Call for Proposals 2023: Sperling Family Fellowship in Precision Healthcare

The Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard (Broad Institute) and the Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) invite applications for the 2023 cycle of the Sperling Family Fellowship. The purpose of this funding program is to provide resources for innovative projects that leverage the strengths of two world-renowned institutions — the superb clinical care, expert bioinformatics, and rich data sources of BWH, and the basic science, computational, and genomics sophistication of the Broad Institute – to advance a translational research project with the potential to transform how we care for patients.  

Fellows will work under the auspices of both BWH and the Broad Institute on a translational research project that will help answer urgent clinical questions, eventually bringing findings to bear on care for individual patients and populations and advancing the field of precision medicine. It is anticipated that the fellows will pursue the fundamental scientific aspects of his/her project at the Broad Institute while utilizing resources at BWH for clinical facets of the work. The fellow will have a mentor at both sites to be specified in the application.  

The Sperling Family Fellowship may fund one grant at a maximum of $100K (including 15% indirect costs) for one year. For BWH applicants, the budget is awarded on a TDC (Total Direct Cost) basis. These grants can be submitted either by an individual BWH investigator or as a collaborative project between two or more BWH investigators. If a collaborative project is submitted, one investigator must be identified as the PI.  

It is understood that any tool or reagent generated as part of the Sperling Family Fellowship grant will be shared with the wider BWH and Broad Institute community.  

Know someone who might be a strong fit for the Sperling Family fellowship? Send their name and email address to Pat Leomi, and we’ll reach out to encourage them to apply.

Application Deadline
The application deadline is April 14, 2023 at 11:59PM EST.

Program Details and Eligibility
The Sperling Family Fellowship is targeted to junior investigators: postdoctoral research fellows, clinical fellows, Instructors or Assistant Professors within 2 years of their appointment (as of the application deadline). Applicants must have their primary appointment at BWH but intend to have meaningful scientific collaboration with colleagues at the Broad. Applications are encouraged from researchers who have not previously been involved in -omics projects between BWH and Broad Institute.  

Eligible applicants may apply for one year of funding with the ability to apply for a second year. Applicants are expected to develop a proposal that addresses a clinically relevant problem that is best addressed with the data, methods, and technologies at the Broad Institute. The successful recipient will be afforded appropriate space and support at the Broad Institute and BWH during the fellowship. 

A key goal of the Sperling Family Fellowship is to improve human health by supporting research in precision healthcare. Factors for reviewers’ consideration include scientific quality, relevance to the Sperling Family Fellowship mission, and the ability to leverage BWH and Broad Institute strengths to advance patient care.  

Application Requirements

  1. Application form
    • Basic personal information
    • Name, Email, PI, Home Institution, Project Title 
    • Optional demographic questions on race, ethnicity, and gender identity
  2. Responses to the prompts below in a single PDF in the order presented here: 
    • Abstract (max. 1/3 page) 
      • Brief, lay statement summarizing the key points of the proposal
    • Research Proposal (max. 3 pages, including references) 
      • Background and Rationale 
      • Specific Aims 
      • Milestones 
      • Key risks and plans to mitigate 
      • References  
    • Budget 
    • Budget Justification/Narrative (max. 1 page) 
      • Justify proposed costs at the line-item level of detail 
      • The budget is primarily intended for non-personnel expenses. Salary support is limited to 10% for the PI, and 25% for other personnel. 
      • Include effort committed by all personnel, even if salary is not requested 
      • Include supplies and other expenses 
      • If spending will take place at multiple sites, please indicate the site for each expense.
    • NIH-formatted Biographical Sketch of Applicant (max. 5 pages) 
      • Include up to 5 recent/relevant publications 
    • Other Support (NIH format, current and pending, no page limit) 
      • Highlight support relevant to the proposed project 
      • No page limit
    • Department (or Division) Letter of Support (a second letter of support is optional) 

Submission Process
Please submit your application via Google Forms.

Incomplete or late applications will not be considered.  

Review Process
Members of the BWH scientific community and/or external researchers will independently evaluate the proposals, giving primary consideration to excellence regarding the factors mentioned above. They will also consider the availability of alternative funding sources, and the potential to promote future collaborative research, particularly between institutions.  

Questions regarding the Sperling Family Fellowship may be addressed to