Cancer Center

November 2018 RFA, MCW Cancer Center Pilot Grants

In an effort to advance cancer research with a goal of improving the health of Wisconsin citizens, the Medical College of Wisconsin Cancer Center is seeking pilot grant proposals on any type of cancer, and with special emphasis breast, prostate and any cancers for this RFA (DOCX).  All forms and instructions are available below.

Pilot Grant Funding Opportunities Multiple awards available in each category. 


RFA Code

Wisconsin Breast Cancer Showhouse: Basic Science Award, Basic Science Research in Breast or Prostate Cancer, $100,000, 2-year award. 


Multi PI: Accepting Proposals in Any Cancer$75,000, 1-year award. 


 ACS Pilot Research Grant: Accepting Proposals in Any Cancer $30,000; 1-year award with the potential to obtain a $20,000 supplement for a second year with adequate progress. 


newpilotfundinggraphicMCWCC Pilot Grants use a new system to collect your letter of intent, cover sheet, and annual progress reports. Begin the process.

You will be prompted to log in to your Faculty Collaboration Database before completing the letter of intent.  Letters of intent for this RFA are due in REDCap by January 3, 2019.  

All applications must be submitted as a PDF through eBridge with all necessary attachments for GCO review per their guidelines.View GCO Submission Timeline. Once the funding proposal is approved by the GCO, forward the Approval email to Nicole Davis at

Instructions, Forms, Deadlines and Resources

Click the + to open each section here.


Budget Template (XLSX)

Form A Biostatistical Review (DOCX)

Form B Non-Supplanting Form (DOCX)

Form C ACS Pilot Research Grant Certification (DOCX)

Form D Return on Investmentfor previous recipients of MCWCC Pilot Funds (DOCX) 

November 2018 RFA  (DOCX)

Application Instructions, November 2018 RFA (DOCX)

Note: If this application includes a clinical trial component, a New Trial Submission form must be approved by your Faculty Research Committee and submitted with the application. Contact the appropriate CTO Research Manager to obtain the form and assist with the coordination and submission of your study to the FRC. Call the Clinical Trials office at (414) 805-8900 for assistance.

Deadlines, Submission and Review Process

RFA Released

Letter of Intent Due in REDCap

Application Due to eBridge

Application Due to Cancer Center

Award Start Date

November 16, 2018

January 3, 2019

January 10, 2019

January 17, 2019

June 1, 2019

January 3, 2019 5:00 pm CT. Deadline for LOI to be completed in REDCap. Information required: Anticipated project title, a short description of the proposal, and the Mechanism for which you are applying.

January 17, 2019 5:00 pm CT. Application Due to MCW Cancer Center. Note: All applications must be submitted as a PDF through eBridge with all necessary attachments, per GCO guidelines which is currently five business days prior to sponsor deadline.

Once the funding proposal is approved by GCO, and prior to MCWCC submission deadline, forward GCO Approval Email to Nicole Davis at

Letter of Intent: The MCWCC Pilot Grants are using a new system to collect your letter of intent, cover sheet, and annual progress reports.  To begin the process, click here.  You will be prompted to log in to your Faculty Collaboration Database before completing the letter of intent.

Biostatistics: All applicants requiring a statistical plan in the research proposal must budget a line-item fee of $2,000 that will be paid to the Biostatistics Division for consulting on data interpretation, manuscript preparation, or other statistical needs. You can start the process of obtaining a consultation by filling out the Biostatistics Consulting Form. You should arrange for a Biostatistics Consultation as soon as possible to assure a thorough review, at minimum, 14 days prior to the due date. Proposals that do not need a statistical plan per an agreement with the Biostatistics Department and the PI, are exempt from this budget requirement.  

Please see the RFA and application instructions for information about required elements and organization.  Open the "Forms" section on this page to download all forms and instructions.

Applications are submitted under generic “Cancer Center” funding source in eBridge (see eBridge Instructions for additional information). If your project is funded, you will receive instructions from the GCO to submit changes to the funding proposal when the application status moves from “Pending Sponsor Decision” to “Awarded Pending Reconciliation”.  

Applications will be funded based on scientific merit. Reviews will be completed on an ad hoc basis, final decisions will be made by Cancer Center Leadership. If approved, NOGAs will be issued mid-April.

All applicants must be a member of the MCW Cancer Center or have a membership application pending at the time of application. Not a member? Apply for Membership

Applicants may only submit one application to a single funding mechanism. 

Principal Investigator (PI) Eligibility: Only MCW faculty 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.

All applicants who have not had a previously funded peer-reviewed grant from the NIH or extramural organizations listed on the FAQ webpage 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 your mentorship committee members is required.

Budget Guidelines

Budget Guidelines (see application instructions *DOCX*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 scientific meeting to present data.

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. View more information on the Research Resources page

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: What is the likelihood that the proposed project will generate resultant preliminary data for submitting a strong proposal for peer-reviewed extramural funding?

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.