The National Human Genome Research Institute's (NHGRI) Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) Research Program was established in 1990 as an integral part of the Human Genome Project (HGP) to foster basic and applied research on the ethical, legal and social implications of genetic and genomic research for individuals, families and communities. The ELSI Research Program funds and manages studies, and supports workshops, research consortia and policy conferences related to these topics.
On February 10, 2011, Nature magazine published NHGRI's strategic plan for the future of human genome research, called Charting a course for genomic medicine from base pairs to bedside . This plan includes a section on Genomics and Society that outlines four areas that will need to be addressed as genomic science and medicine move forward. Based on these areas, the NHGRI has developed the following broad research priorities.
Genomic Research. The issues that arise in the design and conduct of genomic research, particularly as it increasingly involves the production, analysis and broad sharing of individual genomic information that is frequently coupled with detailed health information.
Genomic Health Care. How rapid advances in genomic technologies and the availability of increasing amounts of genomic information influence how health care is provided and how it affects the health of individuals, families and communities.
Broader Societal Issues. The normative underpinnings of beliefs, practices and policies regarding genomic information and technologies, as well as the implications of genomics for how we conceptualize and understand such issues as health, disease, and individual responsibility.
Legal, Regulatory and Public Policy Issues. The effects of existing genomic research, health and public policies and regulations and the development of new policies and regulatory approaches.
The NHGRI, along with several other National Institutes of Health (NIH) institutes, has released revised general program announcements to solicit research projects that anticipate, analyze, and address the ethical, legal, and social implications of the discovery of new genetic technologies and the availability and use of genetic information resulting from human genetics and genomic research.
Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) of Genomic Research Regular Research Program (R01) PA-14-276 [grants.nih.gov] Application Receipt Date(s): Standard dates apply Expiration Date: September 8, 2017
Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) of Genomic Research Small Research
Grant Program (R03) PA-14-277 [grants.nih.gov] Application Receipt Date(s): Standard dates apply Expiration Date: September 8, 2017
Ethical, Legal, and Social Implications (ELSI) of Genomic Research Exploratory/Developmental Research Program (R21) PA-14-278 [grants.nih.gov] Application Receipt Date(s):Standard dates apply Expiration Date: September 8, 2017
NIH-Wide Ethical Issues in Human Subjects Research Program Announcements
The NHGRI participates in the NIH-wide program announcments on human subjects research issues.
PA-11-180 [grants.nih.gov]: Research on Ethical Issues in Biomedical, Social and Behavioral Research (R01)
PA-11-181 [grants.nih.gov]: Research on Ethical Issues in Biomedical, Social, and Behavioral Research (R03) Application Receipt Dates: See program announcement
PA-11-182 [grants.nih.gov]: Research on Ethical Issues in Biomedical, Social, and Behavioral Research (R21) Application Receipt Dates: See program announcement
Other Research Funding Opportunities
The ELSI program also participates in a number of related research grant opportunities, and time limited requests for applications.
RFA-OD-14-002 [grants.nih.gov]: Empirical Research on Ethical Issues Related to Central IRBs and Consent for Research Using Clinical Records and Data (R01)
RFA-CA-10-017 [grants.nih.gov]: Scientific Meetings for Creating Interdisciplinary Research Teams in Basic Behavioral and Social Science Research (R13)
ELSI Conference Grants
The NHGRI ELSI Program accepts Conference Grant (R13) applications. For specific instructions for preparing a conference grant application, see:
ELSI Training and Career Development Funding Opportunities
The ELSI program participates in a number of training and career development funding opportunities.
International Bioethics Training New
The Fogarty International Center's international bioethics training programs [fic.nih.gov] support education and research training to develop ethics expertise in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). The programs complement other global health research and research training programs in the mission areas of NIH Institutes and Centers.
PAR-16-081 [grants.nih.gov]: International Research Ethics Education and Curriculum Development Award (R25)New
This award, which NIH established in fiscal year 2000, supports curriculum development for master's level courses; courses for skill development, including practicum experiences; and mentoring activities.
PAR-16-082 [grants.nih.gov]: International Bioethics Research Training Program (D43)New
This new program support LMIC-U.S. collaborative institutional bioethics doctoral and postdoctoral research training programs that incorporate didactic, mentored research and career development components to prepare trainees for positions of scholarship and leadership at health research institutions in LMICs.
Pre- and Post-Doctoral Training Opportunities
PA-14-147 [grants.nih.gov]: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Individual Predoctoral Fellowship (Parent F31) Expiration Date: January 8, 2017
PA-14-148 [grants.nih.gov]: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral Fellowships to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (F31) Expiration Date: January 8, 2017
PA-14-149 [grants.nih.gov]: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA) for Individual Postdoctoral Fellows (F32) Expiration Date: January 8, 2017
PA-14-151[grants.nih.gov]: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA) for Individual Senior Fellows (F33) Expiration Date: January 8, 2017
NOT-HG-15-004 [grants.nih.gov]: Notice of NHGRI Participation in PA-14-015 "Ruth L. Kirschstein NRSA Institutional Research Training Grants (Parent T32)" and Establishment of New Training Program in the Ethical, Legal and Social Implications of Genetic and Genomic Research
PA-14-015 [grants.nih.gov]: Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grant (Parent T32) Expiration Date: January 8, 2017
In the Fall of 2003, the NHGRI in collaboration with U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) launched a new initiative to create interdisciplinary Centers of Excellence in ELSI Research (CEER). The CEERs are designed to bring investigators from multiple disciplines together to work in innovative ways to address important new, or particularly persistent, ethical, legal, and social issues related to advances in genetics and genomics. In addition, the centers will support the growth of the next generation of researchers on the ethical, legal and social implications of genomic research. Special efforts will be made to recruit potential researchers from under-represented groups.
New CEERS Request for Applications
The National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) is soliciting grant applications for the support of Centers of Excellence in ELSI Research (CEERs).
RFA-HG-15-021 [grants.nih.gov]: Centers of Excellence in Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) Research (CEER) (RM1) Application Receipt Date: July 15, 2015
The Ethical, Legal and Social Implications Research Program
National Human Genome Research Institute
National Institutes of Health
5635 Fishers Lane
Suite 4076, MSC 9305
Bethesda, MD 20892-9305