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MCW Cancer Center Pilot Grants

In an effort to advance cancer research with a goal of improving the health of Wisconsin citizens, the MCW Cancer Center is seeking proposals for cancer research projects.

Sources of pilot funding include ACS-IRG, Cancer Crush and other philanthropic funds. Project dates commence March 2022.

MCW Cancer Center Pilot Grants use a database system to collect your cover sheet and annual progress reports. You will be prompted to log in to the Faculty Collaboration Database.

Begin the process

  

Pilot Grant Funding Opportunities

Multiple awards are available in each category.

 

RFA Code

American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant

1-year up to $30,000 with the possibility of a 1-year supplement of up to $20,000

 ACS-IRG

Clinical Awards

The MCW Cancer Center (CC) provides support for the development of two different types of clinical awards:

  • Clinical Trial Concepts: Clinical trials help develop new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, providing participating patients with access to the most advanced treatments; 2-year up to $150,000.

  • Clinical Projects: Projects address important questions, for example, observational studies related to quality of life or survivorship; correlative and implementation science projects; or development of biobanks (no interventional treatment trials allowed in this category); 2-year up to $50,000

Researchers with relevant research from all areas of science are invited to apply to this RFA. Priority will be given to multi-disciplinary collaborations between investigators in the clinical sciences, basic or translational sciences, and population or epidemiologic sciences who propose to study topics related to understanding or addressing cancer disparities. Inclusion of correlative studies that utilize MCW CC Shared Resources are encouraged.

View the full funding details (PDF). Please contact MCWCCResearchPrograms@mcw.edu with any questions.

Deadline: March 31, 2022 by 5 p.m. CST.

 

CLIN

Pre-Clinical Concept Award

  • 1-year up to $50,000
 Pre-Clin

Idea Award

  • 1-year up to $50,000
 Idea

Team Science Award

  • 2-year up to $150,000 per year
 Team

Equipment and Technology Award

  • no funding limit
Equip

Note: Applications for Multi PI Grants and projects to explore cancer disparities are encouraged.

Please see information below to access forms and further instructions. If you have any questions or need support, contact MCWCCResearchPrograms@mcw.edu.

Special areas of emphasis

Special areas of emphasis

  • Multi PI/Collaborative Science
  • Disparity-related
Basic eligibility requirements

Basic eligibility requirements

Applicants may only submit one proposal per funding mechanism. Applicants may apply to more than one funding mechanism as long as the proposals are scientifically distinct.

Principal Investigator (PI) Eligibility: MCW tenure-track faculty (including joint appointments) with full-time or full professional effort status are eligible to serve as principal investigators; adjunct and part-time faculty are NOT eligible to apply for these awards.

ACS-IRG Eligibility Requirements

MCW junior faculty (instructors and assistant professors) are eligible to apply. Applicants must be in their first six years of independent research or faculty appointment. Applicants cannot have any competitive, peer-reviewed, national funding at the start date of the proposed ACS funding.

Equipment and Technology Award Eligibility Requirements

Applicants must be CC Shared Resource or CC developing Shared Resource directors.

Deadlines

Deadlines

December 1, 2021 5 p.m. CT. Application Due to MCW Cancer Center by email to MCW CC Research Programs.

Note: MCW has adopted a new process for internal grant submissions. Applications will not be entered into eBridge unless they are chosen for funding. Research Program Coordinator will assist you with that process if your proposal is selected.

American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant: The purpose of the ACS-IRG Award is to support the development of exceptional cancer-related research projects for junior faculty members who are in the process of establishing independent cancer research programs, thus, advancing the objectives of the MCW Cancer Center.

ACS-IRG contact: Jennifer Zamora at jzamora@mcw.edu.

Clinical Awards: The MCW Cancer Center (CC) provides support for the development of two different type of clinical awards:

A. Clinical Trial Concepts (related to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment): based on laboratory discoveries made, at least in part, at MCW. Clinical trials help develop new ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, providing participating individuals with access to the most advanced treatments.
B. Clinical Projects: address important questions related to quality of life, survivorship, correlative and implementation science, observational trials (no interventional treatment clinical trials allowed in this category).

Pre-Clinical Concept Award: Clinical trials help develop new ways to prevent and treat cancer, providing participating patients with access to the most advanced treatments. The MCW Cancer Center provides support for the development of pre-clinical concepts based on laboratory discoveries made at the CC.

Idea Award: The purpose of this RFA is to stimulate the development of high-quality, innovative cancer research projects that will move forward to extramurally funded grant awards. Idea Awards provide early funding support for high-risk, high-payoff research for which external grants are difficult to obtain.

Team Science Award: The purpose of this RFA is to stimulate the development of high-quality, multi-investigator (minimum of three) program project grants that will move forward to extramurally funded grant awards. Projects with translational potential are encouraged, but not mandatory. Inter-programmatic and inter-institutional teams are also highly encouraged.

Equipment and Technology Award: The purpose of the MCW Cancer Center’s (CC) Equipment and Technology Award (ETA) is to provide a mechanism for replacing aging, obsolete or damaged research instrumentation, or to acquire new research equipment that represents the latest advances in the field. Support for development of new technologies, beyond equipment purchases, will also be considered for funding by this mechanism. The overall aim of the program is to provide the state-of-the-art multi-user instrumentation and technologies necessary to support the research goals of cancer center investigators.

Instructions, Forms, Deadlines and Resources

For proposals that require or highly recommend a Biostatistical Consult prior to submission, please schedule through iLab as soon as possible in order to ensure a timely and thoughtful consultation. This should be at least two weeks prior to application deadlines.
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Deadlines

The Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center is seeking pilot grant proposals for cancer-relevant projects:

RFA Released*

  • February 1 - Mechanism offered: Clinical
  • June 1 - Mechanism offered: Clinical
  • October 1 - Mechanisms offered: Clinical, Idea, Team, Pre-Clinical, Equipment, ACS-IRG

Application Due to Cancer Center*

  • March 31 - Mechanism offered: Clinical
  • August 1 - Mechanism offered: Clinical
  • December 1 - Mechanisms offered: Clinical, Idea, Team, Pre-Clinical, Equipment, ACS-IRG

Award Start Date*

  • July 1 - Mechanism offered: Clinical
  • November 1 - Mechanism offered: Clinical
  • March 1 - Mechanisms offered: Clinical, Idea, Team, Pre-Clinical, Equipment, ACS-IRG
*All dates are approximate

Deadlines

December 1, 2021 by 5 p.m. CT. Application Due to MCW Cancer Center by email to MCW CC Research Programs

Note: MCW has adopted a new process for internal grant submissions.  Applications will not be entered into eBridge unless they are chosen for funding.  Research Program Coordinator will assist you with that process if your proposal is selected.

Eligibility
Eligibility Requirements  

Applicants may only submit one proposal per funding mechanism.

Applicants may apply to more than one funding mechanism as long as the proposals are scientifically distinct.

Principal Investigator (PI) Eligibility: MCW tenure-track faculty (including joint appointments) with full-time or full professional effort status are eligible to serve as principal investigators; adjunct and part-time faculty are NOT eligible to apply for these awards.

ACS-IRG Additional Eligibility Requirements:

Proposed research must be cancer relevant.

  • MCW junior faculty (instructors and assistant professors) are eligible to apply. Applicants must be in their first six years of independent research or faculty appointment.
  • Research can take place, and expenditures incurred, at MCW, Versiti BRI, Children’s Research Institute or the Clement J. Zablocki VA Medical Center.
  • Applicants cannot have any competitive, peer-reviewed, national funding at the start date of the proposed ACS funding. Peer-reviewed funding includes grants from the NIH (K-awards are allowed) or these extramural organizations.
  • Applicants with a visa must provide documentation that the visa terms allow enough time to complete the ACS-IRG pilot project.

Mentorship Committee: All applicants who have not had a previously funded peer-reviewed grant from the NIH or extramural organization must have a mentorship committee to assist in reading and providing feedback on the proposal. A mentorship committee must include a minimum of two faculty members. A letter of support from at least one of the mentorship committee members is required.

Budget Guidelines

Budget Guidelines (see instructions for specific details)

  • PI effort must be cost shared.
  • No Subcontracts are allowed without prior approval.
  • Travel is capped at $2,000 for PI travel to a scientific meeting to present data.
  • If utilizing the Biostatistics Shared Resource, please initiate consultation through iLab. Include the cost estimate with your proposal and add a line item for the amount under supplies.

Budget: List direct costs only; indirect costs are not allowed. Direct costs should align with award goals and objectives. Costs that have NOT been identified and approved through the application process must be requested as a re-budget prior to being incurred or the cost is considered unallowable.

Bridge Funding Not Allowed: Funding cannot be used as “bridge funding” for lapsed grants from any extramural source and is intended to be used solely for new projects.

Review Criteria

Grant Writing Resources

You are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the available resources for developing and writing research proposals. Resources include Mentoring Committees, Research Program Leaders, Cancer Center Senior Leadership, and Department Chairs. 

Review Criteria

Significance: Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field? If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field?

Investigator: Are the PD/PIs, collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? If they are early stage investigators, new investigators, or in the early stages of independent careers, do they have appropriate experience and training? If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)? If the project is collaborative or multi-PD/PI, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project? Reminder: submit Biosketches for all key personnel.

Innovation: Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?

Approach: Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility, and will particularly risky aspects be managed? If the project involves clinical research, are the plans for 1) protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion of minorities and members of both sexes/genders, as well as the inclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?

Environment: Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Is the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements? Reminder: submit your one-page Facilities component with your application.

Extramural Funding Potential: How will the completion of the aims of the proposed project support an external grant proposal? What is the likelihood that the proposed project will generate resultant preliminary data for submitting a strong proposal for peer-reviewed extramural funding?

Does proposal address any of the special areas of emphasis for BSC and PH:  
Multi PI/Collaborative Science
Disparity-related

Additional elements:

Return on Investment: Used only for applicants with prior Cancer Center Pilot Grants. Reviewers will provide an evaluation of the applicants return on investment (peer-reviewed publications and extramural grants) from previously awarded Cancer Center Pilot Grants using the information submitted by the applicant on Form D.

Acknowledgement: Award recipients must acknowledge the MCW Cancer Center and funding support from philanthropic sources (such as the ACS, Wisconsin Breast Cancer Showhouse, Advancing a Healthier Wisconsin, or the State of Wisconsin Tax Check-Off Program for Breast or Prostate Cancer Research) in any publications, scientific abstracts (where permitted), posters at scientific meetings, press releases or other media communications, and Internet-based communications. Award letters will indicate the appropriate funding source to acknowledge.

Past Awardees

February 2021 RFA Awardees

  • ACS-IRG
    • Sunila Pradeep (award recipient 2020- funds activated 7/2021); Title: Harnessing PD-L1 expression in ovarian cancer
    • John Pulikkan (award recipient 2020- funds activated 7/2021); Title: SMARCA4 as a novel target in Acute Myeloid Leukemia with CEBPA mutations
  • Clinical Concept Award
    • Jennifer Connelly, MD / Christopher Chitambar, MD; A Phase 1 Clinical Trial of Oral Gallium Maltolate for the Treatment of Relapsed or Refractory Glioblastoma
  • GSPMC/CC NGS Based Award
    • Weiguo Cui, PhD / Tyce Kearl, MD, PhD; Epigenetic Regulation of the Anti-Tumor Efficacy of Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T cell Therapy
    • Daochun Sun, PhD; A comprehensive transcriptome comparison study on metastatic MPNST mouse models
    • Callisia Clarke, MD; Elucidating the Epigenetic Landscape of Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumors
    • Hui-Zi Chen, PhD; Transcriptomic characterization of small cell lung cancer subtypes: a step closer towards precision therapy.

October 2020 RFA Awardees

  • Idea Award
  • Team Science Award
    • Parameswaran Hari, MD, MRCP / Sridhar Rao, MD, PhD; Leveraging the Biology of Cancer Health Disparities to Improve Outcomes in Multiple Myeloma
  • Clinical Concept Award
    • Nirav Shah, MD; Phase I Trial of anti-CD19, anti-CD20, anti-CD22 for Relapsed, Refractory B-cell Malignancies
  • GSPMC/CC NGS Based Award
    • Jing Dong, PhD; Genomic landscape and evolutional trajectory of multiple myeloma and its precursors in African Americans