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Pilot Project Application Instructions

You are invited to submit an application for a pilot research project that is responsive to the goals of the Partnership for Cancer Health Disparities.

The project may be in any research discipline — e.g., basic, clinical, prevention, control, behavioral, community-based participatory, or population. The partnership between Cal State University, Fullerton (FSUF) and the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (CFCCC) at UC Irvine particularly encourages minority investigators from both institutions to apply and to involve minority students in the projects.

Concept Paper

We understand that most faculty members will not have an established working relationship with a faculty member at the other campus.

Therefore, the first step of the application process will be submission of a one-page concept paper by an investigator at Cal State University, Fullerton (CSUF) or UC Irvine that includes the tentative name of the project, the name and experience of the investigator, the research hypothesis and aims, how the research addresses cancer health disparities, and a brief summary of the methods. 

Upon receipt of the concept paper, the partnership's principal investigors (PIs) and members of the partnership’s Internal Advisory Committee (IAC) will attempt to identify a co-leader at the other campus. Once that is accomplished, the PIs will facilitate meetings between the investigators to develop a pilot research project proposal.

Proposal Components

Please use National Institutes of Health (NIH) instructions for margins and font size, and the 398 form page format.

  1. Title page (name of project, names of co-leaders and their mailing addresses, emails, and phone numbers)
  2. Project summary and relevance (one-page limit)
  3. Biographical sketches of co-leaders and key personnel
  4. Specific aims (1-page limit)
  5. Research strategy (Rationale for CSUF/UCI-CFCCC collaboration, significance, innovation and approach, plans to develop project into an extramural grant proposal, timeline; 6-page limit)
  6. Mentorship/training plan for early stage investigators (within 10 years of completing their terminal degree, if applicable, two-page limit)
  7. References
  8. Protection of human subjects or vertebrate animals (if applicable)
  9. Detailed budget (include justification) for CSUF
  10. Detailed budget (include justification) for UCI-CFCCC

Review Criteria

Proposals must:

  • Be of high scientific merit
  • Include at least one investigator (co-leader) from each institution
  • Relate to some aspect of cancer health disparities
  • Include a mentoring and training plan for early stage investigators and students
  • Describe plans to develop the project into an extramural grant proposal (i.e., R21 and R01)

Review Process 

Pilot project reviews will be conducted by the IAC, which is made up of senior faculty members at CSUF and UC Irvine. If IAC members do not have the appropriate scientific expertise, ad hoc reviewers will be solicited.

The reviewers will prepare written critiques using the NIH scoring system (1-9) for scientific merit. Applicants will be asked to provide written responses to the critiques. After prioritizing the proposals, the IAC will forward them to the partnership’s Executive Committee (EC) for a final funding decision.

Funding Available

As much as $50,000 ($25,000 for each campus) in combined direct costs is available per year for up to two consecutive years.


Email concept papers and pilot project proposals to the program managers at each campus: Sandy Bennett at sabennett@fullerton.edu and Jacqueline Tidball at tidball@uci.edu.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our principal investigators: Sora Park Tanjasiri, DrPH, MPH, at stanjasiri@fullerton.edu, and F. Allan Hubbell, MD, MSPH, at fahubbel@uci.edu.

The partnership's pilot research project funding is made available through the support of the NIH, the National Cancer Institute and the Center to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities, grant numbers P20CA174292 and P20CA174188.