Solving Medical Mysteries
Through Team Science

Funding Opportunities

Call for Proposals

Gene Function Studies

The Undiagnosed Diseases Network (UDN) will consider proposals for gene function studies to elucidate the biologic mechanisms of genetic variants identified in the UDN. A list of genes and variants for additional study is available here.

Key Information

Call for Proposals posted: January 8, 2019
Proposals due: February 28, 2019
Awards announced: May 30, 2019
Earliest start date: July 1, 2019
Project period: July 1, 2019-June 30, 2020

Proposal Requirements

Interested investigators must provide information regarding the proposed project location, senior/key personnel, and budget. In addition, investigators must submit a research plan outlining their specific aims and research strategy. This research strategy should include:

  • Bioinformatics or literature support connecting the specific genetic variant, proposed genetic mechanism, and phenotype
  • Explanation of the proposed approach (e.g. cell, tissue, organ, model organism, multi-omic investigation) to exploring the genetic variant and how information regarding impact on function and connection with participant phenotype will be determined
  • Description of how approach fits with the clinical and mechanistic information available

In addition, applicants would be supported in proposing in depth biological studies beyond screening, such as studies to complement the work performed by the UDN Model Organisms Screening Centers, that probe into mechanisms of disease, provide insight into therapeutic targets, or provide novel insights into the UDN candidate genes.

Applicants must indicate their willingness to share research plans and data with clinicians and investigators in the UDN and participate in network-wide meetings. Details regarding how research protocols, resources, progress, and results will be communicated to the UDN and the research community are also required.

Page limit: The research plan should not exceed 5 pages.

File format: PDF


UDN grantees and organizations outside of the UDN are welcome to apply and may submit more than one proposal, provided that each proposal is scientifically distinct.

Funds Available

The total amount of funds available for this award is approximately $900,000 for FY19 contingent upon receiving scientifically meritorious applications. Budgets should not exceed $150,000 total costs and must reflect the actual needs of the proposed project.

Anticipated Number of Awards 

Six awards are anticipated in FY19. Additional awards are anticipated in FY20 and FY21.

Review and Selection Process

A peer review committee will review all proposals submitted by the deadline. These individuals will use traditional NIH review criteria (significance, investigator(s), innovation, approach, environment) to provide an overall impact score for each application.

The UDN Coordinating Center will execute a subcontract with each awardee. Once a subcontract has been executed, de-identified clinical and genomic data will be made available to the awardee.

Submission Instructions

Final proposals must be submitted by email to udncc@hms.harvard.edu by 5:00 PM EST on Thursday, February 28, 2019. Proposals received after this deadline will not be reviewed.

Contact Information

Applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the UDN for additional information on variants. If you have questions about the proposal requirements, please email udncc@hms.harvard.edu.