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2018-19 Anti-Cancer Challenge Research Funding Competition

Request for Proposals

Release Date: October 10, 2018

Important Dates

  • Letter of Intent due: Extended to November 9, 2018 by end of day
  • Proposal due: November 28, 2018 by end of day
  • Notice of award: December 21, 2018
  • Project term: January 1, 2019 to December 31, 2019


The main objective of this program is to support cancer research projects that align with the CFCCC’s strategic priorities listed below and have potential for significant impact within 1-2 years. This would include projects that can generate critical preliminary data for a planned submission/resubmission of a peer-reviewed extramural grant, in particular to NCI, within six months, with special consideration given to applications supporting resubmissions that generate new data in response to prior critiques. Investigators will be required to submit their summary statement for evaluation of responsiveness of proposed work to reviewers’ comments. Also prioritized are Early Phase Clinical Research projects supporting the launch of interventional investigator-initiated clinical trials, preferably treatment trials, at UC Irvine Health through the Stern Center for Cancer Clinical Trials & Research. Clinical research projects are not necessarily expected to lead to extramural peer-reviewed funding, but pharmaceutical industry co-sponsorship is encouraged. This pilot project program is not designed to provide ongoing support for a long-term project or to support early-stage exploratory research projects.

CFCCC Strategic Priorities

  • To increase the number of extramural peer-reviewed collaborative grant applications and awards.
  • To advance novel diagnostic or screening technologies, therapeutic molecules or devices, and biobehavioral interventions through the translational pipeline towards clinical application, including support for developing investigator-initiated early phase clinical trial protocols by clinical investigators, particularly interventional trials.
  • To advance research in the area of cancer health disparities and cancer control, and in pediatric cancers.


All UC Irvine faculty members are eligible to apply, as are CHOC Hyundai Cancer Institute-affiliated physicians, provided that the awarded PI(s) join the CFCCC membership prior to the project’s launch. Each PI may submit only one proposal.

Term of Funding

Applicants may request up to $40,000 for a one-year period. Awardees are expected to submit reports on their project progress and submit grant proposals to federal agencies. Applications will be accepted for the following Tracks:

  • Track 1 awards are for standard one-year basic or translational pilot project proposals in any area of cancer research. Proposals that address research questions in the area of population science, cancer health disparities and cancer control are particularly sought.
  • Track 2 awards are for translational early phase clinical research pilot project proposals for a duration up to two years. These projects advance a therapeutic, device, intervention, approach, etc., under study along the translational pipeline, and must be collaborations initiated from a Disease-Oriented Team or a multidisciplinary tumor board. These applications must include a DOT-approved clinical protocol.

Proposals that address research questions in cancer health disparities, cancer control or pediatric cancer are particularly sought.

Selection Criteria

Applications will be peer reviewed in accord with NIH criteria with explicit emphasis placed on the near-term (i.e., within 1-2 years) potential to (a) attract extramural cancer related peer-reviewed funding, in particular from NCI, or (b) launch interventional investigator-initiated treatment trials at UC Irvine. Projects from clinical researchers and basic science investigators that extend their studies to clinical or translational research are strongly encouraged, as are applications from early stage investigators and investigators whose projects use CFCCC Shared Resources or involve significant new collaborations.

Allowable Costs

  • Applicants may request up to $40,000 in direct costs for a one-year project period.
  • No faculty salary may be requested.
  • No travel costs are permitted.
  • Expenditures may begin at any time after the official start date but generally all funds should be expended within one year of receipt.
  • 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.

Letter of Intent

A Letter of Intent (LOI) must be submitted by 5pm on November 9, 2018 to bmcclend@uci.edu.
The LOI is required to allow staff to estimate the potential review workload and plan the review. LOIs will not enter into an application’s review.

The LOI should include:

  • Application track (1 or 2)
  • Title of the project
  • Names, rank, affiliation and email of the contact PI and other key personnel
  • One paragraph abstract/introduction about background, significance, and impact of the research
  • Specific Aims

Regulatory Approval

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

Application Instructions and Materials

Please submit the completed application as a single pdf to bmcclend@uci.edu by end of day November 26, 2018. Incomplete proposals will not be considered.

Format Requirements:
Arial font; 11 pt; minimum 0.5 inch for all margins; no appendices.

Completed applications must include:

  1. Completed Pilot Project Award Application
    1. Face Page
    2. Budget - Proposed budget with costs limited to $40,000
    3. Budget Justification
    4. Project Description (3 pages maximum)
      • Background and Significance
      • Research Plan and Specific Aims
      • Rationale for requested funds and specific plans for extramural grant submissions
      • Responsiveness to the RFP: Describe how the project contributes to the strategic goals of the Cancer Center
  2. Scientific Abstract (NIH format) and a lay abstract (3-4 sentences)
  3. NIH Biosketches for all key personnel



For more information, contact Brian McClendon at bmcclend@uci.edu or 714-456-3628