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NHGRI Plans to Award $9.5M for '$1,000 Genome' Sequencing Tech Development in FY 2010

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By Julia Karow

The National Human Genome Research Institute plans to fund the development of new DNA sequencing technologies with $9.5 million in new grants next year under its "Revolutionary Genome Sequencing Technologies — The $1,000 Genome" program, according to a funding opportunity announcement from NIH last week.

Under the research project grant, or R01, mechanism, NHGRI plans to grant $5 million in total costs in fiscal year 2010 to between two and seven applicants, and the same amount again in fiscal 2011. Applicants can request up to $1.5 million in direct costs per year for up to four years.

Another $2 million is available under the exploratory/developmental research, or R21, grant mechanism in fiscal 2010 for between two and seven awards, and the same sum again in fiscal 2011. Applicants may request up to $200,000 in direct costs per year for up to three years.

Finally, under the SBIR, or R43/R44 grant mechanism, the institute plans to award $2.5 million in fiscal 2010 to support between two and five projects, while "future year amounts will depend on annual appropriations," according to the FOA. Up to $250,000 in total costs per year may be requested by applications for up to two years for phase I, and up to $1.5 million per year for up to three years for phase II.

The program, which aims to reduce the production cost for a high-quality draft mammalian genome to approximately $1,000 by 2014, started in 2004 and has made annual awards. Last summer, it granted more than $20 million to 11 teams, mostly for multiple-year projects (see In Sequence 9/2/2008). These included both projects to develop so-called "near-term" technologies that aim to reduce sequencing costs to $100,000 per mammalian genome, and "revolutionary" technologies to achieve the $1,000 genome.

This year's awards — the first that will not include any new '$100,000 genome' technologies — are expected to be made next month, according to an NHGRI official.

Applications under the new solicitations are due Oct. 19, and funding is expected to start around July 1, 2010.

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