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Funding Opportunities

External Funding Opportunity Announcements

Seed Grants/Pilot Projects

Bridge Funding

Early Phase Clinical Research Support

Please send pilot project/seed grant, bridge funding and EPCR support applications to:

Jacqueline Tidball
101 The City Drive
Bldg 56, Room 214
Orange, CA 92868

Seed Grants/Pilot Projects

CCSG Pilot Project Funds e.g., Seed Grants allow centers to take risks; strengthen weaker scientific areas; and provide scientists the opportunity to explore innovative ideas, new collaborations and new technologies.  These funds can be administered flexibly--dispensed centrally by the director and senior leaders to achieve broad strategic objectives.  We make these funds accessible to all applicable areas of research, including laboratory, clinical, prevention, control, behavioral and population research for projects of relatively short duration (i.e., 1-2 years). They have been awarded to both new and established member and have been used for studies preparatory to the development of an application for independent peer-reviewed support, or to take maximum advantage of a unique research opportunity or nurture an innovative idea. These funds stimulate high priority research areas in the CFCCC, explore new directions for our Programs, and encourage cross-disciplinary translational research. Applications which support small, hypothesis-driven early clinical trials of an exploratory nature are also particularly encouraged. 

The merit descriptors for review includes considerations such as the following:

  • Scientific quality and innovation of proposed studies
  • Effectiveness in (or potential for) strengthening identified strategic scientific needs, including use of funds in the prior project period, where applicable
  • Effectiveness in (or potential for) assessing scientific merit of research opportunities proposed; and, the effectiveness of the return for the investment.
Seed Grant/Pilot Project documents

CCSG Bridge Funding

The UCI Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center announces the availability of intramural funds to sustain cancer-related research projects that have recently lost, or face losing, extramural funding.  Requests that provide evidence of a reasonable chance of funding upon resubmission of a recently reviewed application will receive a higher priority.    Priority approvals will include CA designated grants from NCI, and  A1 or A2 resubmissions with a priority score within 10% (prior NIH recipients) or 15% (first time applications for RPG funding) of the current payline (or if not, percentile score less than 200). 

To be considered as a "peer reviewed, funded project," the responsible funding agency or organization should meet the general NIH standards of peer review and funding. These include meeting three criteria: (1) a peer review system which primarily uses external reviewers and is free of conflict of interest; (2) a ranking or rating system in the review process based on the scientific merit of the proposed research; and (3) a funding system based primarily on the peer review ranking or rating of the research applications. 


Bridge support is intended for junior faculty/PIs (all series), although senior faculty/PIs are eligible to apply.  A PI is eligible for the Bridge funding provided he or she meets the following requirements:

  • Is a member of the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (includes associate members)
  • Has lost, or will lose all funding and has a reasonable chance of approval upon resubmission of the extramural funding within six months of the Bridge application

Exceptions to eligibility may be made by the Director under unusual circumstances.


  • Individual grants will be for a maximum of $50,000
  • Awards will be granted for a maximum of 9 months or until the grantee re-establishes funding from other sources, whichever comes first
  • Awards are intended to provide salary support for key personnel (e.g., technician, PostDoc) though consideration for PI salary support, particularly those in the soft money series may be justified
  • Awards cannot be used for: travel, to cover budget overdrafts or administrative costs (i.e., school and departmental surcharges)
  • When extramural funding is re-established, all unspent funds must be returned to the Bridge Program to assist other investigators.


Awards will be made in consultation with the Senior Leadership Committee and approved by the Director.  Consideration will be given to need, assessment and the strength of the overall research program.  To evaluate applications for Bridge Funding, the CFCCC requests the following:

  • A cover letter describing the PI's funding history, current financial needs and attempts to re-establish funding; as well as a statement (if awarded) that the PI is willing to meet with the Donor, if requested, and a commitment to resubmit within 6 months of receiving the award (1 page maximum)
  • A copy of the Agency summary review, comments on unfunded proposals, priority scores and pay lines
  • A current NIH style Biosketch
  • A current Other Support form

Awards will be competitive and all applications may not be funded.

Early Phase Clinical Research Support

Early Phase Clinical Research Support (formerly Protocol Specific Data Management Support) is essential support for selected early phase trials conducted by investigators at the Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center (CFCCC).  Development of investigator-initiated trials (IIT) is a major focus of the CFCCC. The CFCCC has previously reported success in increasing both the number of IIT trials and patient accrual to these trials, especially those that include a therapeutic intervention. Availability of personnel support through EPCRS funding from the Cancer Center Support Grant, P30CA062203, has been a major factor contributing to the development and execution of these trials.

This component provides support for short term, pilot (pre-phase I) and phase I clinical research studies originating from scientific investigators within the CFCCC  (See http://www.cancer.gov/clinicaltrials/conducting/ncictrp/resources/glossary#p-z for clinical trial phase definitions). Preliminary data generated from these studies, which historically have been rarely funded through other mechanisms, can be used as the basis for application for support of later phase studies through competitive grants or industry. Support is not meant for all early phase trials, for later phase trials, or for studies that do that do not involve testing of an agent or device. CFCCC leadership will prioritize the member’s request for support of studies and will oversee these funds.  

These funds may be used for global health studies, but must meet all eligibility criteria listed below. In addition, NIH will track all projects in this category that include foreign components and, if necessary, State Department clearance must be obtained prior to implementation. Cancer Center staff will act as the liaison between the Office of Cancer Centers and the NIH Fogarty International Center, which is responsible for coordinating all clearances.

Eligibility criteria are as follows:

  • These should be high priority, innovative, pilot and phase 0 or I institutional clinical studies focusing on initial early phase testing of a candidate agent or device for the diagnosis, prevention detection or treatment of cancer.
  • Studies must be conceptualized/designed by members of the center’s research Programs.
  • Studies should typically be of short duration (e.g., 1-2 years).
  • Studies receiving support through other peer-reviewed research grants, cooperative agreements, or contracts are ineligible for support through this mechanism. Studies may receive partial support from industry, assuming all other criteria are met.
  • Supported studies must be approved by the cancer center’s PRMC.

Funding in these pilot and phase I clinical studies is limited to support of:

  • Nurses and data managers for a pilot (pre-phase I) or phase I clinical trial, Costs associated with generation of preliminary data through other early phase clinically related activities, for example:
  • Purchase of imaging time for scans related to early phase clinical research
  • Support for IND or IDE applications
  • Pharmacodynamic studies, e.g., use of sequential or pre- and post- biopsies or assays of activity in peripheral tissues to identify investigational agents deserving full clinical development, clinical evaluation of structurally similar analogues directed at the same molecular target, determination of a dosing regimen for an agent to be used in combination therapy, or development of novel imaging probes that establish mechanism of action in patient samples or provide functional and metabolic information about the effect of a drug on its target.

The following review criteria apply to this component:

  • How well do the proposed studies comply with criteria for support outlined above?
  • What are the quality and innovation of studies proposed for the coming project period?