UMGC Pilot Sequencing Program

Samples are due Friday, March 1, 2024, by 5:00 p.m.

In response to our spring Pilot Sequencing Program, we received an overwhelming number of applications from researchers across the University system, and we would like to thank all applicants for their time and effort in preparing pilot proposals. Decisions were sent to applicants on May 31.

Through this program, we were able to provide over $125,000 in reagent subsidies and $30,000 in UMGC labor subsidies, supporting over 50 pilot projects. Support for this program was made possible by partnerships with Illumina and 10X Genomics. Please join us in thanking our local reps (Logan Silber and Brenda LeCuyer, Illumina, and Eve-Marie Walter and Emma Stanley, 10X Genomics). 

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 that uses 400 million reads of sequencing or less. See pilot project examples

  • 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. 
  • 10X Genomics: 10X Genomics will provide a limited quantity of 3’ or 5’ gene expression reagents at no cost. This can be combined with the no-cost sequencing reagents. 
  • UMGC: The UMGC will contribute up to $500 to reduce labor costs per approved project. This $500 does not apply toward reagent costs.

Key dates

Program details

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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.


  • Multiple applications will be accepted, but only one can be approved per applicant.
  • Graduate students are not able to apply and should work with their PI on an application.

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. 

Applications must be submitted by 5:00 PM on Friday, April 21, 2023.

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 Wednesday, May 31, if their application was approved and what components are subsidized (i.e. library prep reagents, sequencing).
  • 15 - 20 applications are anticipated to be approved for a sequencing subsidy, but the number supported isn't capped. 

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.


  • Tuesday, March 28: Seminar on the Pilot Sequencing Program in 1-125 CCRB from 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Recording and slides
  • Tuesday, April 11: UMGC and Illumina office hours from 9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m., CCRB atrium. Sign-up.
  • Wednesday, April 12: 10X Genomics office hours, CCRB atrium. Drop in or make an appointment for office hours.
  • Tuesday, April 18: UMGC and Illumina office hours from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m., CCRB atrium. Sign-up.
  • Email with your technical questions or to arrange a consultation. 


The deadline for applications is 5:00 PM on Friday, April 21, 2023. Upload .pdfs of your proposal and biosketch to the Pilot Sequencing Application. Please contact Pilot Program Administrator, Shea Anderson at, with questions about the program, and contact a service manager with technical questions about your research pilot project.