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Cancer Center

MCW Cancer Center Pilot Grant FAQs

If you have specific questions or concerns about an individual grant mechanism, please contact Nicole Davis, Program Coordinator at (414) 805-7694. 

What is considered a peer reviewed funded grant for the purposes of my application? (List of peer-reviewed extramural organizations.)

All applicants who have not had a previously funded peer-reviewed grant from the NIH or any of the extramural organizations listed below must have a mentorship committee to assist in reading and providing feedback on your 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.

1. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)

2. Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF)

3. American Association of Cancer Research (AACR)

4. American Cancer Society (ACS), (national office only)

5. American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR)

6. American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR)

7. California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM)

8. Cancer Prevention Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT)

9. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

10. Central Office of the Veterans Administration (VA), (excluding local/regional and “block” grants)

11. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

12. The Flight Attendant Medical Research Institute (FAMRI)

13. Florida Biomedical Research Program (FBRP)

14. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)

15. Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI)

16. Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS)

17. Melanoma Research Alliance (MRA)

18. Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation (MMRF)

19. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH)

20. National Science Foundation (NSF)

21. New York State Department of Health Wadsworth Center/New York State Stem Cell Science Program

22. Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI)

23. Prevent Cancer Foundation (PCF)

24. Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF)

25. Susan G. Komen for the Cure

26. The California Breast Cancer Research Program (CBCRP)

27. The California Tobacco Related Disease Research Program (TRDRP)

28. U.S. Army (DOD) special research programs *

*Note: Grants funded through the U.S. Army’s, (DOD) special research programs in ovarian, breast and

Are patient incentives an allowable cost for a pilot grant?

Yes, patient / participant incentives ARE an allowable cost for a pilot grant, as long as appropriate IRB approval is granted. Also note that the PI's department is responsible for managing the payment or distribution of these incentives.

Am I required to use the new NIH biosketch format for submission of my MCW Cancer Center pilot grant application?

 Yes. The new NIH biosketch format is required for submission with pilot grant applications. You can find more information about biosketch formats for NIH submissions here.


Are subcontracts now prohibited in MCWCC pilot grant awards? If so, does this include community partners for community engaged research work?

Pilot grant funds should stay within MCW and its affiliate organizations: Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin; Zablocki Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Froedtert Hospital; BloodCenter of Wisconsin. Subcontracts are not allowed, except in the case of community engaged research. For Community Engaged Research or Community Based Participatory Research, subcontracts / compensation to community partners is allowed, but not subcontracts to another academic site.

Given the common use of subcontracts/compensation to community based organizations (CBOs) for their important role as partners in this research, subcontracting to qualified 501 C (3) CBOs for a community engaged research project is allowed. Please note, the PI is responsible for confirming that MCW will subcontract to the CBO.

In your Letter of Intent, include the following:

  • Name of the CBO
  • Brief description of the CBO role in the research
  • Approximate amount of the subcontract

In your application, include the following:

  • Detailed justification for the role of the CBO in your budget justification
  • Memorandum of Understanding to participate in the project
  • CBO 501c(3) documentation
  • CBO tax ID

What about purchased services or supplies?

Purchased services, supplies and service agreements are allowed, but the services or supplies must be used to address a research question.


What types of research projects are considered translational research? What types of projects are not considered translational research?

For a standard definition of translational research, please visit the CTSI website.  

For MCW Cancer Center pilot grant applications, it is ultimately the review committee members who determine if a research project is translational or not. If you have a question about the translational nature of your project/application, we encourage you to reach out to Kitty Marquardt for further discussion.

Here are some examples of translational research projects funded by the MCW Cancer Center:

  • Animal models that test drug toxicity, results of which are applied to human studies.
  • A project that takes basic / laboratory science and applies this to human tissue, clinical trials or patient data.

Here are examples of projects that were not considered to be translational research:

  • Research projects with no clinical application, or no current application to human populations.