A SEQUENCING & BIOBANKING FUND FOR APPLIED WILDLIFE CONSERVATION
The purpose of Wild Genomes is to accelerate the adoption of genomic sequencing and tissue biobanking for applied wildlife conservation. Our goal is to ensure that the foundational materials, such as high-quality reference genomes and frozen cell lines are made available for species restoration efforts. Through the Wild Genomes portfolio of projects, we are giving access to state-of-the-art genomic tools to the people who can make the best use of them: field scientists, wildlife managers, and local citizens working to protect biodiversity and their local bioeconomy. Revive & Restore launched the Wild Genomes program in June of 2020. See previously awarded Wild Genomes projects here. Wild Genomes funding calls are topic-specific.
WILD GENOMES – KELP ECOSYSTEMS
Revive & Restore and Morris Animal Foundation will partner again for Wild Genomes – Kelp Ecosystems. We are now accepting proposals focused on species that live within kelp forests. From fish to invertebrates, sea birds, marine mammals, and kelp, all species belonging to kelp ecosystems qualify. Proposals should describe a conservation-oriented effort that will benefit substantially from genomic sequencing and biobanking.
The call for proposals is now open. Applications for the Kelp Ecosystems topic are due December 16th, 2022
Wild Genomes Amphibians
This call for proposals closed on August 19, 2022. 38 proposals were received from 13 nations and are currently under review. The awarded teams will be announced in December 2022.
The range of conservation efforts that can benefit from genomics and biobanking is vast, and the need for funding is great. To meet demand, beginning with the Marine request for proposals in November 2020 all Wild Genomes funding calls are topic-specific. Each will describe a particular conservation problem (e.g., wildlife disease, habitat fragmentation), ecosystem (e.g., urban wildlife, marine species), or taxonomic group (e.g., endangered amphibians, threatened angiosperms) that proposals must address to be considered.
Proposers interested in applying to Wild Genomes are encouraged to wait for a topic that matches their project and join our mailing list. We intend to introduce a new topic twice yearly. Suggestions for topics are welcome and can be emailed to the Program Manager, Bridget Baumgartner (bridget AT reviverestore.org).
ADVICE FOR PROPOSERS
Are you wondering how to create a successful Wild Genomes project? Here are a few words of advice:
1. Wild Genomes is an applied conservation program. Successful proposals will outline a clear path from genomic sequencing and tissue banking to an ongoing or near-future conservation application in the field. Proposals that focus only on answering interesting biological questions or the natural history of the target species will not be competitive in this program.
2. Don’t skimp on the biobanking. We’ve received many proposals that offer a compelling plan for how to use genomics for conservation without addressing the collection and storage of tissue samples. Biobanked tissue samples offer an enormous benefit to new conservation techniques, including stem cells, the development of cell lines, and the potential to restore lost genetic diversity through cloning. To be competitive in this program, proposals must include a plan for banking living tissue samples.
3. We love to recruit new people in the use of biobanking and sequencing for conservation. Proposals that aim to introduce these technologies to traditional practitioners, citizen scientists, or a region of the world that currently lacks these capabilities, will be particularly attractive.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How many Wild Genomes projects will be funded? Revive & Restore anticipates multiple awards. The number of funded projects will depend on the quality of proposals and the availability of funds.
Will there be other opportunities to apply to Wild Genomes? Yes. We anticipate opening Wild Genomes twice a year.
How much funding can be requested for each Wild Genomes project? The budgets will vary between projects due to differences in the costs of sample collection, the variety of genome sizes, and the conservation application being addressed. Proposed budgets should reflect a realistic estimate of costs required to complete the proposed Wild Genomes project on the proposed schedule.
How long can Wild Genomes projects run? Project timelines will vary by specific application, but generally Wild Genomes projects should be between 12 and 24 months in duration.
How much funding is available for Wild Genomes? Revive & Restore has reserved $1.2 million in funding for Wild Genomes, which is to be awarded over the next 2 years.
Are non-US teams eligible for funding? Yes. We welcome proposals from non-US teams.
Does this program fund teams to generate the reference genome themselves? If your team has the expertise required, this funding can be used to support the assembly of the reference genome in your lab (or at core facilities at your university, for example). For teams without access to this expertise, funding can be used to support the assembly of the reference genome by a Revive & Restore commercial partner.
What is the intellectual property arrangement? Revive & Restore will make no claims on intellectual property, data rights, or tissue samples resulting from Wild Genomes funding. However, we do require that the resultant scientific knowledge, data, and tissue samples be made freely available for legitimate future research purposes. In most cases, the principal investigator will control the resources stored in the public databanks and will evaluate any requests for access. Revive & Restore will not retain any legal authority over access to materials created through Wild Genomes.
Does Wild Genomes fund whole genome resequencing of multiple individuals or just single individuals? Wild Genomes will fund whole genome resequencing of multiple individuals to the degree justified by the proposed conservation application.
Does the proposed species need to be listed as endangered or extinct on the IUCN Red List? No. IUCN status is not a factor in project selection. We are interested in projects for species of any IUCN status with a conservation need that can be enabled with genomics.