Basic Science Cancer Research Pilot Projects
One RFA per year will be issued; the announcement will come from IUSCC Grants Coordinator, Elizabeth Parsons, and will include specific information regarding the deadline for submission and funding start date
Funding will be allocated from the IUSCC, using the ITRAC mechanism/process and will be allocated based on need (approximately $50,000 per project). We are particularly interested in receiving applications from investigators who, with this additional support, are likely to obtain extramural peer-reviewed funding Projects with inter-programmatic collaborative teams are strongly encouraged. Applicants must be IU Simon Cancer Center full or associate members and the funds should not be used for fellowship or training purposes. Applicants may have received prior or current extramural research funding, but the proposed project should clearly be separate from previous/current funded projects.
All submissions must include an experimental design strategy map in addition to the narrative as described below. IUSCC translational research coordinators will work with the project teams for mapping of the project to help identify needed resources. The mapping process will also serve to determine the amount of funding required for the project to meet each process/benchmark; as such, awarded funds will be given out as necessary to move the project to the next benchmark/process or milestone.
To schedule the project mapping, which must be completed prior to the application submission date, please contact Crystal Munson (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mary Murray (email@example.com ). For further details regarding the ITRAC process, please contact Mark Kelley (firstname.lastname@example.org). Mapping requests must be scheduled at least 30 days prior to the submission deadline.
The body of the proposal should not exceed three pages plus one page for Specific Aims and follow NIH guidelines and formatting (total of 4 pages, fonts of Helvetica or Arial, font size 11 points or larger, and ½-inch margins; references are not included in the 4-page page limit). A detailed budget will be included on the strategy map (to be completed with either Crystal Munson or Mary Murray) and can include personnel, supplies and equipment. A budget justification page should also be included in addition to the four-page narrative. Proposals should not include percent effort (salary) for the Principal Investigator. An electronic copy in PDF format will need to be submitted to Liz Parsons (email@example.com) and should include:
- Abstract (NIH format; 30 lines)
- Specific Aims (1 page)
- Budget and budget justification page
- References (no limit)
- NIH biosketch for PI and any Co-PIs
- ITRAC Map (to be completed by Mary Murray or Crystal Munson with the project team)
Applications will be reviewed by the IUSCC Leadership Council and additional expert reviewers as necessary. Final funding decisions will be made by the IUSCC Executive Committee based on the review evaluations and rankings.
- Scientific merit
- Cancer relatedness
- Evidence of multidisciplinary approach
- Potential for translation
- Potential for subsequent peer reviewed funding
Final Submissions should be sent to:
IU Simon Cancer Center Clinical Pilot Proposal
Focus on Investigator Initiated, Human Clinical Trials with Correlative Research Endpoints
One RFA per year will be issued; the announcement will come from IUSCC Grants Coordinator, Elizabeth Parsons, and will include specific information regarding the deadline for submission and funding start date.
Ad Hoc Reviews of projects will be considered on a case by case basis
In an ongoing effort to coordinate translational research and to address concerns of the critique of the last CCSG renewal, which indicated there were few correlative studies in therapeutic trials and poor integration of basic and translational research with clinical research, the IU Simon Cancer Center (IUSCC) is again inviting clinical and translational research proposals specifically for pilot funding of investigator initiated human clinical trials or small projects for rapidly clinical translation.
Pilot funding will be awarded using the milestone/benchmark IUSCC, ITRAC funding mechanism and will be allocated based on need. The ITRAC Scientific Strategy Group (ISSG) will review the proposals for potential funding awards and will provide guidance on direction to maximize (1) translational direction, (2) collaborations to enhance the scientific depth and (3) use of core facilities.
Proposals are required to include collaborative/Inter-disciplinary effort.
Project Management resources, available through the Clinical Research Office (CRO) and IUSCC Translational Research Acceleration Collaboration (ITRAC), will be provided to all PIs prior to submitting final proposals to the ISSG for review. These resources include development of the final LOI, a fully developed process map of the study and a preliminary budget.
The mapping process is required and will involve ITRAC project coordinator (Mary Murray) and the IUSCC Protocol Development Team (Jessica Roy & Maura Buckley). The mapping process will help the PI coordinate the necessary expertise to meet the pilot trial endpoints.
A preliminary budget for the pilot study is required and will be generated during the mapping process.
The identification of resources, timing and amount of pilot funding required for each process/benchmark will be included in the mapping process. The overall objective of this service is to interface and synchronize the clinical outcomes of the trial with correlative outcomes as they relate to the clinical trial. The intent of the award is to provide the investigator pilot funding to develop the preliminary data needed for extramural funding.
Final proposals, which must include the LOI application, map and preliminary budget, will be reviewed by the ISSG.
Criteria for review are:
- collaborative/inter-disciplinary effort
- cancer relevance
- translational merit/direction - translation of basic research into clinical application, feasibility, potential for research acceleration, leverage of institutional resources to enhance scientific depth and to advance research more efficiently and cost effectively, potential of the university and individual researchers to attract foundation, governmental, and donor funding, and decision outcomes that drive or advance tools and technologies
Who May Apply
Any full, associate or affiliate member of the IU Simon Cancer Center.
Projects Eligible for Funding
- Correlative studies that accompany pilot clinical trials. (Funding for the actual conduct of pilot trials will be through the “Protocol Specific Research” mechanism of the IUSCC).
- Pre-clinical laboratory or animal studies that will generate rationale for clinical trials. The data generated should be immediately translatable and include studies with clinically available drugs or devices that are either approved or are in early phase clinical trial testing.
- The IU Simon Cancer LOI template must be used as the application.
- Proposals should not include percent effort (salary) for the Principal Investigator.
- You may submit more than one proposal for a given deadline, but you MUST indicate to the committee your priority ranking of your requests in your submittal.
- Successful applications will clearly describe how pilot funding from this mechanism will aid in either “jump-starting” a project or strengthening a planned or pending submission. This should be described in the “Statement of Significance” section of the LOI application.
- Make clear how an award will contribute to future extramural funding. Specifics regarding the anticipated scope and sources of funding of the resulting proposals will be helpful to the reviewers. This should be described in the “Support Requested” section of the LOI application.
Elizabeth Parsons, IUSCC Grants Coordinator
firstname.lastname@example.org or Ph: (317) 278-0078
- For further details regarding the pilot funding mechanism, please contact:
Sherif Farag, Associate Director of IUSCC Clinical Research, (email@example.com) or
Kerry Bridges Administrator, Adult Clinical Research Office
- To obtain a copy of the IU Simon Cancer LOI template, please contact:
Jessica Roy or Maura Buckley, IUSCC Protocol Development
Note: Mary Murray (ITRAC) will be helping the CRO with clinical correlative resources and mapping since it will be reviewed using the ITRAC mechanism; however, the CRO will engage her at receipt of the LOI. Additionally, CRO will engage financial for any non-SOC or out-of-pocket clinical costs.
Cancer Prevention and Control Pilot Projects
Through this RFA, the IU Simon Cancer Center (IUSCC) invites proposals for pilot projects on inter-programmatic research in the areas of: 1) screening and prevention, 2) survivorship, 3) HPV, 4) medical informatics, 5) comparative effectiveness, and 6) molecular epidemiology that span basic to clinical to behavioral research. Proposals must have at least one member of the Cancer Control & Prevention program as an investigator. Funding will be allocated from the IUSCC for budgets up to $50,000. It is expected that funds will lead to submission of peer reviewed proposals from the National Cancer Institute. Applicants may have received prior or current extramural research funding, but the proposed project must be separate from previous/current funded projects.
Letter of Intent
A one page letter of intent that specifies the Aims, sample and sample size, and timeline will be need to be submitted to Victoria Champion for approval before a final application can be submitted (deadlines regarding LOI will be included in specific RFA)
Final application Information
The body of the proposal should not exceed five pages plus one page for Aims and the format with page suggestions is outlined below. Proposals need to follow NIH formatting guidelines. An electronic copy in pdf format should be submitted and should include:
Specific Aims (1 page)
2. Aims and Hypotheses
Significance (1/2-3/4 page)
1. Importance of problem to field
2. How will project increase scientific knowledge, clinical practice etc.
3. How will this lead to future funding
Innovation (1/2 to 3/4 page)
1. How does the project challenge current research or practice paradigms
2. Describe novel theoretical concepts, approaches, methodologies
Approach (2 pages)
1. Overall strategy, methodology, and power and data analyses including data collection, measures, interventions, theory and participants.
Preliminary Studies (1/2 page)
Abstract (30 lines)
Budget: A detailed budget and justification should be attached. Proposals should not include percent effort (salary) for the Principal Investigator.
Biosketch for all investigators
A mapping schema of the study to be done with Mary Murray (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Crystal Munson (email@example.com) after approval of letter of intent. Applications will be reviewed by a select panel of cancer center members, content relevant university experts, and external reviewers as necessary. Final funding decisions will be made by the IUSCC Executive Committee based on the review evaluations and rankings.
Criteria for review:
1. Scientific merit:
a. Aims: Do we consider this area of research important? What is the potential impact? Are the aims clearly described?
b. Significance: Do we understand the importance of this proposal in an overall program of research that will add value to science and support the aims of the IUSCC? Are the concepts methods or interventions important? Will this line of research lead to new findings that will important to health care? Does the proposal support future directions for health care and disease management?
c. Innovation: How does the project challenge or shift current research or practice? Are there novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies and what are the advantages over existing methodologies?
d. Preliminary Studies: Does the PI and team have sufficient expertise to conduct the proposal? Are prior studies related to the current proposal?
e. Potential to lead to external funding: Does the proposal address an issue that will lead to a sustained program of research that will be of interest to external agencies?
2. Cancer relevance
3. Evidence of multidisciplinary and inter-programmatic approach
4. Translation potential
5. Ability of investigators to conduct study
Target Specific Translational Cancer Research Pilot Projects
Targeted RFAs will be issued based on scientific need and availability of funding; the announcement will come from IUSCC Grants Coordinator, Elizabeth Parsons, and will include specific information regarding guidelines, the deadline for submission and funding start date. Some examples of previously issued targeted RFAs are listed below.
- Pancreatic cancer
- Breast cancer
- Lung cancer
- Development of small molecule therapeutics
- Use of next-generation sequencing technology
- IU and Purdue cancer center collaborations