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Advancing Big Data Science in Genomics Research

Genome Canada, along with its partners, is pleased to announce the Discovery Frontiers: Advancing Big Data Science in Genomics Research funding opportunity. Discovery Frontiers (DF) grants—a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) program—support a limited number of large international activities, opportunities or projects that are of high priority in the context of advanced research in Canada.

Massive amounts of data are being generated by genomics research across all life science sectors.  The lack of efficient tools and methodologies available to effectively mine, rapidly access and efficiently analyse vast quantities of genomic information and integrate it with other data sets is a major challenge for the research community.

To help position Canada as a leader in this global research challenge, NSERC, Genome Canada, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) have established an unprecedented partnership that will see a variety of disciplines come together to tackle high volumes of data. The insight gleaned from these partnerships will help address some of Canada’s most pressing challenges.

This call for proposals builds on past and ongoing investments in the areas of bioinformatics and computational biology by some of the funding partners, the most recent being the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology Request for Applications launched in June 2012 by Genome Canada and CIHR.

Funds Available

Genome Canada, NSERC, CIHR and CFI plan to award one Discovery Frontier grant through this call, for a total funding level of $1.5 million per year for four years for the direct research costs, plus an additional $1 million for costs related to infrastructure with an added 30% towards eligible operating and maintenance costs of the infrastructure, if required.

It is anticipated that the new knowledge, tools and infrastructure produced from this initiative will facilitate breakthrough discoveries and innovation in genomics, engineering, medicine, and other disciplines, pushing Canada to the forefront of big data science in genomics research.

Important Dates

  • Letter of Intent: May 1, 2013
  • Invitation to Apply: June 14, 2013
  • Application Deadline (if invited to apply): November 15, 2013
  • Anticipated Start Date: February 2014

For full details and instructions on how to apply, please see the program description (Link to Competition and Funding Initiatives page on GC website).

Potential applicants within Manitoba and Saskatchewan are encouraged to contact Dr. Reno Pontarollo, Chief Scientific Officer of Genome Prairie at to discuss opportunities for guidance in development of their applications to this program.

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