Request for Proposals: Computational Challenges of Genome Wide Association Studies (GWAS)

Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) aims to correlate patterns of genomic variation with phenotypes such as response to drugs, disease, aging, or the expression of genetic disorders. The National Institutes of Health sees GWAS as “laying the groundwork for an era of personalized medicine.” Microsoft Research seeks to aid researchers, scientists and clinicians in this endeavor.

The scientific community has generated and stored datasets for broad usage. Tools for data analysis have been created and deployed. However, researchers are hampered by data inconsistencies and algorithm performance. There is also a need to remove obstacles to collaboration and promote results sharing. This request for proposals (RFP) focuses on encouraging the development of computational solutions ranging from data access and database federation to human computer interactions (HCI) and algorithm parallelization.

Combining clinical and phenotype data with enabling solutions in this area will ultimately help in the prediction of disease and patient care—in particular for common diseases for which there is a genetic predisposition such as diabetes, asthma, cancer and heart disease. Successful proposals will address the limitations of existing systems and facilitate solving a specific genomic research question.


The total amount available under this request for proposals (RFP) is $700,000. Microsoft Research anticipates making approximately 4-5 awards averaging $150,000, with a maximum of $200,000 for any single award. All awards will be made in $US. Awards are generally made as unrestricted gifts to the institution.

Schedule and Deadlines

  • Announcement: November 1, 2007
  • First date for submission of proposals: December 3, 2007
  • Last date for submission of proposals: January 21, 2008, 10:00 AM PST (Note: PST= -8 UTC/GMT, PDT = -7 UTC/GMT)
  • Notification of Awards: March 1, 2008

Additional details can be found at:


Technorati tags: GWAS, RFP, Genome