Trans-NIH Mouse Initiative
*Funding Opportunitites



The National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) has issued a Request for Applications (RFA) to phenotype mutant mouse strains with developmental and fertility defects and to characterize the mutations responsible for their defects. Projects should be designed to characterize mouse strains with defects in development and reproduction so as to isolate new alleles of known genes and identify new genes that are involved in the processes of development and fertility. The mouse strains to be characterized should be obtained from existing mouse mutagenesis projects. Appropriate sources of mutant strains include both small-scale mutagenesis projects and large-scale mutagenesis facilities, such as the NIH-funded mouse mutagenesis and phenotyping facilities at Baylor College of Medicine, Northwestern University, Jackson Laboratory, and the University of Tennessee. Characterizing these mouse strains, and their mutations, is expected to help elucidate the basic cellular, molecular, and genetic mechanisms that direct embryonic and post-embryonic development, as well as yield insights into the mechanisms that control fertility.

These projects should identify and obtain mutant mouse strains with disrupted development and fertility, phenotype the strains to provide a detailed characterization of the defects, and characterize the mutations and the genes responsible for the defects. The phenotypic characterization may also include high-throughput screens to identify a broad range of general features of these strains, where appropriate. The detailed characterization should describe the specific cellular, molecular, and genetic features of the defects, whereas high-throughput screens, if included, should provide a general overview of the biological features of the animals with these defects. Characterization of the mutations and genes should include analyses to increase the value of the mutants to the scientific community, such as genetic mapping to localize the mutations within the genome.

These projects will be part of NIH's initiative to determine the function of mammalian genes. Accordingly, their activities will be coordinated with related facilities, including the NIH-funded Mouse Mutagenesis and Phenotyping: Developmental Defects Facility at Baylor College of Medicine ( Additionally, the mutant strains, phenotypic and genetic information, protocols, assays, assessment criteria, and other materials and information generated by projects funded under this RFA will be made available to the wider biomedical community. Further information about NIH initiatives on mouse genomics and genetics resources is available at

The RFA will use the cooperative agreement grant mechanism (U01), and will provide up to $3 million (total cost) for the first year of funding. NICHD intends to fund about four grants. Applications for both small and large projects are encouraged. Letters of Intent are due by February 11, 2002. The applications are due on March 13, 2002, and the earliest possible funding date is September 30, 2002. The full text of the RFA is available at: