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.  Applications will be available in UFunds.  If you have any questions regarding our funding announcements, you can email [email protected] or call Tricia Werner at 401-863-6275. 

The goal of the COBRE Center for Computational Biology of Human Disease (CBHD) 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 of staff data scientists who will assist with data analyses. In addition, awardees may be considered for eventual recruitment to a Project Leader position in the COBRE CBHD program as existing Project Leaders attain their own independent funding and graduate from COBRE support.


The principal investigator 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. This Call for Pilot Award Applications will be announced annually, and in future years may be opened up to other research institutions across Rhode Island.


We expect to fund two one-year projects for $25,000 to $30,000 each.  Indirect costs and faculty salaries are not allowed.  Competitive proposals might include requests for funding to generate new omics-level data sets that would require computational analysis with the help of the COBRE Computational Biology Core. Alternatively, requests for partial support for a computational biology postdoctoral fellow to join a Junior Investigator’s research group would be responsive to this request for applications.


Applications must be completed using UFunds and are due by 11:40 p.m. on Sunday, September 15, 2019.

Internal Advisory Committee Review Date: Friday, October 18, 2019

External Advisory Committee Review Date: Monday,  December 2, 2019

Estimated Application Award Date: Tuesday, January 1, 2019

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

IRB and IACUC approvals (if applicable) must be in-hand at time of application.

  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
    1. Specific Aims: Describe the project goals for the 12-month project in no more than 1/2 page.
    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 data from the pilot award for subsequent independent funding.
    3. Innovation: Include both conceptual and technical innovation.
    4. Approach: Preliminary data (if applicable) and research plan including expected results and alternative approaches.
    5. References Cited: Not included in 5-page limit.
  4. PHS Human Subjects and Clinical Trials Information (Click here for the 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 PI
  7. Updated Other Support of PI
  8. Detailed Budget with Justification using PHS 398 Form Page 4
    1. Indirect costs are not allowed
    2. Costs of equipment >$5,000 and renovations are not permitted
    3. Faculty salary is not allowed


Criteria for Selection

Funding is dependent upon the review of the COBRE CBHD 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

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. In addition, they are required to provide a final progress report within 60 days of the end of the approved award period to the COBRE Director. 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.

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