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Request for Proposals: Cancer Health Disparities Pilot Projects


PRE-APPLICATION WEBINAR (Presenter: Sora Park Tanjasiri)



Funds are available from the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (CFCCC) to support cancer health disparities pilot projects impacting our populations in Orange County. The NCI defines cancer health disparities as “adverse differences in cancer incidence (new cases), cancer prevalence (existing cases), cancer death (mortality), cancer survivorship, and burden of cancer related conditions that exist among specific population groups in the United States.”
The objective of this request for proposals is to, ultimately, increase the number of disparity-focused extramural peer-reviewed grant awards that address the unique needs in our catchment area, Orange County. Proposals of highest interest include those that: advance understanding of bio-behavioral processes and/or interventions; promote novel diagnostic or screening technologies, therapeutic molecules or devices; or improve cancer control and population sciences in communities.
This competition will provide up to five (5) awards of up to $40,000 each (Direct Costs) for one-year projects leading to a competitive peer-reviewed extramural grant application. Projects should acquire key preliminary data for a planned submission of a peer-reviewed extramural grant, ideally to the NCI. Applications are required to address at least one cancer of high or growing concern in a disparity population, such as cervical, gastric, liver, or melanoma among Latinx, and/or acute lymphocytic leukemia, gastric, liver, or ovary among Asian Americans. Selection of other disparity populations should follow the NCI definition. Special consideration will be given to applications which:

  • Have a community engagement component that informs the research question, design, and/or analyses; community engagement for data dissemination only is not enough;
  • support extramural re-submissions that generate new data in response to critiques from the prior submission;
  • include collaborations with a Cancer Center Disease-Oriented Team; and/or
  • leverage Cancer Center Shared Resources



  • UCI researchers eligible to serve as principal investigator (PI) on a research grant (e.g., faculty or project scientist) are eligible to apply.
  • CFCCC membership must be established by the time of award.
  • Each PI may submit only one application.

Selection Criteria

  • Applications will be peer-reviewed in accordance with NIH criteria with explicit emphasis placed on the near-term impact (i.e., within 1-2 years).
  • Projects from investigators that extend their studies to clinical or translational research are strongly encouraged, as are applications from investigators whose project includes collaboration with a Cancer Center Disease-Oriented Team, utilizes CFCCC Shared Resources or involves significant new collaborations.

Regulatory Approvals

  • Proposals with a clinical component must have an existing regulatory approval (e.g. human subjects or animal protocol that is either IRB/IACUC-approved) or ready for IRB/IACUC submission (i.e., DOT-approved)
  • If sufficient progress in obtaining regulatory approvals has not been made within 6 months after award date, the Cancer Center may withdraw the award

Budget and Reporting

  • Exclusions: Faculty salaries, large equipment (e.g., >$5K) and travel costs are not allowed
  • Plan to fully expend the pilot project funds within the 1 year award period
  • A short progress report will be due at the end of 6 months and a final report will be due within 30 days of completing the project.
  • Awardees will be required to present a 15-20 minute “chalk talk” to a peer-colleague committee for feedback on progress
  • A single no-cost extension, for up to 6 months, will be considered for review by the Cancer Center Administrator and presentation to Cancer Center leadership for final determination.

Letter of Intent

A Letter of Intent (LOI) is due before Friday, October 2, 2020 @ 5:00 PM via email to CFCCC Administration at cfcccadmin@hs.uci.edu. The LOI is required for assignment of appropriate peer reviewers for the full proposal submission. LOIs will not be reviewed for competition. Therefore applicants should proceed with their full proposal after submitting the LOI. The LOI should include:

  • Project Title
  • Key Personnel - Names, academic ranks, department affiliation and email address of the contact Principal Investigator and other Key Personnel
  • Abstract - One paragraph abstract/introduction about background, significance, and impact of the research
  • Specific Aims

Application Due Date

Applications are due before Friday, October 23, 2020 @ 5:00 PM. Applications received after this deadline will not be considered.

Application Format

Applicants must complete the CFCCC Pilot Project Application form (template attached). The application should clearly state why funding through this pilot project mechanism is appropriate and should clearly outline the specific plans for extramural grant submissions.
Completed applications must include:

  • Cover page with requested project information, a scientific abstract (NIH format) and a lay abstract (3-4 sentences)
  • Budget and Budget Justification (1 page each)
  • Project Description (3 pages maximum) including the Background and Significance, Research Plan and Specific Aims, and the rationale for requested funds with specific plans for extramural grant submissions or investigator-initiated treatment trials.
  • A NIH biosketch for each key personnel involved with the project, listing current sources of funding and a one-line description of the primary goal of each funded grant. . If you have received CFCCC pilot funding in the past 5 years and have completed the project, include a summary (1 page maximum) describing the main aim of the funded project, and whether any publications, new collaborations, or external grants resulted from the funding.
  • Figures/tables and references can each be one additional page.
  • Formatting requirements: Arial font; 11 pt.; minimum 0.5 inch for all margins
  • No appendices are allowed.

Application Submission

The application should be submitted, via email, as one complete pdf file named Lastname_Disparity Application_date (e.g., Smith_Disparity Application_20201013) to CFCCC Administration at cfcccadmin@hs.uci.edu. Receipt of all applications will be acknowledged within 48 business hours.

Award Timeline

Application review will be completed by November 2020 and funding is expected to begin on January 1, 2021.