Fellows Program FAQs

Is the BioData Catalyst Fellows Program currently accepting applications? 

Currently the Fellows Program is not accepting applications. Look for additional funding opportunities in June 2020.

How can the BioData Catalyst Fellows Program help further research and career goals? 

In performing research on the developing BioData Catalyst ecosystem, fellows will be able to answer challenging and important scientific questions leading to publication, learn cutting-edge technical skills, and develop contact networks in the broader scientific community. Fellows will also benefit from collaboration with BioData Catalyst developers and receive cloud credits to support their work.

What is the application deadline for this year?

The application deadline is January 17, 2020 11:59 PM, Eastern Time. This is a firm deadline that will not be extended. See the Call for Proposals for the complete timeline.

Is a particular format required for the proposal?

Yes, please see the Call for Proposals and/or the Fellows Program Application Form for details.

Do you expect fellows to attend events or meetings?

All fellows will be expected to be involved in NHLBI BioData Catalyst activities during the year, including attending some of the quarterly face-to-face consortium meetings. Also, fellows are encouraged to attend working group meetings and other events that are applicable to their project proposals.

Will cloud costs be covered by the fellowship?

Cloud credits will be available to all Fellows, with details finalized during discussions prior to award.

What TOPMed data will be available on the BioData Catalyst ecosystem?

Freeze 5 data is available via the BioData Catalyst ecosystem. Freeze 8 data will be made available after appropriate indexing, but the timeline is not determined. Data can be brought onto workspaces via local servers for work on private projects.

What functionality does the BioData Catalyst ecosystem currently have?

To learn more about the functionality of workspaces on the BioData Catalyst ecosystem, visit the documentation pages available via the Access DataSTAGE page.

Are there restrictions on who can apply? 

Applicants must be authorized to work in the USA and preferably affiliated with a research academic institution. We encourage diverse applicants at the early-career researcher levels (graduate students, postdocs, and junior faculty) to apply. 

How many individuals can be covered by a fellowship?

Fellowship applications are limited to one individual. Multiple applications from one organization are allowed. 

What is the amount of funding for the fellows? 

Awardees will receive a stipend of up to $69,733, which includes salary and costs for travel, training, publication, and conference fees. As part of the Uniform Guidance, fellowships are not subject to indirect costs. Fringe benefits are not an allowable cost on the stipend payment. 

What are the expectations for a fellow? 

Beyond completing the proposed scope of work, fellows are members of the BioData Catalyst community and are expected to serve as superusers. A superuser is a user who promotes the use of the BioData Catalyst and supports other users who are working on the system. Work performed during the period of performance should include the proper BioData Catalyst acknowledgement. Fellows will be asked to contribute volunteer time for BioData Catalyst Fellows Program activities such as promoting the program within their network.

What criteria will be used to review the fellows applications? 

Applications are reviewed by a panel of diverse members of the NHLBI BioData Catalyst community to determine that the proposed work is relevant to BioData Catalyst ecosystem and will benefit the consortium and broader community; addresses an important scientific question that can be usefully answered with available resources, background, and capabilities in the given timeframe of 1-year; is participating in a research group and obtained (or is in the process of obtaining) the necessary IRB approval, data use agreements; and demonstrates the proposer’s willingness to engage and collaborate with the consortium, fellows peer group, and the broader community. See Call for Proposals Selection Criteria.

Where can I share material developed during the project?

We welcome content contributions to the website in a variety of formats. We expect fellows to share their data and software works via the BioData Catalyst ecosystem.

How are the funds awarded? 

The award will be in the form of a subcontract from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to the recipient’s institution. The value of the subcontract will not exceed $69,733.

Can funds be used for travel? 

Funding can be used to support effort in developing and delivering content, including travel. We suggest providing brief information in the proposal questions section of the Application Form. We will follow up with selected fellows about more specific budget details, including advance approval for travel, as required by the policies of our sponsors.

Can NHLBI BioData Catalyst provide advice about taxes? 

No, we cannot provide tax advice.

Who can I contact if I have questions about the application process/form? 

If the Call for Proposals and/or FAQs do not answer your questions, the BioData Catalyst Coordinating Center is available to answer additional questions you may have. Please email bdc3@renci.org.

What is the timeline for the application process?

Please see the timeline listed in the Call for Proposals.

Will you provide feedback on nominations that are not selected? 

Yes, we plan on providing Review Committee feedback to all the applicants.

Can I participate in the Fellows Program if I am already funded on another project?

Participation in another fellowship program is acceptable as long as you abide by the regulations and restrictions of your other awards.

Where will the quarterly meetings occur?

The 2020 quarterly meetings will take place in Chapel Hill, NC (March); Chicago, IL (June); Nashville, TN (September); and Bethesda, MD (December). Locations for 2021 have not yet been established.