Enabling Discovery through GEnomics (EDGE)

Funding Agency:
National Science Foundation

Through the Enabling Discovery through GEnomics (EDGE) program, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the National Institutes for Health (NIH) support research to advance understanding of comparative and functional genomics.  The EDGE program supports the development of innovative tools, technologies, resources, and infrastructure that advance biological research focused on the identification of the causal mechanisms connecting genes and phenotypes. The EDGE program also supports functional genomic research that addresses the mechanistic basis of complex traits in diverse organisms within the context (environmental, developmental, social, and/or genomic) in which they function.  These goals are essential to uncovering the rules that underlie genomes-to-phenomes relationships and predict phenotype, an area relevant to Understanding the Rules of Life: Predicting Phenotype, one of the 10 Big Ideas for NSF investment.  The goals also support the NHGRI priority to establish the roles and relationships of all genes and regulatory elements in pathways, networks, and phenotypes.

Full Proposal Deadline Date: Feb. 15, 2024 (Third Thursday in February, Annually Thereafter)

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

The EDGE program will accept proposals to two submission tracks:

FUNCTIONAL GENOMIC TOOLS (FGT) TRACK: Proposals submitted to this track should aim to develop and provide proof-of-concept tests of functional genomic tools and infrastructure to enable direct tests of hypotheses about gene function in diverse species for which such tools and infrastructure are presently unavailable. Investigators may use taxonomic, question-based, and/or technology-based strategies to develop tools and approaches that will be employed by larger communities of researchers. Projects may include instrumentation development followed by proof-of-concept testing in the context of developing functional genomic tools to enable direct tests of gene function.

COMPLEX MULTIGENIC TRAITS (CMT) TRACK: Proposals submitted to this track should include hypothesis-driven research that advances understanding of the relationship between genomes and complex multi-genic traits, toward the goal of predicting phenotypes across diverse contexts, including environmental, developmental, social, and/or genomic contexts. Successful proposals may include the development of theory and/or analytical approaches to achieve the scientific goal. The EDGE program recognizes that many of the traits of interest to biologists are quantitative in nature and are controlled by many genes of small effect and that understanding complex traits requires systems-level analysis of the underlying gene regulatory networks that goes beyond linking individual genes with said traits. Submissions to the COMPLEX MULTIGENIC TRAITS TRACK should emphasize the contribution of genome-wide factors that impact expression of a phenotype.

For the COMPLEX MULTIGENIC TRAITS TRACK, the use of traditional model organisms is permitted, but proposals must demonstrate the generalizability of the results beyond the focal species across contexts (environmental, developmental, social, and/or genomic).

Amount Description

Estimated Number of Awards: 10 to 15

Approximately 10-15 awards per year, pending availability of funds

Anticipated Funding Amount: $10,000,000

Other budgetary limitations apply. Please see the full text of the Section III: Award Information.

$10,000,000 in FY2021. The estimated budget, number of awards, and average award size/duration are subject to the availability of funds.

For NHGRI: There are no set aside funds. Applications compete with other applications submitted to NHGRI.

Limitation of Awards

EDGE proposal budgets may not exceed $2 million in combined direct costs (summed over all components of the project if the proposal is a collaborative submission) to support up to a four-year project plan.

Award sizes have typically ranged from approximately $125,000 to $300,000 per year in combined direct costs (summed over all components of the project if the proposal is a collaborative submission), with durations of two to four years. This range is offered as a guide to help proposers understand what has historically been fundable. Proposers requesting budgets toward the larger end of the range should make clear to reviewers why a larger or longer project is necessary. The science should be commensurate with the level of effort and compare favorably to a more tightly focused, smaller project.

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences

External Deadline

February 15, 2024