STEP Requests

Technical enrichment program for Staff Scientists/Clinicians to acquire expertise in new technologies.

The Staff Scientists/Clinicians (SSSC) Technical Enrichment Program (STEP) was established to provide SSSC’s an opportunity to compete for funding to gain comprehensive training in state-of-the-art techniques available through CCR Cores and Facilities. The intent is for the SSSC to work closely with Core managers/heads to learn an application from experimental design, through sample preparation and data analysis. As part of STEP, the SSSC will spend time in a CCR Core/Facility working on a project that is part of the SSSC’s PI lab and requires the expertise present in the Core/Facility. At the conclusion of their training, this work should not only advance the SSSC’s current research resulting in publication but also provide expertise to benefit future research of the Lab/Branch.

  • STEP applications are accepted on a rolling basis throughout the fiscal year.
  • Only one STEP application will be accepted per Core lab.
  • Applicants are encouraged to develop a focused, narrow research question that will use well-established workflows in the Core/Facility. Proposals requiring technology development or piloting new methodologies are strongly discouraged.
  • Successful SSSC applicants are expected to allocate adequate time (1-2hrs per week) learning the basic skills needed for data analysis of their project. Dr. Amy Stonelake ( from the CCR Bioinformatics Training and Education Program (BTEP) will enable them to develop the appropriate path. Skills should be learned during the data generation phase (wet lab) of the project, so the trainee is ready to analyze their data as soon as it is available.

STEP Submission Instructions:

  1. Complete and submit a letter of Intent (LOI) download here to Dr. Cynthia Masison (, Office of Scientific Programs. Applications will be evaluated based on the scientific impact of the proposed work, the need for the proposed technology, and alignment of the training plan with the research goals of the lab and the professional development goals of the SSSC.
  2. Upon approval of the LOI, you will be contacted by a member of the CCR Office of Science Technology Resources (OSTR) who will work with you and the Core/Facility to develop a training plan, determine the necessary resources required for the project, and define a proposed timeline for completion. Additional guidance on the different elements of the full proposal will also be provided.
  3. Full Proposals and letter(s) of collaboration from participating Cores/Facilities should be submitted through STARS. Select STEP on the dropdown menu under “Request Type”.
  4. Applicants will be notified if their proposals are accepted.