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New year, new opportunities: The NIH Common Fund!

New year, new opportunities: The NIH Common Fund!

Submitted by Zorina Galis, PhD, NHLBI/NIH

I wanted to draw the attention of NAVBO membership to a list of current and upcoming programs, funding and learning opportunities, as well as new publications and tools associated with the NIH Common Fund (CF) (see website portal).

The NIH CF programs support cross-cutting, trans-NIH programs that require participation by at least two NIH Institutes or Centers (ICs) or would otherwise benefit from strategic planning and coordination. CF funding opportunities are open to all applicants. Detailed information about various CF programs is available on the CF web portal and from the staff listed in relation to each program. All open CF funding opportunities also list at the end of the description the names and contact information of the program, review, and administrative staff associated with each opportunity.

Here are some updates and highlights on recently approved programs and open funding opportunities that I thought many of you might find of interest:

  • Some of the existing NIH CF programs will continue to be supported for a second stage beginning in fiscal year 2018 (FY2018):
    • Illuminating the Druggable Genome  **Call for applications is open NOW! Letter of Intent due 2/14/17, Receipt Date: 3/14/17. IDG has created a user interface portal, Pharos which combines data on all human proteins from the over 100 data sources. Anyone is able to access, query, filter, and download any of this data from this portal.
    • Metabolomics ** Call for applications is open NOW for pilot and feasibility projects. Applications due March 16th.
    • Undiagnosed Diseases Network. Pending the availability of funds, the program expects to publish funding opportunity announcements in summer 2017 to fund the second phase of the network.  Components of phase II are expected to include: a Coordinating Center, 8-10 Clinical Sites, and 3-6 Core Laboratories.
  • Two new CF programs were approved for FY2018
    • Transformative High Resolution Cryo-Electron Microscopy **Call for applications to become a national center is open NOW! Letter of intent due May 30, 2017, applications June 30, 2017.
    • Human BioMolecular Atlas Platform (HuBMAP), the newest CF program, is currently planning to make awards in FY2018, pending availability of funds. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) has been an initiator and is playing a leading in role in driving HuBMAP. Specific FOAs are under development, however, the HuBMAP aims to facilitate research on single cells within human tissues by building a central platform that would bring together data from around the world and make it accessible to the entire scientific community. HuBMAP will seek to engage innovators in data management, modelling, and analysis to understand the organizing principles underlying normal tissues, the degree of organizational variability between people, and how tissues change over the lifespan. HuBMAP will also support data generation on various tissues and technology development to maximize the diversity and number of molecules and tissues studied as part of this program. Stay tuned for more details!

Additional CF-related opportunities:

A great opportunity to learn about and share your perspective on single cell analyses will be offered by the Final Annual Investigators Meeting, “Single Cell Analysis Program” (SCAP) NIH Common Fund, scheduled to take placeJune 29-30, 2017, at the Clinical Center on the NIH campus in Bethesda, MD. Besides showcasing advancements made to date in the field of single cell analysis, specifically those enabled by the NIH SCAP, the meeting is open to all those interested in considering current conceptual, technical, and methodological challenges and opportunities that would require support from the Common Fund, rather than from specific institutes.

Registration is now open at


We hope that you will check out these NIH CF programs and plan to take advantage of the related opportunities!