blue lightbulb gears
Home » Education & Training Programs » ELSI Research Development Services

ELSI Research Development Services

Our ELSI Research Development Service aims to assist researchers contemplating undertaking research that addresses or includes attention to the ethical, legal and social implications of PNB genetics. The service is led by Dr. Paul Appelbaum. Consultation services include assisting researchers to identify suitable collaborators, facilitating networking, helping researchers improve their research plans, including methodologies used to address ELSI issues, and advising on dissemination strategies.

To request a consultation with Dr. Appelbaum please contact Please include a brief description of your research and needs.


Pilot Grant Program

Pilot grant awards for Columbia faculty and affiliates are available, up to a maximum of $20,000, from the Center for Research on Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) of Psychiatric, Neurologic & Behavioral Genetics, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University Medical Center and the Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Columbia University.

The awards are designed to support pilot work on ELSI issues related to genetics and precision medicine. Proposals addressing ELSI issues related to psychiatric, neurologic or behavioral genetics are especially encouraged. Studies addressing other areas of genetics and precision medicine are also welcome. Examples of possible projects include

•  implications of new genomic technologies for prenatal and neonatal screening;
•  privacy and surveillance;
•  genetic diagnosis and identity; social and psychological impacts of geneticization;
•  legal and policy implications of precision medicine or behavioral genetics; and
•  the impact of genetics on the health insurance industry.

Projects can address ethical, social, legal, historical or philosophical issues, and should have the potential to lead to additional federal or foundation funding. If the PI is a faculty member within the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, he or she is required to submit future grants through ISERP. Involvement of faculty from more than one discipline is encouraged. Applicants should submit:

•  A 3-page research proposal that details the specific aims, background to the study, preliminary data (if any), research plan (including plan for data analysis), innovation/significance, and future plans.
•  An NIH-style biosketch or curriculum vitae for the PI and any associated investigators.
•  A detailed budget with justification.

Proposals will be scored on the basis of:

•  Innovativeness and significance of the research.
•  Quality and intellectual merit of the project.
•  Likelihood of serving as the foundation for obtaining further funding and plan for seeking this funding.

Studies “piggy-backed” on existing research projects are welcome. Priority will be given to junior faculty who are interested in research in this area. Both the Center and the Institute actively support diversity and welcome submissions from investiga- tors that address diverse populations, and proposals from investigators of all backgrounds, especially those underrepresented in ELSI research.

Proposals should be submitted electronically as a single PDF document to Laura Tejeda ( by December 1, 2015.

Funding will begin December 15, 2015 and funds must be utilized by May 31, 2016. A final project report will be required.

Direct questions to Paul S. Appelbaum, MD, Director, Center for Research on Ethical, Legal and Social Implications (ELSI) of Psychiatric, Neurologic & Behavioral Genetics, at or Jo-Ann Espaillat, Associate Director, Institute for Social and Economic Research and Policy. at

Additional information about the Center is available at and about the Institute at