NSF Enabling Discovery through GEnomics

Sponsor Deadline: 

Mar 16, 2021


National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health

UI Contact: 

NSF  Enabling Discovery through GEnomics (EDGE)
NSF 21-546    https://www.nsf.gov/pubs/2021/nsf21546/nsf21546.htm?WT.mc_id=USNSF_25&WT.mc_ev=click
 Deadlines     March 16, 2021;     February 17, 2022

A comprehensive understanding of the functional mechanisms that connect genotype-to-phenotypes is a grand challenge in biology. Support for research on diverse organisms is critical for discovering generalizable rules that govern the connection between genomes and phenomes across all of life.
The EDGE program will accept proposals to two submission tracks:

1.  FUNCTIONAL GENOMIC TOOLS (FGT) TRACK: Proposals submitted to this track should aim to develop and provide proof-of-concept tests of functional genomic tools and infrastructure to enable direct tests of hypotheses about gene function in diverse species for which such tools and infrastructure are presently unavailable. Investigators may use taxonomic, question-based, and/or technology-based strategies to develop tools and approaches that will be employed by larger communities of researchers. Projects may include instrumentation development followed by proof-of-concept testing in the context of developing functional genomic tools to enable direct tests of gene function.   Examples of relevant objectives for plants, animals, microbes, viruses, or fungi for which such tools and infrastructure are presently unavailable include, but are not limited to:

  • Development of mutant libraries and/or high-quality reference genomes;
  • Expansion of the use of gene editing, knock-out, and overexpression approaches for manipulating individual genes or interrogating multiple genes simultaneously in diverse organisms;
  • Development of approaches to test gene function in a variety of targeted, single cells in organisms;
  • Generalizable high-throughput phenotyping methods;
  • Innovative approaches for establishing function of single or networks of genes; and
  • Development and testing of transformation approaches.

2.  COMPLEX MULTIGENIC TRAITS (CMT) TRACK: Proposals submitted to this track should include hypothesis-driven research that advances understanding of the relationship between genomes and complex multi-genic traits, toward the goal of predicting phenotypes across diverse contexts, including environmental, developmental, social, and/or genomic contexts. Successful proposals may include the development of theory and/or analytical approaches to achieve the scientific goal. The EDGE program recognizes that many of the traits of interest to biologists are quantitative in nature and are controlled by many genes of small effect and that understanding complex traits requires systems-level analysis of the underlying gene regulatory networks that goes beyond linking individual genes with said traits.  Submissions to this track may include but are not limited to:

  • Systems-level analysis of the gene regulatory networks underlying complex traits;
  • Elucidation of the causal connections across levels of biological organization that underlie complex multigenic traits;
  • New or innovative analytical approaches to linking genes and complex traits; and
  • Multi-genome/epigenome interactions with the environment towards the goal of predicting complex organismal phenotypes across contexts.