PCGC and CDDRC Fellows Program

About the Pediatric Cardiac Genomics Consortium and Cardiovascular Development Data Resource Center 2022 Fellows Program

The Pediatric Cardiac Genomics Consortium (PCGC) & Cardiovascular Development Data Resource Center (CDDRC) Fellows Program provides early-career researchers (graduate students, postdocs, junior faculty, and others) the opportunity to receive funding to help support research on novel and innovative data science and data-focused research problems in Congenital Heart Disease. Since its creation in 2009, the PCGC has explored the genetic underpinnings of CHD and has accumulated the largest collection, to date, of data and DNA from patients with CHD (>12,000 probands enrolled). The PCGC has discovered the etiology, by various genetic mechanisms, of approximately 25% of unexplained CHD and identified many new CHD-associated genes. Much of the phenotypic and genotypic data collected by the PCGC on this cohort is already available in dbGaP (phs001194 and sub-studies, phs001735, as well as phs001138), with the PCGC being committed to releasing all data through dbGaP and the NHLBI BioData Catalyst ecosystem. Sequence data available include Whole Exome Sequencing, Whole Genome Sequencing, Molecular Inversion Probe Sequencing as well as Genome-wide Single Nucleotide Polymorphism array data. The phenotypic data of this cross- sectional cohort was collected using electronic Case Report Forms (eCRFs) and includes detailed cardiac lesion descriptions, extracardiac phenotype descriptions, demographics and birth history, etc.

The CDDRC was initiated in 2020 to provide a cloud-compatible platform for multi-omics datasets; including RNA-seq, ChIP-seq, Single-Cell RNA-seq, Hi-C as well as WES and WGS from multiple organisms (mouse, zebrafish, human and others), with hundreds of experiments and thousands of FASTQ and BAM files. Legacy data from the CvDC (Cardiovascular Development Consortium) as well as incoming new datasets will be available. The CDDRC Mosaic platform facilitates pointing analytic and visualization tools to external sources, with the long-term goal of melding the cloud-compatible platform with the NHLBI BioData Catalyst ecosystem.

The vision for NHLBI BioData Catalyst is to be a community-driven ecosystem implementing data science solutions, democratizing data and computational access, extending services such as TOPMed and dbGaP, and advancing NHLBI science. The PCGC & CDDRC Fellows Program offers a mechanism for early career researchers to engage with the PCGC, CDDRC and NHLBI BioData Catalyst as partners in promoting the use of NHLBI BioData Catalyst to analyze CHD data. The CDDRC Fellowship is intended to facilitate movement of multi-omics data analysis from multiple model organisms into NHLBI BioData Catalyst.

The program is modeled after the NHLBI BioData Catalyst Fellowship Program; applicants can read about previous NHLBI BioData Catalyst Fellow Cohorts here and here.

Fellowship Eligibility

Preference will be given to proposals that leverage the strengths of the PCGC and/or CDDRC data as well as NHLBI BioData Catalyst to enable cutting edge computational analyses of genomic and clinical data. Consideration will be given to early-career applicants (graduate students, postdocs, junior faculty), especially those who will bring diversity to the PCGC, CDDRC, and NHLBI BioData Catalyst communities.

The fellowship funding period will run 12 months, from November 2022 to October 2023, with a brief project report due six months into the project and a final report due at the end. Fellows will receive onboarding training by NHLBI BioData Catalyst program staff. Fellows will also be encouraged to make their workflows and tools available within the ecosystem and for the broader research community.

Applicants authorized to work in the USA and affiliated with a US research academic institution are eligible to apply. Eligibility for non-US citizens at foreign institutions will be determined on a case-by-case basis after a funding decision is made.

Fellowship Financial Stipend

Awardees will receive a stipend of up to $70,000 which includes costs for salary support, travel, training, publication, and conference fees. As part of the Uniform Guidance, fellowships are not subject to indirect costs, and these should not be budgeted. Reasonable cloud costs will be covered by PCGC and should not be included in your budget (see proposal requirement #9 below). Fellows are expected to contribute a significant percentage of their time to their project proposals (25% at a minimum for each Fellow).

PCGC & CDDRC Fellows Program Timeline

July 20, 2022 – Application Process Opens
September 15, 2022 5PM Local Time– Application Deadline
October 15, 2022 – Award notices released
November 1, 2022 – Program Begins
October 31, 2023 – Fellowship Program Ends

Fellowship Application Process

Applicants submit proposals to this submission portal, https://grants.pcgcid.org/ during the open application window. Proposals should address the requirements below. The proposal should be understandable to readers from outside the field of study and must clearly spell out the project aims, past studies, methods, materials, and NHLBI BioData Catalyst engagement plan.

Proposal Requirements

  1. Profile Information: Provide your name, organization, department, position title, research area, email address, and your profile web page (if available).
  2. Letters of Support: Two signed letters of support from mentors or key collaborators are required. Letters of support should include contact information of the reference (full name, position title, organization, email/phone number, and signature).
  3. Biographical Sketch: NIH biosketch or a biographical sketch (not to exceed 5 pages) is required.
  4. Abstract: Provide an abstract on your research question and how your proposed project will address the goals of the Fellows Program. (recommended 125 words maximum)
  5. Project Aims: Describe concisely the specific research approach you intend to take, specifically outlining aims, goals, deliverables, and timelines for the year. (recommended 300 words maximum)
  6. Prior Studies: Using examples of work, by you or others, please outline how your proposed project would align with past studies. Please provide sufficient background to demonstrate project feasibility, and that your project can be completed successfully in the duration of the year. (recommended 175 words maximum)
  7. Expertise: Describe your familiarity with genomic analysis, statistical programming, and cloud based computation. (recommended 125 words maximum)
  8. Methods and Materials: Explain what methods and material are to be used in the project such as protocols, data, software, analysis; and how you plan to use the PCGC data in the NHLBI BioData Catalyst ecosystem and/or the CDDRC to enhance your proposed project. Include an estimate of the scale of the proposed analyses (e.g., the sample size, number of proposed analyses, and types data expected to be used). (recommended 300 words maximum)
  9. Budget Estimate: Provide a budget estimate including costs for salary, travel, training, publication, and conference fees. As part of the Uniform Guidance, fellowships are not subject to indirect costs. Fringe benefits, tuition, and equipment (e.g., computers) are not an allowable costs on the stipend payment. (recommended 75 words maximum)
  10. References: Provide a list of references cited in the previous questions here (recommended 125 words maximum)

Selection Criteria

A Review Committee comprised of CHD researchers, NHLBI representatives, and external experts will use the following criteria to evaluate proposals and select award recipients:

  •  The proposal outlines a high-impact research topic and speaks to novel approaches to meet challenges in the research area.
  •  The proposal addresses an important scientific question that can be usefully answered using the NHLBI BioData Catalyst ecosystem and/or the CDDRC along with the available data resources within the 1-year timeframe.
  •  The applicant has assembled relevant assets and is ready to begin the project at funding, if awarded.
  •  The applicant has obtained data use agreements (e.g., dbGaP), and/or is in the process of obtaining data access and dbGaP data use agreements before applying.
  •  The applicant has demonstrated the necessary background and capabilities to accomplish the proposed work.
  •  The application describes approaches and/or tools that will benefit the functionality of the NHLBI BioData Catalyst ecosystem and/or the CDDRC.
  • The application represents diversity across fields of study, institutions, geography, and investigators.

Notification

Applicants should expect to be notified of their award status approximately one month after the submission window closes (see the timeline above for anticipated dates). Applicants who receive an award should expect to immediately begin the process of establishing a subcontract award between their home institution and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center who serves as the Administrative Coordinating Center for the Bench to Bassinet (B2B) Program. The PCGC and CDDRC are part of the B2B Program.

Questions

Questions regarding the PCGC & CDDRC Program may be directed to Bench to Bassinet Administrative Coordinating Center at b2bprogram@cchmc.org.

Link to the main BioData Catalyst Website

https://biodatacatalyst.nhlbi.nih.gov/

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