Request for Proposal
September 15, 2021

Request for Proposals: NHGRI Genome Technology Program Opportunity Funds (OF)

(PDF Available)

The goal of the NHGRI OF program is to promote novel small-scale work that has the potential to enable substantially new or more effective ways of advancing development of innovative genomic technologies.

Proposed scope and objectives:

The OF program is intended to expand the potential impact of the NHGRI Genome Technology Development portfolio by providing support to promising new ideas with strong potential to enhance the approaches and capabilities for studying the structure and function of the genome. Examples of projects considered responsive for OFs include but are not limited to:

Early-stage technology concepts without preliminary data are appropriate and encouraged, particularly for proof-of-principle studies that could generate preliminary data for larger funding opportunities.

In addition, the OF program may be used to advance the dissemination of methods, software, or other tools from the developer’s lab to other investigators. OF proposals in this area should have a clearly defined plan for demonstrating successful application in one or more un-affiliated laboratory AND production of standard protocols, distribution plans, etc. that would support more streamlined adoption by other labs by the end of the funding period.

Lastly, the OF program may be used to develop and validate standard processes or materials that advance the field by aiding in the objective evaluation of performance of a new technology or application.

Review of OF proposals will consider their potential to positively impact the field of genome technologies through development and deployment of innovative approaches to genome analysis.

Collaborative proposals between NHGRI Genome Technology grantees (as defined in Eligibility Criteria below) are particularly encouraged and will be given preference for funding. The proposed scope of work should be distinct from currently funded activities.

Key Dates:

Call for Proposals posted: September 15, 2021
Proposals due: October 15, 2021, 5pm local time
Awards announced: Jan 15, 2022
Earliest project start date: Mar 1, 2022
Project period: Mar 1, 2022 – Feb 28, 2023


Grantees for the Novel Nucleic Acid Sequencing Technology Development and Novel Synthetic Nucleic Acid Technology Development RFAs along with the Novel Genomic Technology Development PARs (R01s, R21s, and R43/R44s) participate in TDCC activities. As of September 1, 2021, active PIs to awards from those announcements and those within one year past the end of their original award period are eligible to apply.

Each PI may not submit more than one independent OF proposal as the contact PI, but may participate in more than one collaborative proposal submission.

Application Process:

Applications should use the PHS398 forms and should be submitted by an authorized institutional representative. For collaborative proposals, one contact PI/organization should submit a complete proposal package. Collaborating PIs/institutions should submit only items 1, 7, and 8 from the list below with a cover memo indicating the contact PI for the overall proposal. An authorized organizational representative must submit the information from each institution that will receive funding.

    1. PHS398 Form Page 1.
    2. PHS398 Form Page 2.
    3. Research Plan (5-page limit) with the following sections:
      1. Specific Aims
      2. Relevance to OF effort. Explain how the proposed project(s) will enhance the development of innovative genomic technologies, and how the proposed project is distinct from the work proposed/funded in the parent Genome Technology Development grant.
      3. Describe the research plan including methods, preliminary data [not required], anticipated results, limitations, and timeline with associated milestones
      4. Benefit of the collaboration. Describe the organization of the collaborative program and the added value of collaboration with proposed partners, if appropriate.
      5. Resource sharing plan.
      6. Rigor and Reproducibility. Address elements of scientific rigor, biological variability, data reproducibility,
    4. Literature cited
    5. Human Subjects/Vertebrate Animals/Stem Cells/Biohazards
      1. Address these issues as appropriate or include a statement that they are not applicable.
      2. Indicate current status of your IRB/IACUC/IBC application(s), if applicable.
    6. NIH-format biosketch for each PI (5-page limit)
    7. Budget (PHS398 Form Page 4: Detailed Budget for Initial Budget Period) and budget A separate budget should be provided for each partner in the collaboration.
    8. PHS398 Checklist Form Page.

Award Budgets:

The total amount of funds available through the OF program is $750,000. The distribution of OF funds will be based on scientific merit, budget justifications, and availability of funds. It is anticipated that 5-8 awards will be made in the current grant year, with the maximum budget not to exceed $200,000 total costs per award. For collaborative proposals, a separate budget for each partner in the collaboration must be submitted using PHS398 forms. Application budgets should reflect the actual needs of the proposed projects.

Award Period:

Awards will be for no more than one year.

Review Criteria:

The proposal will be evaluated on the following criteria: 1) Significance: how the proposed project would enhance development of innovative genomic technologies and methods. 2) Approach: technical merit and feasibility; 3) Benefit of joint collaboration (if relevant); 4) Plan for defined milestone(s) and/or deliverables. An overall Impact Score will also be provided.

Review and Award Process:

An external peer review committee will review all proposals. NHGRI Program Staff will make final decisions on proposals to be funded and award budgets based on institute priorities, scores and critiques provided by the review committee, and available funds. OF awards will be made as subawards of the Technology Development Coordinating Center (TDCC) grant via The Jackson Laboratory. Applications considered for funding will be required to submit any additional information (IACUC, IRB and IBC approvals, etc.). In the case of collaborative proposals, separate subawards will be made to each partner.

Reporting Requirement:

OF recipients will be required to provide updates on expenditures to the TDCC and updates on progress to NIH staff and the TDCC for tracking. An interim report will be due eight months after the start date. A final report will be due 60 days after the funding period ends. The final report should detail the work undertaken, summarize the results obtained, and describe next steps for the project based on what was learned.

Submission Instructions:

Final proposals must be submitted by an authorized institutional representative via email to by 5:00 PM local time on October 15, 2021. Proposals received after this deadline will not be reviewed.

Contact Information:

Applicants are encouraged to contact the TDCC for additional information. If you have questions about the proposal requirements, please email