workshops and/or that have NSF (or similar) panel experience. This committee will review proposals (modeled after NSF guidelines) to withdraw seeds from the collection after five years of storage and at 5yr intervals thereafter. The first call for proposals will focus on annual species, which have had the greatest number of generations to evolve.

Proposals will be evaluated by the review panel on the basis of NSF Merit Review Criteria: 1) Intellectual Merit, and 2) Broader Impacts [32]. In addition we will require three sections that describe: 3) how contemporary seed collections will be included in the experimental design, 4) how the PI will capitalize upon unique structural aspects of the collection as follows: