BIOINFORMATICS RESEARCH ASSISTANT AWARD

Funding Opportunity Number

PCCR-BIOTRN-FY2020-01

Funding Opportunity Title 

BIOINFORMATICS RESEARCH ASSISTANT AWARD

Key Dates

Announcement December 10, 2020
Due January 22, 2021

Administrative Contact

John Fry (johnfry@purdue.edu)

Funding Opportunity Description

The Purdue Center for Cancer Research (PCCR) will be supporting a Cancer-Related Bioinformatics Research Assistant from Life Sciences or Statistics/Computer Science.  The goal of this assistantship is to provide in-depth training to a student interested in bioinformatic analyses as well as to promote development of bioinformatic expertise here at Purdue.  A critical characteristic of successful bioinformaticians is the ability to operate at the intersection of computational science, statistics, and life science and to be able to communicate effectively in all three of these arenas.  The qualifications and obligations listed below are intended to ensure that the awardee has the greatest likelihood of achieving these goals. Funding for this opportunity is supported by a generous award from the Walther Cancer Foundation. The proposal will be funded at the current base support for graduate student staff at 50 CUL or $24,960 for 12 months. In addition to this salary support, fee remissions and fringe support are also included bringing the total funding for this position to $37,247.

CLICK HERE to submit your electronic application by 5 pm on the cycle due date. No exceptions. The electronic submission system will not allow applications beyond the deadline. Once here, you can enter your Purdue e-mail and password to login.  

Qualifications/Restrictions

Student applicants of non-member faculty of the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research are allowed to apply. Only one application per faculty research group is allowed.  No exceptions.  Student applicants must have passed their preliminary exams..

Cost share

This announcement does not require cost sharing, however, the faculty advisor will have the option to normalize the salary to fit with their respective department/program for its graduate students.

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

There will be two awards for this cycle.

Award Budget

The proposal will be funded at the current base support for a graduate student staff at 50 CUL or $24,960.  In addition to this salary support, fee remissions and fringe support are also included bringing the total funding for this position to $37,247. See restrictions.

Award Project Period

The award is intended for a 12-month position which would commence in early 2022.

Award Restrictions

See obligations in “Award Requirements.”

Award Requirements

Applicant from Life Sciences program

Qualifications:

  • Must be proficient in R/Matlab and using Unix/Linux Operating systems
  • Must either be proficient in using HPC (high-throughput computing) to run software and analyses (e.g. be able to submit job files, load modules, and navigate through the Purdue Research computing directories) or must take the Purdue RCAC workshop on HPC competency
  • Good communication skills
  • Need to have taken at least 1 graduate level statistics course
  • Will work 10 hours per week with the core.  This experience will provide the student with a well-rounded skillset and experience with a range of bioinformatics analyses

Obligations:

  • Ensure that methods are well-documented such that analyses can be conducted in a reproducible manner.  If the student does not already know how to use GitHub, they will need to learn
  • Aid in working on core GitHub repository or generating a core website to detail analyses and list of programs recommended for such analyses.  This will serve two purposes:
    • Aid in developing core resources that can help the core and other researchers at Purdue University
    • Help the student understand a range of standard bioinformatics analyses
  • Aid in performing core analyses alongside a designated core Bioinformatician
  • Meet regularly (at least once a week) with Core Manager to discuss progress and challenges
  • Include core personnel involved in aiding in their training on resulting manuscript. If unpublished data from a cancer center member results in a publication, the student must be willing to put those involved in the generation of this data on manuscript.
  • If possible, the awardee will be encouraged to present a poster at the PCCRs Cancer Research Day on May 1, 2021.

Applicant from Statistics/Computer Science program

Qualifications:

  • Must be proficient in R/Matlab, using Unix/Linux Operating systems, and use of at least one high level scripting language (Perl, Python, Java, etc)
  • Must either be proficient in using HPC (high-throughput computing) to run software and analyses (e.g. be able to submit job files, load modules, and navigate through the Purdue Research computing directories) or must take the Purdue RCAC workshop on HPC competency
  • Must have a demonstrated interest in biology and a willingness to communicate results in a manner which translates across disciplines
  • Good communication skills
  • The applicant will have taken or be willing to take at least 1 graduate level biochemistry or biology related course equivalent to BCHM 561/2 or higher
  • Will work 10 hours per week with the core.  This experience will provide the student with a well-rounded skillset and experience with a range of bioinformatics analyses

Obligations:

  • Ensure that methods are well-documented such that analyses can be conducted in a reproducible manner.  If the student does not already know how to use GitHub, they will need to learn
  • Aid in working on core GitHub repository or generating a core website to detail analyses and list of programs recommended for such analyses.  This will serve two purposes:
    • Aid in developing core resources that can help the core and other researchers at Purdue University
    • Help the student understand a range of standard bioinformatics analyses
  • Aid in performing core analyses alongside a designated core Bioinformatician
  • Meet regularly (at least once a week) with Core Manager to discuss progress and challenges
  • Include core personnel involved in aiding in their training on resulting manuscript.  If unpublished data from a cancer center member results in a publication must be willing to put those involved in the generation of this data on manuscript.
  • If possible, the awardee will be encouraged to present a poster at the PCCRs Cancer Research Day on May 1, 2021.

Required publication acknowledgement

“The authors gratefully acknowledge the Walther Cancer Foundation and support from the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research, P30CA023168”

General requirement:

The applicant will provide their ORCID and join the PCCR LinkedIn group page to stay connected for reporting purposes during the electronic application process.

No Cost Extension (NCE)

No cost extensions are not allowed.

Regulatory

Not applicable.

Reporting

Responding to periodic requests of progress is required.  Triage of future applications may occur if reporting requests are ignored.

Application Guidelines

  1. Application Length: The application should be single-spaced and a maximum of three pages in length (Arial, 11pt) with no less than 0.5 inch margins.
  2. Required Application Structure:
    1. Applicant(s) name and faculty member name (if applicable, the PCCR program)
    2. Description of applicant qualifications/background and statement of how this opportunity would enhance their career training with an emphasis on relevance to a specific research problem currently or to be investigated in the lab that is related to cancer.
    3. Please also address the following questions:
      1. Are you proficient in R? How long have you been using R?
      2. Are you proficient in Matlab? How long have you been using Matlab?
      3. Which scripting language are you most comfortable with? How long have you been using this language?
      4. Are you familiar with high performance computing systems? If so, which job scheduler are you most familiar with?
      5. For Life Sciences Applicants: What is one graduate level statistics course that you have taken? What was your grade in this course?
      6. For Statistics/Computer Science Applicants: Have you taken any life sciences-related courses? If so, which ones and what grade(s) did you receive in these courses?
      7. How will you balance your work with the C3B with that in your lab/group?
  1. For the electronic submission, the items to upload should include:
    1. Three page application
    2. Faculty advisor letter(s) of support. This letter should include a statement that the applicant meets the stated criteria, is capable of undertaking the proposed research, and that the faculty advisor will ensure that the student meets the stated obligations of the assistantship (including weekly commitment to the core).

Review Criteria

  1. See the qualifications listed in the “Award Requirements” section of this document.
  2. Selection committee could consist of senior/program leaders, PCCR members or other experts.
  3. Finalists will be invited for a short virtual meeting prior an award decision.

Announcement History And Updates

Funding Opportunity Number Summary of Change
PCCR-BIOTRN-FY2020-01 Initiation of Announcement