The Center for ELSI Resources and Analysis (CERA) FAQ

The Center for ELSI Resources
and Analysis (CERA)

What are important dates for this call for proposals?


  • August 2, 2021 RFA released 
  • October 15, 2021 11pm Eastern Time/8pm Pacific Time: 500-word initial proposals
  • November 15, 2021 Finalists invited to submit full proposals 
  • December 31, 2021  11pm Eastern Time/8pm Pacific Time: 2,500-word full proposals due
  • February 28, 2022: All finalists notified of their proposal status
  • April 1, 2022: Start date for selected CERA Working Groups 
  • March 31, 2024: Completion date for CERA Working Groups

How will proposals be evaluated

Proposals for CERA Working Groups will be evaluated by internal and external experts in bioethics, genetics and fields relevant to the proposed issues. Reviews will be based on the following criteria:

  • The importance and timeliness of the selected emerging, high-priority, or understudied ELSI issue.
  • The diversity of the proposed CERA Working Group members across fields, institutions, professions, career rank, geography, race, ethnicities, and genders as well as the strength of their expertise and/or experience.
  • The potential impact of proposed outputs and outcomes to advance the selected emerging, high-priority, or understudied ELSI issue.

Invitations to submit full proposals may contain suggestions or requests from CERA leadership for additional specific information.

What are acceptable outputs and outcomes for CERA Working Groups?

CERA Working Groups will produce a brief analysis of their topic to be disseminated through the CERA website. CERA leadership will assist CERA Working Groups on additional dissemination venues and will consider a variety of outputs and outcomes, including subsequent research proposals, educational materials, publications for scholarly and lay audiences, online tools and events for scientists, clinicians, researchers, educators, journalists, policymakers, business leaders, and/or the public. For example, CERA Working Groups may produce special issues of journals; articles; commentaries; videos; curricula for courses and/or webinars; or policy proposals. CERA can provide limited administrative and technical support for Working Group outputs and dissemination activities.

What level of funding can CERA Working Groups request, and which expenditures may be included in proposal budgets?

Each CERA Working Group may request up to $20,000 over 2 years. In full proposals, CERA Working Group applicants will provide a line-item budget of costs associated with their proposal. Allowable costs include: salary (capped at the current NIH cap for the basis of the percent effort allocation), travel, administrative and research support, meeting costs. Indirect costs will not be supported.

Must CERA Working Groups meet in person?

Meeting in person is not required. Indeed, the CERA encourages applicants to explore opportunities for remote participation in CERA Working Groups.

Whom should I contact with questions about this call for proposals?

Rachel Yarmolinsky, Program Director, Division of Ethics, Department of Medical Humanities and Ethics (MHE), Vagelos College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University, 630 West 168th Street, PH 1525, New York, NY  10032

Email: [email protected]

Phone: +1 (917) 532-3090