Pilot Research Grant Program

The UI Cancer Center is pleased to announce four grant opportunities designed to provide “seed” money awards for the initiation of promising new projects. The seed funding will include two MPI/R01 application development awards, a Shared Resources pilot award, bridge funding for scored but unfunded NIH project, and a pilot focused on cervical cancer/HPV. Application dates vary by funding opportunity. The Cancer Center is funding these awards to advance promising new research among our members and the UIC community.

The goals of the Cancer Center Pilot Program are to (1) foster outstanding new basic, translational and population-science –based research at UIC by supporting the development of preliminary data that can be used to launch new NIH or other externally-funded peer-reviewed cancer research proposals and (2) enhance interdisciplinary collaboration between investigators that spans across the Cancer Center as well as the institution.

Application Criteria
The following criteria are applicable to all categories:
• Only cancer-focused studies with high scientific merit will be considered.
• At least one of the investigators must have a strong record of peer-reviewed funding.
• Junior investigators must provide evidence of independence.
• Only projects that will be ready to begin on January 1, 2019 will be considered.
• Projects are for one (1) year with an option to renew for an additional year of funding contingent upon evidence of significant progress during Year 1 and available funding.
• Research aims in Health disparities encouraged

The purpose of this RFA is to stimulate the development of high-quality, multi-principal investigator (MPI) projects that will move forward to nationally-funded grant awards. Areas of thematic investigation are open, provided they maintain a clear cancer focus. Health disparities research from the bench to clinical, clinical to population/community level  are encouraged. Projects with translational potential are preferred. In addition, a cross-cutting programmatic theme (cancer biology, translational oncology and population health) is encouraged. The cancer center leadership anticipates distributing two awards at $100,000-125,000 for one year. The one-year grant is available to all members (junior faculty must be independent investigators). A Letter of Intent (LOI)  is required for this funding category, due September 20, 2018.  LOIs will be reviewed and eligible applicants notified by September 26, 2018.  Complete applications will be due October 30, 2018.

Funding: $100,000 – 125,000 for one year – Two Awards

Deadline: LOI due September 20, 2018; eligible applicants notified by September 26, 2018.  Complete applications due October 30.  Awardees notified by November 15.

The purpose of this RFA is to provide funding for NIH  grant applications that were scored but unfunded to allow PI to gather more data and resubmit with a high likelihood of funding. Applications for this category must include the Summary Statements and a detailed response to criticisms with a plan and timeline for a successful resubmission.  This category of funding is not renewable.

Funding: $20,000 available – 1 to 2 Awards

Deadline: Full application due September 28, 2018.  Awardees notified by October 30, 2018.

The purpose of this RFA is to support cutting-edge resource in basic, clinical or population science studies of cervical cancer.  Although not required, priority will be given to those applications that cross programs.  The funding will be open to all faculty members as a means of encouraging investigators in other departments to apply their unique expertise projects cancer-related projects.

Funding: $25,000 – 50,000 – One Award

Deadline: Full application due September 28, 2018.  Awardees notified by October 30, 2018.

The purpose of this RFA is to provide funding for UICC members to use Shared Resources to develop cancer relevant research pilot data to strengthen subsequent NIH or other peer-review research applications.  Researchers may request from $1,000 to $20,000 and must include detailed budget justification.

Funding: $20,000 available – One Award

Deadline: Full application due September 28, 2018.  Awardees notified by October 30, 2018.

Funding will be issued January 1, 2019 for all 4 opportunities.

Applicants are strongly encouraged to seek advice about applications from Jan Kitajewski, PhD (AD for Basic Science), John Stewart (AD for Clinical Research), Robin Mermelstein, PhD (AD for Population Science).   Please direct administrative questions to Ahlam Al-Kodmany at ryyan@uic.edu as soon as possible. Application limit is 5 pages and must include a title page with the category of support requested, PI, project title; abstract; background; specific aims; methods, including statistical analysis; significance;  and a description on  how this project will lead to future funding.  References can appear on separate pages.

All applications must be submitted electronically as a single, low-resolution PDF file. Incomplete and non-electronic applications will be returned without scientific review. Assistance for assembling applications might be sought through programs or the grants office.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to any member of the senior leadership team if you have any questions.   We look forward to the receipt of some exciting research proposals!