Skip navigation links

Grant Proposal Assistance and Research Collaborations

The Bioinformatics core provides the following research and grant support services to MSU faculty, staff and students: 


Grant application support


Experimental design and methods consultation

We’re happy to provide you with advice on the bioinformatic and data science aspects of your research proposal. Email to set up a free consultation to discuss your needs and provide information about experimental design, relevant bioinformatics methods, and budget planning. 

Letters of support

Email to request a letter of support from the Bioinformatics core for your grant application.

Facilities statement

Sample language for including the Bioinformatics Core in the Facilities and Resources section of NSF and NIH grant applications is available in PDF and Word format. We can work with you to tailor a more specific statement to your needs. 

Long-term research collaborations

Investigators that are interested in a Bioinformatics Core collaboration that will be part of a grant proposal or other long-term project should contact Dr. Brian O’Shea at least a few weeks before the final grant budget is due.  The goal of these discussions will be to define the scope of the work that will be done, deliverables, an approximate time scale, the personnel that will be involved (which may include multiple people, depending on needs), and the estimated number of hours of effort that will be required for the Bioinformatics Core staff in order to achieve these goals.  After consensus is achieved, this will be codified in a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Director, the Bioinformatics Core staff involved, and the investigator(s) in question.  Upon request, it can also be documented in a letter of commitment or formal estimate of costs and services that can be included in a grant proposal. 

When a project is underway, Bioinformatics consultants will keep track of the total time that they have committed to a project and the general categories of their effort (e.g., work done in pursuit of the project’s goals, meetings with other project members, training in new tools/technologies/methods).  This time, along with a summary of what has been done and an estimate of progress toward the goals documented in the MoU, will be reported to the project PI and Director on a quarterly basis via email.  In general, any effort that directly supports the project goals, including meetings with project personnel, will be billable to the project.  A reasonable amount of time taken to learn new tools/technologies/methods/etc. in direct support of the project will also be billable, but this is expected to be a relatively small fraction of the overall project expense (no more than 25% of the total direct cost of the project).  Additional time devoted to skill development by Bioinformatics core consultants will count as an in-kind contribution by the core, at no cost to the project. 

We acknowledge that it is difficult to precisely estimate the amount of time that research-related efforts will require, and that grant budgets are typically fixed (i.e., cost overruns are either impractical or impossible).  If, during a collaborative project, it becomes clear that the budgeted effort is insufficient to meet the agreed-upon project goals we will have a discussion with the project PI, Bioinformatics core staff, and director to determine a path forward.  The Core’s primary objectives in such a discussion are to ensure that the most crucial goals of the project are met while also maintaining the ability of Bioinformatics Core personnel to complete other crucial aspects of their work.  Once these discussions have been concluded, the outcome will be documented via an amended MoU.