Cancer Center 2009 Pilot Project Grant Program

The UIC Cancer Center announces a new Pilot Project Grant Program in Cancer Research made possible by support from the UIC Health Science Colleges and the Office of the Provost. 
The purpose of this grant program is to foster pilot cancer research activities that will lead to enhancement of the externally-funded research base of the UIC Cancer Center. This goal is associated with plans for a Cancer Center Support Grant application to the National Cancer Institute for Cancer Center designation in the Fall of 2011.
  • Letters of intent are due no later than 5:00 PM, Friday, February 27, 2009
  • Complete pilot project grant applications are due no later than 5:00 PM, Wednesday,  May 6, 2009
  • Awards will be announced Monday, June 1, 2009.
PI Eligibility. Principal Investigators must be clinical researchers, laboratory researchers, or cancer control and population science researchers who are tenure track UIC faculty.  Adjunct faculty and academic professionals cannot serve as PIs but they may serve as named investigators, collaborators, or key personnel. 

Types of Grants. Four types of applications are offered this funding cycle.  Applications requesting bridge funding for ongoing projects are not eligible.

   1. Collaborative translational research pilot projects. Innovative, collaborative translational research projects that: (a) involve human subjects, facilitate human subject investigations, or focus on disease mechanisms with clear, near-term implications for cancer therapeutics, detection, or prevention and (b) involve two or more investigators from different scientific or clinical disciplines.  
Up to four grants of $25,000 each will be awarded. A second-year award of up to $25,000 is possible based on promising first-year results.   
2. Individual translational cancer research pilot projects. Innovative translational research projects from one investigator that involve human subjects, facilitate human subject investigations, or focus on disease mechanisms with clear, near- term implications for cancer therapeutics, detection, or prevention.  
    Up to four one-year grants of $25,000 will be awarded.
3. Collaborative rural cancer control and population science research, including rural cancer health disparities.  Innovative, collaborative projects involving two or more eligible investigators. 


Up to four one-year grants of $25,000 each will be awarded. 

4. New investigators. These grants are limited to investigators who may be either (a) new to UIC during academic years 2006-2009, at an early stage of his/her career, and do not have cancer-related peer reviewed funding from the National Cancer Institute, the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society Inc. (National), or the Department of Defense; or (b) UIC investigators not currently conducting cancer research but who have a compelling rationale for transitioning current work into cancer research

   Up to four one-year grants of $25,000 will be awarded.  
Submission Process
Letter of Intent (LOI) FormDeadline is 5:00 PM, Friday, Feb. 27, 2009.
Please email this  LOI Form to JoAnne Sylvester ( with CC Pilot LOI as the subject line. Letters of intent should include:
a. Project working title
b. Names and affiliations of all the involved investigators
c. Type of pilot grant
d. Concise description of the research with cancer focus clearly stated (up to 200 words)
e. Statement of how a pilot award would facilitate future cancer focused grant proposals to external peer-reviewed funding sources.
The LOI process enables the Cancer Center to make appropriate plans for the review process.  Each eligible PI who submits a letter of intent can submit a grant application.
Grant Application Format and Content.   Deadline is 5:00 PM, Wednesday, May 6, 2009Please submit three hard copies to the Cancer Center, Medical Center Administration Building, 914 S. Wood, Room 236. 
Format of Application:
Paper. White 8 ½ x 11 inch paper
Font. Standard Ariel 12 point font. No smaller than 10 point Ariel font for legends and tables.
Spacing. Single-spaced text is acceptable. Space between paragraphs is recommended. 
Margins. 0.5 inch or greater. 
Page Limit: The Research Plan section cannot exceed 8 pages. 
Page numbering. The first few pages of the application consist of the Cover Form and the Abstract Form and they are already numbered. These pages are not included in the 8 page limit Research Plan. Subsequent pages must be numbered consecutively in the bottom center of the page (do not use page designations such as “9A” or “9B”).
Parts of the Application
1.  Cover Page  Please download and complete the cover page.
2. Abstract PagePlease download and complete the abstract page. A concise one-page statement of the proposed research should include what research will be conducted, how it will be conducted, and the rationale for the project.    
   3. Narrative Research Plan - up to 8 pages. Please call attention to innovative features of the project.   

      a. Specific Aims. What you expect to accomplish with the requested award.  

      b. Background and Significance. The context for the project. 

      c. Statement of Cancer Relevance. Concise description of the relevance of the proposed studies to the cancer problem. 

      d. Preliminary Data. Include preliminary data that is pertinent to the proposal.  Preliminary data is not required.   

      e. Experimental Design/Methods. Describe how the research aims will be accomplished.   

      f. Resources. Describe resources (space, equipment), personnel, and any arrangements required to implement the project. Include a concise statement of the roles, contributions, and responsibilities of each investigator.  

      g. Plans for External Funding. Describe your plans for obtaining peer-reviewed funding from the National Cancer Institute, the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, Inc. (National), or the Department of Defense. If known, for the planned submission specify related program announcements, institute, and program officer.  

4. References. Literature cited.
5. Budget. Each application requires an appropriate budget with full  justification for personnel, materials, supplies, laboratory animal costs, costs  associated with human subjects, and other expenses necessary for the proposal. An excel spreadsheet or table is acceptable. The budget cannot include salary support for investigators but must specify their time commitments. The budget may include post doc support and student stipends/fringes but not tuition remission. Indirect costs are not allowed. Limited travel for essential collaboration may be approved. 
6. Biographical Sketches. Please submit NIH biosketches for all key personnel.  Include current and pending support for the past five years. Areas of overlap with the proposal must be noted.   
7. Letters of Support. Letters of support from Department Heads of all key personnel are required.   
Selection Criteria
1. Scientific merit. (a) Overall quality and innovation of the work; (b) potential for fundamental advances, new discoveries, new translational research opportunities, new technical developments, or new dissemination/intervention advances; (c) degree of interdisciplinary collaborations and interactions (collaborative projects only); (d) potential for future successful extramural competitive funding from the National Cancer Institute, the National Institutes of Health, the American Cancer Society, Inc. (National), or the Department of Defense
2. Cancer focus. The work must have a clear cancer focus. Consideration will be given to the project’s potential for enhancing the research base of the four Cancer Center Research Programs: (a) Cancer Control and Population Science; (b) Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention; (c) Experimental Therapeutics and Imaging; and (d) Tumor Cell Biology.  
3. PI qualifications. The PI qualifications, credentials, and past or potential productivity. Consideration will be given to the extent of the PI’s participation in the Cancer Center, including submission of the online Cancer Center membership application form and attendance at monthly meetings of Cancer Center research programs and seminars. 
4. Appropriateness of Management Plans and Arrangements. The adequacy of the organizational and administrative plans, the budget, and the mechanism to evaluate project progress.
5. Institutional Commitment. The nature and level of resources available from colleges/ departments and other sponsoring units.   
Funding and Compliance Requirements
Pilot funds will not be released without approval from the Cancer Center Protocol Review Committee and complete approval or exemption from UIC’s Institutional  Review Board, if such certification is required for the project. Funded projects are required to submit semi-annual progress reports and a final report. Investigators who receive an award must acknowledge UIC Cancer Center funding in all publications and presentations arising from the project. They will also be expected to participate in UIC Cancer Center research programs and the UIC Cancer Center research seminar series, including giving a seminar on their funded project.
Faculty with questions should contact JoAnne Sylvester, Cancer Center Associate Director for Administration, at 312-355-3046 or