Principal investigators must be members of the AFGN Researcher Registry and affiliated with an Australian public or private institution that is able to formulate a funding agreement with the AFGN.

Project proposal submissions

If you are identified as a suitable candidate, you will be emailed an expression of interest survey containing confidential information about the gene and clinical case.

Interested research teams will be asked to complete a 2-page project proposal that outlines the potential studies to be undertaken and associated milestones, budget, and timeline.

Proposals must be submitted to the AFGN via email to functional.genomics@mcri.edu.au within two weeks of receiving the invitation.

Selection process

Project proposals will be evaluated at the monthly SRC meeting against the following criteria:

  1. Quality of the experimental strategy
  2. Adequacy of experimental controls
  3. Ability to assess functional consequence of the variant
  4. Appropriateness of the proposed cost/timeline
  5. Capability of the investigator/s to deliver the project

Project scope


Assessing the impact of variants in known or novel disease genes

Project proposals to assess variants from Stream 1 should focus on determining pathogenicity of the variant(s) and causality of the disease phenotype.

Stream 1 projects are eligible for catalyst funding in quanta of $15,000 up to $60,000.


Investigation of multiple VUS in a single known disease gene

Projects in this Stream should be designed to establish systems to functionally assess multiple variants in a single gene in parallel.

Stream 2 projects will be eligible for funding relative to the number of variants that require modelling.

Stream 1 funding renewal

The AFGN will consider awarding an additional one-year funding for a subset of Stream 1 projects that have achieved promising results during or at the conclusion of the functional genomics investigation, which if supported with extended funding will generate high-value deliverables that advance the objectives of the AFGN.

Examples would include, but not be restricted to, projects that propose to:

  • Incorporate functional validation, beyond model creation and phenotyping, to better understand the underlying pathophysiology of the disease.
  • Chart a route to the development of future therapies.
  • Analyse additional patients with newly identified mutations in the same gene, using the model that was established, to build an informative series of cases that enable robust genotype-phenotype correlations.
  • Analyse additional controls to validate the assay used in the initial grant to build capacity for analysis of future variants.
  • Describe a critical pathway to a larger grant application.
  • Develop a strategy to leverage sustainable competitive grant support.

Investigators that have completed or are nearing completion (≤ 3 months remaining) of their initial Stream 1 project are invited to apply.