Funding Announcements

Welcome to the funding announcements page for the COBRE Center for Computational Biology of Human Disease (CBHD).  This is where you will find our most current funding announcements for our COBRE CBHD Research Project Awards and our COBRE CBHD Institutional Pilot Awards.   If you have any questions regarding our funding announcements, you can email or call Tricia Werner at 401-863-6275. 

The goal of the COBRE Center for Computational Biology of Human Disease (CBHD) is to build a computational biology infrastructure for the greater Brown and affiliated hospital environments that will benefit the study of human disease across all of Rhode Island.

A central component of this COBRE Program is to support the research activities of junior investigators who are doing research in human disease-related areas that require significant computational analyses of large data sets and to provide mentoring to ensure their transition to independent R01-funded investigators.

Awardees will gain access to the Computational Biology Core of staff data scientists.

The project lead for the proposal must be a junior investigator with a faculty appointment at Brown University or the equivalent at one of its affiliated hospitals at the time of the award. Non tenure track faculty such as Assistant Professors (Research) are eligible for this funding as long as there is a clear commitment to this individual remaining in such a position at Brown or an affiliated hospital independent of the COBRE funding. A letter in support of this commitment must be provided from the appropriate senior institutional official(s) at their institution (e.g., Dept. Chair or Dept. Head). In addition, plans for the independence of the applicant from other senior faculty members at Brown or affiliated hospitals must be clearly stated to ensure that the applicant can develop their own research program during and after COBRE support.  For example, senior research associates working in the laboratories of other Brown or hospital employees would be precluded from COBRE support if future publications from the COBRE project would require co-authorship with the head of the lab. The rationale for this exclusion is that COBRE funding is not intended to support established research programs of senior faculty or hospital researchers.  More senior faculty applicants will be considered if they have concrete plans for a significant change in research focus towards computational biology of human disease. Applicants must not have been a principal investigator on an R01 or equivalent grant. The research proposed must involve a question related to human disease that requires computational analyses of large data sets.


  • Applicants should propose research projects of 2-year duration.
  • Project Leaders must have 50% (6-months) effort on the grant.
  • Research must be for human disease related questions but can focus on an animal model system. A clear connection to genome-enabled high throughput data generation or analysis is important for the success of the application.
  • Applicants should identify two senior faculty members in the proposal, one with expertise in statistical or computational fields, and one with a clinical or basic biological research background, who can serve as mentors for the research project. Mentors should be senior faculty members and have a record of external funding.
  • The Project Leader must submit an application for an R01 or equivalent grant by the end of their second year.

We expect to fund two or three 2-year projects of $150,000 - $175,000 direct costs per year. 

Applications must be completed using UFunds and should use PHS 398 forms and instructions.  Click here for PHS 398 forms and instructions.  Only the following sections have to be completed:

IRB and IACUC approvals (if applicable) must be in-hand before the award can be funded, no later than February 28, 2019.

  1. NIH Face Page (PHS 398 Face Page)
  2. NIH Project Summary Page (PHS398 Form Page 2)
  3. Research Strategy Section (12-page limit including the Specific Aims page)
    1. Specific Aims (1-page limit)
    2. Significance:  Overall significance of the project, including relevance to goals of the COBRE Center for Computational Biology of Human Disease, and plans for use of the Computational Biology Core and data in subsequent independently funded projects.
    3. Innovation:  Include both conceptual and technical innovations.
    4. Approach:  Preliminary data (if applicable) and research plan including expected results and alternative approaches. 
    5. Mentoring Plan: Briefly describe the mentoring plan for the applicant.
    6. References: Not included in page limit
  4. PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials information (Click here for form and here for instructions)
    1. IRB approval
    2. Human subjects education certification 
  5. Vertebrate Animals per PHS 398 Instructions (if applicable)
    1. IACUC approval
    2. Vertebrate Animal Section 
  6. NIH Biographical Sketch of Research Project PI
  7. Updated Other Support of Research Project PI
  8. Detailed Budget with Justification using PHS 398 forms.  The budget period should be listed as 3/1/19 – 2/28/21.
  9. Checklist Format Page with F&A cost breakdown
  10. Please provide square footage of your research space.


Applications must be completed using UFunds and are due by 11:45 p.m. on Sunday, September 23, 2018.

Internal Advisory Committee Review Due Date: Friday, October 19, 2018

External Advisory Committee Review Due Date: Friday, November 16, 2018

NIGMS Review Due Date:  February 15, 2019

Estimated Application Award Date:  March 1, 2019


Criteria for Selection
Funding is dependent upon the review of the COBRE Computational Biology of Human Disease Internal and External Advisory Committees, and final approval of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences.

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
  • Racial, ethnic, and gender diversity

Awardees will be expected to present a seminar describing their project and results as part of the COBRE CBHD Seminar Series.  They will also be expected to attend the COBRE CBHD and CCMB seminar series.  They will be required to provide quarterly progress reports to the COBRE Program Manager as requested.  The mentors will also be required to submit quarterly reports.  Upon acceptance into the program, the project leader will work with both mentors and prepare an Individual Development Plan.  The COBRE Program Manager will provide some sample documents that can be helpful in this process. 

Address inquiries regarding COBRE CBHD Research Project Awards to