• Proposal: 03/26/2020


  • Amount: $1.75m per year
  • Duration: 5 years


The Centers of Excellence in Genomic Science (CEGS) program establishes academic Centers for advanced genome research at U.S. institutions.  Each CEGS award supports a multi-investigator, interdisciplinary team to develop transformative genomic approaches to address a biomedical problem.  A CEGS project will address a critical issue in genomic science, genomic medicine, or computational genomics, proposing a highly innovative solution that would be a major advance.  The research will entail substantial risk, balanced by outstanding scientific and management plans and very high potential payoff.  A CEGS will focus on the development of novel technological or computational methods for the production or analysis of comprehensive data sets, on a genome-scale biomedical problem, or on other ways to develop and use genomic approaches for understanding biological systems or furthering the application of genomic knowledge, data, and methods towards clinical applications.  Each CEGS will nurture genomic science at its institution by facilitating the interaction of investigators from several disciplines.  By training new and experienced investigators it will expand the pool of genomics scientists and engineers.

The genomic approaches and technologies that are developed should be applicable to a wide variety of cell types, organisms, or diseases, and should be usable in a global, high-throughput, cost-effective manner.  Methods and concepts that are applicable only to a specific genetic locus, cell type, disease, or organ system will not be supported under this program.  Model systems, such as one or a few gene families, regulatory networks, cell types, or diseases, may be used to develop the genomic approach, as long as the approach will be scalable and broadly applicable.  To the extent that cost-effective, global approaches can be developed and also applied within the CEGS budget, such application of the new approach is acceptable.  However, the budget limits under this FOA may preclude large-scale application of the genomic approach that is being developed.

The cost of collecting global data sets is often high; therefore, a CEGS application that aims to substantially reduce the cost of collecting a data set that currently can be collected only at great expense could be enabling to the genomics community, and is therefore considered appropriate for this FOA.

A CEGS may use large amounts of data to accomplish its goals.  However, the application of genomic technologies for data production per se is not the purpose of a CEGS, and the CEGS program is not intended primarily to build infrastructure for the application of current genomic technologies.  Applicants may use data sets collected under other funding, if the CEGS project’s purpose is to develop novel, integrated analyses that extend the interpretation and utility of those data.  Decisions by NIH to embark on the large-scale implementation of any new tools developed by a CEGS to generate large data sets will require careful consideration, with advice from the scientific community.

Given all of these contingencies, potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact NHGRI and NIMH staff early in the application development process.  NHGRI will support work that uses any appropriate disease or model system that can be applied more generally; NIMH will support work that is related to mental illness or the brain.

Clinical trials (optional):  CEGS applications may include activities that fit the clinical trials definition, such as testing whether new genomic assays or integration of genomic and clinical data improve a health outcome.  The purpose of this FOA is to support the development of transformative genomic approaches, and is not intended to fund applications whose primary focus is on recruitment and data production for a clinical trial.  The definition of clinical trials in NOT-OD-15-015 and is not intended to expand the scope of applications accepted by the CEGS program beyond studies that have a major genomic component and relate clearly to the aims of the program.  Any applications including clinical trials are required to address the information listed for clinical trials.  Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss their research plans with NHGRI or NIMH program staff prior to submitting their applications.

Since the goal of the program is to stimulate rapid progress in genomics, it is expected that the results (e.g., publications, methods, data) will become available to the community throughout the duration of the award.  Methods, data, and software developed under CEGS support should be released quickly in a way that provides broad access.  See the Genomic Data Sharing policy at .

Contact Information

Scientific/Research Contact(s)

Adam Felsenfeld, Ph.D.
National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI)
Telephone: 301-480-2269

Tara Dutka, Ph.D.
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Telephone: 301-451-3074