Third Call for Proposals for Transnational Access Projects at EASI-Genomics


Third Call for Proposals for Transnational Access Projects at EASI-Genomics

(Pre-proposal deadline: 1 March 2021)  

EASI-Genomics is a European Genomics Infrastructure Horizon 2020 project. This novel infrastructure supports researchers in next-generation sequencing and other high-end genomics applications and genomic data analysis. The infrastructure is accessible worldwide to academic researchers, research groups and scientific institutions. Furthermore, projects from industry, including SMEs will be supported. Throughout four calls for access, EASI-Genomics will support more than 150 projects for a total budget of 6 million € until the end of 2022. The first two access calls and an extraordinary call in response to the COVID-19 crisis awarded a total of 72 projects for a total budget of appr. 4 million €. The rules of the European Commission only allow Transnational Access; applicants will not be granted access to a facility that is in their home country.

EASI-Genomics will support integrative projects covering expertise that is not available at the applicants’ home institution sites including high-throughput and cutting-edge sequencing, complex bioinformatic analysis and possibly DNA extraction (e.g. ancient DNA). Of note, EASI-Genomics also provides data analysis for already existing data sets. In this case, applicants should describe available data including sequencing technology used to generate it and the objective of the analysis. EASI-Genomics will cover the costs of consumables and personnel required to perform the external user projects at the project partner facilities.

EASI-Genomics invites external users to apply for access by opening several calls for proposals. Interested users can submit proposals to the 3rd Call online via this webpage until 1st of March, 2021, 23:59 CET. As pilots to Horizon Europe we encourage project applications with a focus on the mission areas (e.g. cancer, soil health and food). Applicants will be asked to describe the objectives of their research and the desired experimental and computational methods required to achieve these objectives. Valid ethical and legal documents relative to the research proposal will have to be submitted directly online at the time of submission by the applicant. EASI-Genomics can provide guidance for such documentation. Eligible proposals will be evaluated for scientific quality, feasibility, and impact. Proposals will be handled confidentially. EASI-Genomics recommends external users to contact the facilities offering the services of interest in order to discuss the feasibility of the submitted project prior to the submission of the proposal.

Details on the submission process, eligibility and evaluation criteria, and project implementation can be found here.

Topics of the third call for proposals

i) Sequencing of ancient DNA
EASI-Genomics offers to sequence ancient DNA at its state-of-the-art equipped facilities with special expertise in DNA isolation and sample preparation from challenging specimens. Applicants need to provide a detailed description of the objectives of their project, available sample materials, and explain wet-lab and/or computational procedures required for the execution of the project.

ii) Single-cell genomics
EASI-Genomics will support projects that require advanced single-cell multi-omics analysis. Techniques such as single-cell-3´- or 5’-tag RNA sequencing, feature-barcoding, full-length transcript sequencing, B- and T-cell receptor profiling, ATAC-Seq, or combinations thereof are available. Applicants need to provide a detailed description of the objectives of their project and explain wet-lab and/or computational procedures required for the execution of the project. Applicants need to describe sample material in detail, such as availability, viability, biosafety containment level, storage conditions.

iii) Spatial transcriptomics/in situ sequencing
Recent advances in RNA sequencing technology enable the profiling of cellular gene expression heterogeneity at spatial resolution. EASI Genomics offers spatial transcriptomics and in situ sequencing for the investigation of spatial tissue organization. Applicants need to provide a detailed description of the objectives of their project and explain wet-lab and/or computational procedures required for the execution of the project. Applicants need to describe available sample material in detail.

iv) Identification of epigenetic signatures
EASI Genomics offers technologies for profiling of epigenetic signatures such as DNA methylation, chromatin accessibility, or chromatin 3D-structure. Projects should focus on specific tissue/cell types to decipher epigenetic signatures with mechanistic relevance for human disease or ecologically and/economically relevant species. Studies analyzing surrogate epigenetic markers (e.g. blood-derived) are advised against. Applicants need to provide a detailed description of the objectives of their project and explain wet-lab and/or computational procedures required for the execution of the project. Applicants need to describe available sample material in detail.

v) Long-read sequencing with Oxford Nanopore Technology
We seek for the following applications: long-read genome sequencing, de novo assembly and annotation, structural variant detection, metagenomics, full-length mRNA and cDNA sequencing. The projects should focus on human disease or on ecologically and/economically relevant species. Procedures available at EASI-Genomics laboratories for these projects are Oxford Nanopore long-read DNA and RNA sequencing and state-of-the-art data analysis support. Applicants need to provide a detailed description of the objectives of their project and explain wet-lab and/or computational procedures required for the execution of the project. Applicants need to describe available sample material in detail.

vi) FFPE RNA and exome sequencing
Formalin-fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) samples are the most abundant source of archived clinical specimens, but pose distinct challenges for nucleic acid isolation and analysis. Our specialized facilities offer RNA and exome sequencing from FFPE samples to enable projects based on archived material. Applicants need to provide a detailed description of the objectives of their project, provide information about the available sample materials such as fixation conditions and storage times, and explain wet-lab and/or computational procedures required for the execution of the project.

Cross-topic applications are supported. For general inquiries and guidance on ethical documentation please contact the call managers at easi-genomics@mdc-berlin.de.

For more information see EASI Genomis page here.