The Broad Institute-Klarman Cell Observatory (KCO) Collaborative Projects in Cell Circuit Research ambitiously tackle specific components of the cellular circuit of interest, aiming to overcome key technological challenges, and/or address key biological questions. We are seeking collaborations with labs that are experienced in challenging cellular systems or proficient in developing innovative experimental and/or computational technologies and methods for cell circuit research.
The major goals of the Broad Institute-KCO Collaborative Projects in Cell Circuit Research are:
- Apply our existing and growing experimental toolbox to tackle specific parts of the circuitry in a broad range of cell types
- Develop innovative solutions to overcome specific barriers in challenging cell types
- Partner with groups who develop novel experimental or computational techniques
The Broad Institute-KCO Collaborative Projects rely on scientists from both the collaborating labs and the KCO. The KCO provides experimental tools, computational methods, staff, equipment, and reagents, as well as resources available via the Broad scientific platforms and community.
Submitting a proposal
A call for Collaborative Projects to the Broad community is announced each October, with a November 23, 2015 deadline. The KCO staff strives to work closely with prospective applicants to address questions, help refine proposals, connect to platforms, find collaborators, etc. Applicants are strongly encouraged to discuss potential Collaborative Projects with the KCO scientific staff, and are invited to submit a 1-2 paragraph pre-proposal inquiry to KCO@broadinstitute.org. See Guidelines and submission instructions for detailed information.
All Core Members, Senior Associate Members, Associate Members, and Broad Staff Scientists with Broad PI status are eligible to apply for funding. Researchers from the greater scientific community may apply for funding, provided they co-apply with a Broad PI.
Most Collaborative Projects are expected to be up to $200,000 total costs for one year. Smaller proposals of approximately $50,000 will also be considered for less complex projects. KCO funds will support project costs, but not ongoing personnel in the collaborating lab.
Selection criteria include a combination of scientific excellence, relevance of the research plan to the KCO’s mission, and an appropriate research environment in the collaborating and KCO labs. The selection committee is chaired by the KCO Director, and consist of Core Members, Associate Members, Senior Scientific Staff, and other leading scientists from the Harvard and MIT community. As needed, we may enlist an ad hoc reviewer to complement any missing scientific expertise. The committee meets in December to select which applications to fund, guided by our selection criteria and mission.
About 2-4 projects are typically selected every year.
Once funded, KCO staff works with the collaborators to develop a final Project Plan. We assemble a Project Team consisting of the collaborators (principal investigator (PI) and trainees) and KCO Staff. We meet with the Project Team on a regular basis to monitor progress, troubleshoot, and set scientific directions.
- The PI(s) and members of the funded Broad Institute-KCO Collaborative Project will work together with the KCO scientific staff to execute the project.
- KCO funds will support project costs including reagents and SSF-costs but will NOT support ongoing personnel in the collaborating labs (unless special justified circumstances arise), travel, computers, or animal-related costs. The KCO staff will provide ongoing scientific management of Collaborative Projects.
- The PI(s) of the funded Collaborative Project will be expected to submit reports twice per year. The first report will be submitted six months after the project commences and will include a detailed description of the project status and timelines for completion. The second report will be submitted at the one-year time-point and will include project completion information describing project status and whether or not the aims were met.
The PI(s) of the funded project will be expected to participate and present at KCO-related events, including the Broad-ISF Cell Circuits Symposium, KCO SAB meeting, and KCO Annual Retreat.