University of Southern California


RFA-HG-19-004: Human Genome Reference Center (HGRC) (U41 Clinical Trial Not Allowed)

Slots:                                                     1                             

Internal Deadline:                           Contact the Office of Research if interested.

LOI:                                                        March 2, 2019 (not required)    

External Deadline:                          April 2, 2019, by 5:00 PM local time of applicant organization.

Award Information:                        Type:  Cooperative Agreement

Estimated Number of Awards: The National Human Genome Research Institute intends to commit $2,500,000 in FY 2019 to fund one award.

Anticipated Amount:  Application budgets are not limited but need to reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

Submission Process:                     PIs must submit their application as a Limited Submission through the Office of Research Application Portal:


Materials to submit:


Link to Award:                        

Who May Serve as PI:                    Any individual(s) with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out the proposed research as the Program Director(s)/Principal Investigator(s) (PD(s)/PI(s)) is invited to work with his/her organization to develop an application for support. Individuals from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups as well as individuals with disabilities are always encouraged to apply for NIH support.

For institutions/organizations proposing multiple PDs/PIs, visit the Multiple Program Director/Principal Investigator Policy and submission details in the Senior/Key Person Profile (Expanded) Component of the SF424 (R&R) Application Guide.


The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) seeks applications for a Human Genome Reference Center (HGRC). The HGRC will be the central group within a multi-component Human Genome Reference Program (HGRP) that will maintain and update the human genome reference and provide it to the scientific community. This group will also work with other HGRP members and the larger scientific community to prioritize sample choice and develop quality standards for new high-quality genome assemblies to add to the human genome reference; support state-of-the-art representations of alternate haplotypes (including representations developed by other program components); identify and respond to diverse community needs (e.g. clinical and basic) for use of the human genome reference; liaise or coordinate with other (international) resources that represent human genomic sequence and variation and/or that provide reference resources for human and other organisms.

This FOA will establish a Human Genome Reference Center (HGRC), the central component of the HGRP. The HGRC will provide a high-quality human genome reference to the scientific community in order to enable genome sequence analysis by the community. The HGRC will integrate the products of, and help coordinate, the other elements of the HGRP. The HGRC will liase with other related resources worldwide (including other reference resources, groups maintaining genomic standards, human variation data resources, etc.) in a way that will add value for the genomic community as a whole. The HGRC will help determine and respond to potential needs of various sectors of the research community (e.g. basic population genetics, genomic medicine, comparative genomics, etc.) that depend on the human reference. The HGRC will also provide outreach to the community of users both to provide them with information about how to use the reference and also to obtain feedback for improvement of the reference.  More detail about these objectives is provided below.

This FOA (and FOAs for other HGRP components) are intended to revise and improve NHGRIs current funding contributions to genome reference efforts, in line with the conclusions of the March 1, 2018 meeting described above, and replacing NHGRIs current funding of genome reference activities, which ends in 2018. The GRC currently operates as an international consortium, with support (in the form of funding and direct effort) provided by a number of entities, including NHGRI, whose main recent role has been to fund correction of errors in the reference, the addition of new high-quality genomes, and overall coordination. Others have ongoing roles, including the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) and the Wellcome Trust (funding the Sanger Center and the European Bioinformatics Institute (EBI)); these roles include supporting the underlying data, help in provision of the reference to the community, developing standards and policies, aspects of project coordination, and work on non-human genome references.  These interactions have been, and will continue to be, essential to the success of the human reference. NHGRI’s future contribution to genome references will be most effective in collaboration with these and other ongoing international efforts to build, maintain, and serve references to the worldwide genomics community.

These NHGRI HGRP FOAs seek applications for work only on human; we note that the larger GRC currently supports references for mouse, zebrafish, and chicken as well.

Visit our Institutionally Limited Submission webpage for updates and other announcements.