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GREGoR Consortium Grant Opportunities

The Genomics Research to Elucidate the Genetics of Rare diseases (GREGoR) Consortium is a network of researchers at five Research Centers and a Data Coordinating Center, funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) within the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Researchers in the GREGoR Consortium employ a variety of high-throughput sequencing approaches, analytical strategies, and functional assays to achieve this goal.

GREGoR’s mission: To significantly increase the proportion of Mendelian conditions with an identified genetic cause. A key objective of the GREGoR Consortium is to develop and apply approaches to discover causal genes underlying Mendelian conditions for which a candidate gene was not identified using whole exome sequencing alone.

Purpose

The main intention for the Consortium’s Grant Opportunities is to bring in needed expertise not currently represented within the Consortium. The primary aim for the use of these funds is to support small-to-medium scale projects with a well-defined scope that will complement our ongoing efforts to develop novel approaches to identify candidate variants/genes underlying rare genetic diseases and phenotypes, particularly those that remain unsolved following whole exome sequencing.

Another aim for the funds is to support an increase in workforce diversity in genomic research, in memory of our colleague Dr. Deborah A. Nickerson.

Eligibility

Any investigator who is not part of a funded GREGoR center (i.e., does not have ‘core member’ status in GREGoR) is eligible for this funding call. An awardee may, however, be at the same institution as a GREGoR center. 

Researchers from academic institutions within and outside the US are welcome to apply. Multiple applications from the same institution and principal investigator are allowed provided the proposals are sufficiently distinct scientifically. However, depending on the number of meritorious applications, diversity in institutions and investigators will be taken into consideration. 

Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Principal Investigator(s) (PI(s)) is invited to work with their organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply for these funding opportunities.

If you have questions regarding eligibility or the appropriateness of your research idea, we strongly encourage you to email gregorconsortium@uw.edu.

Research Grants

Selection Criteria

The GREGoR Consortium’s Data Coordinating Center will facilitate a scientific review similar to that performed by the National Institutes of Health. The review will be performed by experts in Mendelian genomics and potentially others with relevant areas of expertise who are not active members of the GREGoR Consortium.

Priority Areas

Priority will be given to proposed projects that use experimental or analytical approaches that complement ongoing efforts by the GREGoR Consortium. GREGoR samples span a wide spectrum of rare diseases, and we encourage proposals focused on a broad range of phenotypes, disease areas, and organ systems. 

Priority research areas appropriate for this funding announcement include but are not limited to:

New genomic technologies / molecular assays that can be applied to unsolved cases

  • Projects to pilot the use of emerging or novel genomic technologies on existing GREGoR samples or other appropriately consented unsolved cases after exhaustive sequencing and analysis (i.e. samples that are unsolved after clinical exome alone are not appropriate for these pilot studies).

User-friendly interfaces for annotation and interpretation of candidate variants in non-coding regions that adapt/reuse existing datasets and domain-expert tools to create a web portal and accompanying interpretation guidance (cutoff scores/ranks/etc.) for use by a broad audience of clinicians and researchers. High priorities include:

  • Given genomic coordinates of a (typically noncoding) SNV or indel:
    • Does the variant add or remove a transcription factor binding site, is the predicted change in the transcription factor binding likely to have a large effect on gene regulation consistent with a monogenic cause of disease?
    • For which gene(s) is the variant predicted to decrease or increase expression, by how much, and in which tissues?
  • Create a comprehensive set of annotations of predicted regulatory elements for a variety of tissues of interest that could be used to identify candidate regions for novel/unsolved Mendelian phenotypes (e.g. developmental heart defect, cerebellar malformation, limb malformation, skin, immune system, reproductive organs, etc.).

Novel analytical approaches that would be useful for analyzing GREGoR molecular data (these data include, but are not limited to: short-read sequencing, long-read Nanopore and PacBio sequencing, RNA-Seq, methylation array and sequencing, metabolomics, optical genome mapping).

  • Head-to-head comparisons of available tools for prediction of variant pathogenicity.
  • Development or piloting of new computational tools for variant filtration/analysis (e.g. RNA-Seq data, methylation from Nanopore or PacBio sequencing data).

Proposals regarding other novel approaches and techniques that complement the goals of the Consortium are welcome. 

Proposals to carry out routine diagnostic sequencing and analysis of individuals whose samples are not part of a GREGoR center's study cohort will not be considered for this call. Researchers or clinicians who would like to collaborate with GREGoR Research Centers on these types of projects should email the Consortium’s Data Coordinating Center at gregorconsortium@uw.edu.

Required Materials

The application will require entering applicant and other characteristics and uploading two separate documents: the research proposal (up to 3 pages) and supporting documents (in a single flattened pdf file). More information about how to submit the application will be provided - please check back on this web page. Those invited to apply will be provided detailed information about how to do so.

Deadline Dates and Submission Details

December 2, 2022: Deadline for interested applicants to submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) using this LOI template containing a short description (up to half a page) of their proposed research and the names and affiliations of anticipated key personnel. The letter should specify whether or not the proposed research represents human subjects research and/or involves animals. The LOIs should be submitted by email to: gregorconsortium@uw.edu with “Letter of Intent” in the subject line. 

December 16, 2022: Deadline by which the Data Coordinating Center will invite eligible applicants to submit a proposal (based on review of the Letters of Intent), and will send a link to the application submission portal to apply.

January 13, 2023: Deadline to submit your proposal to the website that will be provided to eligible applicants via email no later than Dec. 16, 2022. The application will require entering applicant and other characteristics and uploading two separate documents: the research proposal (up to 3 pages) and supporting documents (in a single flattened pdf file). More information about how to submit the application will be provided - please check back on this web page. Those invited to apply will be provided detailed information about how to do so.

March 1, 2023: Awards are announced by this date.

April 1, 2023: Planned start date of awards. Research needs to be completed by March 31, 2024 (or March 31, 2025 for 2 year award applications). 

Requirements to Issue an Award

To issue an award, upon award notification the following will need to be provided:
  • IRB approval (for Human or Animal research)
  • Project Narrative statement: maximum 3 sentences describing your project. Use plain language for a general audience.
  • Contact information for the fiscal person at your University.
  • Signed agreement between the University of Washington and your University - this will be initiated by the UW business office.
  • Agreement to follow the GREGoR Consortium Publications Policy.
  • Agreement to follow the GREGoR Data Sharing Agreement.
  • GREGoR Partner Membership - Awardees automatically become Partner Members during the term of their award.
  • Current Facilities and Administrative Cost Rates (overhead) rate agreement  - if your institution does not have a negotiated rate, we will use the de minimis rate allowed by federal regulations.
  • Institutions are required to have a unique entity ID (UEI) issued by System for Award Management (SAM.gov) at the institutional level - not individual level.

Reporting requirements will be clarified prior to the start of the Award cycle.  This may include a presentation to Consortium members during the Award cycle.

 

Grants to Support Workforce Diversity in Genomics Research

 Dr. Deborah A. Nickerson

These awards are made in memory of our colleague Dr. Deborah A. Nickerson who was deeply committed to mentoring and to supporting increased diversity in the genomics workforce.

Applications may be made for one of two purposes:

  1. to receive funding for professional development and/or training for up to one year at an institution of the applicant’s choice that enhances the applicant’s ability to pursue genomic research; or
  2. to receive funding for travel, registration, or other expenses related to attending a conference, workshop, or other short-term educational or professional development experience. Preference will be given to trainees and early stage investigators.

Selection Criteria

For the Grants to Support Workforce Diversity in Genomics Research, NHGRI will review all applications and determine priority funding for these awards.

With input from Consortium leadership, NHGRI will make the final funding decisions for these awards.

Required Materials

Deadline Dates and Submission Details

 

Guidelines

See each Solicitation (Research Grants or Grants to Support Workforce Diversity in Genomics Research) for specific information and guidelines for each Award category.

 

Research Grants

Grants to Support Workforce Diversity in Genomics Research -  Professional Development

Grants to Support Workforce Diversity in Genomics Research - Educational Event

Purpose 

Complement GREGoR research

Increase diversity in genomic research

Increase diversity in genomic research

Time frame covered

1 to 2 years

Up to 1 year

Days of event

Max direct costs

$175,000 for one year or $250,000 total (average of $125,000 per year) for two years

$60,000 

$4,000

Approximate number of awards anticipated for 2023. Actual number will depend on the number of meritorious applications.

3 - 4

1

4

Detailed budget required

Yes

Yes

Yes

Budget needs to reflect costs

Yes

Yes

Yes

Page limit for research/ development/event description

Up to 3 pages

1 page

1 page

Letter of Intent

Yes, due Dec. 2, 2022. Email to gregorconsortium@uw.edu

No

No

Proposal due

Jan. 13, 2023

Jan. 13, 2023

Jan. 13, 2023

Foreign applications allowed

Yes

Yes

Yes

Submission with PDF attached

Link will be emailed to those with accepted Letter of Intent

Email to gregorconsortium@uw.edu

Email to gregorconsortium@uw.edu