COBRE Center for Computational Biology of Human Disease

Call for Applications

2023-2024 CBHD COBRE Institutional Pilot Award

The goal of the COBRE Center for Computational Biology of Human Disease (CBHD COBRE) Institutional Pilot Award Program is to identify and support activities of talented junior investigators working on human disease-related questions that require computational analyses of complex data sets. Awardees will gain access to the Computational Biology Core (CBC) of staff data scientists who will assist with data analyses. In addition, awardees may be considered for recruitment to a Project Leader position in the CBHD COBRE program.


Applicants for this Pilot Program must hold a faculty appointment (or equivalent) at Brown University or its affiliated hospitals, and propose work that is consistent with the goals of the CBHD COBRE. At the time the application is submitted, the applicant's home institution must demonstrate, in a letter(s) from the Dean, the Provost, or equivalent senior institutional official(s), a clear commitment to support a multi-year faculty appointment for the proposed Pilot Project Leader independent of the outcome of this grant application. Examples of strong institutional commitment include a start-up package provided by the institution and/or independent research space within the institution. Priority will be given to junior faculty applicants. Established investigators of any faculty rank may apply if they are making significant changes to their career goals and are proposing new lines of research that are significantly different from their current investigative program. 

Amount and Duration of Award

We expect to fund at least two 1-year projects for $50,000 Direct Costs each. Indirect costs and faculty salaries are not allowed. Pilot Project PI's are expected to devote effort however funds may not be used for PI salary.  Institutional support of PI effort must be documented in a letter of support signed by the appropriate institutional official who is responsible for salary oversight. Competitive proposals might include requests for funding to generate new omics-level data sets that would require computational analysis with the help of the CBHD COBRE Computational Biology Core. Alternatively, requests for partial support for a computational biology postdoctoral fellow to join a PI’s research group would be responsive to this request for applications.  This award is expected to be given from 08/01/23 – 07/31/24 with a possibility of a no cost extension (NCE) through 01/01/25.  A NCE is not guaranteed.


Applications must be completed using UFunds and are due by 8:00 a.m. on Monday, May 1, 2023

Internal Advisory Committee Review Due Date:  May 15, 2023

External Advisory Committee Review Due Date: June 1, 2023

Estimated Application Award Date: August 1, 2023

Application Process

Applications must be completed using UFunds and should follow an abbreviated NIH format with minor modifications. Click here for PHS 398 forms and instructions. Read and follow Instructions carefully.

  1. NIH face page (PHS 398 face page)
  2. NIH Project Summary Page (PHS 398 Form Page 2)
  3. Research Strategy – Limited to 5 pages including Specific Aims and Research Strategy.
  • Specific Aims – Describe the scientific context and project goals for the 12-month pilot project (½ page).
  • Significance:  Overall significance of the project, including relevance to goals of the CBHD COBRE, and plans for use of data from the pilot award for subsequent independent funding.
  • Innovation:  Include both conceptual and technical innovation.
  • Approach:  Preliminary data (if applicable) and research plan including expected results and alternative approaches. 
  • References: Not included in 5 page limit


IRB and IACUC approvals (if applicable) must be initiated at the time of application and in place before funding begins.

  1. PHS 398 Human Subjects and Clinical Trials information Form (Click here for form and here for instructions)
    1. IRB approval
    2. Human subjects education certification
  2. Vertebrate Animals per PHS 398 Instructions (if applicable)
    1. IACUC approval
    2. Vertebrate Animal Section
  3. NIH Biographical Sketch of PI
  4. Updated Other Support of PI
  5. Detailed Budget with Justification using PHS 398 form pages 4 & 5.
    1. Indirect costs are not allowed
    2. Costs of equipment >$5,000 and renovations are not permitted.
    3. Faculty salary is not allowed.

Review Process and Selection Criteria

Criteria for Selection

Funding will be determined based on review by the CBHD COBRE Internal and External Advisory Committees.
​The final selection will be made based on the following criteria:

  • Scientific merit of the work
  • Potential for the award to provide a basis for further research support from external sponsors
  • Potential impact of the research on human disease
  • Use of computational biology methods for data analysis
  • Likelihood that the proposed work will be completed during the award period
  • Strength of the potential investigator to become a leading independent researcher
  • Factors that increase the inclusion of underrepresented groups


Awardees will be expected to present a seminar describing their project and results as part of the CBHD COBRE Seminar Series.  They will also be expected to attend the CBHD COBRE and CCMB seminar series. In addition, they are required to provide quarterly reports as requested, as well as a final progress report within 60 days of the end of the approved award period. The report should outline the work that was accomplished and describe the proposal(s) submitted to external sponsor(s) as a result of this award. The report should also describe any significant deviations from or extensions to the project described in the original proposal. Investigators will be contacted thereafter for brief annual updates on grants and publications resulting from funding under this program.

Successful awardees will not be able to be funded by another COBRE, INBRE, CTR, or other IDeA grant funding while this Pilot Award is active.  However, Pilot awardees are certainly eligible to apply for a full Project Leader position in the CBHD COBRE when such openings are announced.


Address inquiries regarding CBHD COBRE Institutional Pilot Awards to [email protected].




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