2024 UMGC Pilot Sequencing Program

The UMGC Pilot Sequencing Program supports the use of high-throughput sequencing solutions for genomics research at the University of Minnesota. The goal of this program is to enable researchers to generate pilot data to submit in support of future grant proposals and to promote the use of the cutting-edge genomic solutions available at the UMGC. 

To help UMN investigators generate preliminary data, the UMGC has partnered with Illumina to subsidize sequencing pilot projects, and also 10X Genomics to support single-cell pilot projects. Pilot projects can be for any NGS application on our website. The amount of sequencing is tiered based on the type of pilot project.

Single-cell pilot projects:

  • Illumina: Illumina will provide sequencing reagents of up to 1.2 billion reads at no cost for single-cell projects. 
  • 10X Genomics: 10X Genomics will provide a limited quantity of gene expression reagents (3’, 5’, or Flex) at no cost.
  • UMGC: The UMGC will contribute up to $500 to reduce labor costs per approved project. 

All other pilot projects:

  • Illumina: Illumina will provide sequencing reagents of up to 400 million reads at no cost, as well as Illumina library prep reagents to support a range of NGS applications. 
  • UMGC: The UMGC will contribute up to $500 to reduce labor costs per approved project. 

Key dates

UMGC Pilot Sequencing deadlines 2024

Program details

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Eligibility and Rules

The Pilot Sequencing Program is open to:

  • UMN Principal Investigators (PIs) with faculty positions and applying for a future grant as the PI.
  • Post-docs and doctoral researchers with funding managed separately from their supervising PI and applying for a future grant as the PI.
  • Applicants can be from any UMN System campus.
  • Applicants may not hold current awards directly related to the proposed research.


  • Only one application can be submitted.
  • Applications can only have one type of library (no mixing of library types). 
  • Applicants new to single-cell or doing a new type of single-cell workflow must meet with either 10X Genomics or the UMGC before submitting an application. 
  • Applicants using a spatial technology in conjunction with BioNet and UIC must begin their pilot projects by December 31, 2024. 
  • The UMGC will contribute up to $500 to reduce labor costs per approved project. This $500 does not apply toward reagent costs or companion services like extraction. 


  • Graduate students are not able to apply and should work with their PI on an application.
  • Applicants for the 2023 Pilot Sequencing Program can resubmit or submit a new application for the 2024 program. 

Application Guidelines

Application Requirements and Procedure

Step 1: Pilot sequencing proposal – submit in one PDF; proposal template available for download

  • Sample information
  • Sequencing information
  • Project summary - 1-page limit

Step 2: Prepare an NIH-style biosketch about the applying PI; biosketch template available for download

Step 3: Fill out the brief Pilot Sequencing Application and add the .pdf versions of your proposal and biosketch. Applicants will receive a copy of their responses from Google Forms as a confirmation of submission. 

Application must be submitted by 5:00 PM on Friday, April 26, 2024.

Review Criteria

A review panel of UMGC NGS experts will be responsible for evaluating eligible applications. 10X Genomics will assist in reviewing applications utilizing 10X reagents.

  • Primary factor will be the technical feasibility of the proposed project. 
  • Consideration will be given to new UMN PIs and PIs new to the UMGC. 
  • No critiques will be provided to applicants.
  • Applicants will be informed on Friday, May 31, if their application was approved and what components are subsidized (i.e. library prep reagents, sequencing).
  • ~40 applications are anticipated to be approved for subsidies.

Approved Pilot Project Requirements

  • Support the balance of the pilot costs. The program will subsidize library reagents (Illumina or 10X) + sequencing reagents + up to $500 in UMGC labor costs. 
    • Projects exceeding $500 in UMGC labor costs will need a ChartField string (CFS) to cover the remaining balance. 
    • Projects not using Illumina library reagents, or not approved for 10X library reagents, will need a CFS to cover the library reagent costs and any UMGC costs beyond $500. 
  • Use the subsidy solely to support the research described in the submitted application.
  • Provide follow-up information regarding the long-term impact of the subsidy on your overall research and funding. This will assist the UMGC in generating outcome metrics for supporting future pilot programs.
  • Agree to use the UMGC for next-gen sequencing needs when the full proposal is funded.
  • Acknowledge the “University of Minnesota Genomics Center” in publications.


  • Thursday, April 4: Seminar on the Pilot Sequencing Program: 10:00 - 11:15 AM in 105 Cargill and 2:00 - 3:15 PM in 1-125 CCRB. View the slides
  • Week of April 15th: Office hours with UMGC, Illumina, and 10X Genomics. Sign-up for a timeslot.  
  • Email next-gen@umn.edu with your technical questions or to arrange a consultation. 


The application deadline is 5:00 PM on Friday, April 26, 2024. Upload .pdfs of your proposal and biosketch to the Pilot Sequencing Application. Please contact the Pilot Program Administrator, Shea Anderson at ande3650@umn.edu, with questions about the program, and contact a service manager with technical questions about your research pilot project.