2013 Pilot Project Program


2013 Pilot Project Program

Made possible by funding from the University of Illinois Cancer Center and the 
Offices of the Provost and Vice Chancellor for Research of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

1.    Purpose

To foster high quality interdisciplinary cancer research collaborations between researchers at Chicago, Peoria, Rockford, and Urbana campuses and the four University of Illinois Cancer Center research programs.       

            The 4 University of Illinois Cancer Center research programs are:

·         Population Health, Behavior, and Outcomes

·         Carcinogenesis and Chemoprevention

·         Cancer Targets, Therapeutics, and Imaging

·         Cancer Cell Signaling

2.    Goal

To support development of preliminary data for collaborative cancer research proposals to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH), American Cancer Society (national), and Department of Defense (DOD).

3.    Deadline and Submission

Letters of intent (LOI) are due Monday, April 2, 2012 and are required for application eligibility. Please submit PDF letters to Regina Schwind (rschwind@uic.edu) along with the Letter of Intent Form. 

Please submit one PDF file containing the entire application to Regina Schwind (rschwind@uic.edu) no later than 5:00 PM on Tuesday, May 1, 2012. Application must include the 2012 Pilot Grant Application Form.  

Awards will be announced August 1, 2012.  The Award Start Date will be September 3, 2012. 

4.    Project Eligibility

University of Illinois Cancer Center members are eligible to apply.  Applications must list at least two Principal Investigators or Co-Principal Investigators, preferably one basic or population scientist and one with clinical interests.   Collaborations between campuses and research programs are encouraged.  The proposal must relate to one of the existing program themes and have a translational application.  Preference will be given to those proposals that demonstrate work directly applicable in a human system.  Use of Cancer Center Shared Resources is encouraged. Proposals exclusively using human cell lines will not be accepted. 

Proposals requesting bridge funding for ongoing projects are not eligible. 

5.    Principal Investigator Eligibility

Principal Investigators and Co-Investigators must be tenure track faculty and UICC members.  Adjunct faculty, post-doctoral fellows, and academic professionals cannot serve as PIs but they can be named as investigators, collaborators, or key personnel. 

6.     Award Types and Amounts

Up to five one-year grants of $100,000 each will be awarded.  Requests for competitive renewals for another year of funding will compete as a new application.  For a competitive renewal to be considered, there must be both a compelling scientific rationale and a convincing argument that second year funding will lead to submission of a cancer focused grant application to NCI, NIH, ACS (national) or DOD. 

7.    Application

a.    Application cover form: Please download here and complete

b.    Abstract: A concise 250 word statement of the proposed research to include a description of research to be conducted and the rationale for the project.  Use language suitable for a multidisciplinary review panel. 

c.    Narrative: Up to 6 pages to include:

·         Specific aims – Specify what you intend to accomplish with the requested award

·         Background and significance – State precisely how the project relates to the cancer problem. 

·         Preliminary data – Include only if highly pertinent to the proposal. Preliminary data are not required.

·         Experimental design/methods – Describe how the research aims will be accomplished.  

·         Resources – Brief description of resources and other possible arrangements needed to conduct the proposed study. The expected contributions and responsibilities of each PI should be outlined.  Distinguish between resources already in place (including staff) and resources that must be added to advance the project.

·         Rationale for the collaboration – A one paragraph description of the scientific rationale for the collaborative effort and how the talents and/or efforts of the involved investigators are necessary and synergistic.

·         Plans for extramural funding – Describe your plans for obtaining peer-reviewed funding from the NCI, NIH, ACS (national) or DOD.  If known, specify related program announcements, institute, and program officer.  This section will be a major point of the review process.

d.    Budget

Submit an appropriate budget with justification of personnel, materials, supplies, equipment, animal and patient care costs, costs associated with human subjects, and other expenses necessary for the proposed project period.  An Excel spreadsheet or table is acceptable.  The budget cannot include tuition remission, indirect costs, or salary support for any investigator.  However, the planned time commitments of the investigators should be indicated.  Post Doc support and student stipends/fringes are eligible expenses. Limited travel for intercampus collaborations may be included.


e.    NIH Biosketches

Biosketches must include current and pending support for past five years for all key personnel. Specific aims of funded or pending support must be included. Areas of potential overlap with this proposal must be described.

f.     Letters of Support

Include relevant Department/Unit head(s) affirming their agreement to the needed protected time, space, and other resources necessary for all investigators to conduct the research. 

g.    Appendices

Letters describing pledged resources or other relevant material

8.    Selection Criteria

·         Scientific merit. (i) Scientific innovation; (ii)  Potential for advances, new discoveries, new translational research opportunities, or new technical developments; (iii)  Potential for future successful extramural competitive funding from the NCI, NIH, ACS (national) or DOD. 

·         Quality of collaboration. Rationale for collaboration, including synergy of expertise and value to proposed lines of investigation.

·         Cancer focus. The work must have a clear cancer focus.  Consideration will be given to the project’s potential for enhancing the research and translational base of the four Cancer Center Research Programs.

·         PI qualifications.  The PI qualifications, credentials, and past or potential productivity.

·         Appropriateness of Management Plans and Arrangements.  The adequacy of the organizational and administrative plans, the budget, and the mechanism to evaluate project progress.


9.    Funding and Compliance Requirements

Pilot funds will not be released without complete IRB approval or exemption, if such certification is required for the project.  Funded projects are required to submit semi-annual progress reports and a final report.  The six month report must also include financial expenditures.  Cost extensions will not be permitted.  Investigators who receive an award must acknowledge University of Illinois Cancer Center funding in all publications and presentations arising from the project.  Investigators will also be expected to actively participate in the Cancer Center’s research programs, including presenting a seminar on their funded project.


10.  Format of Application

·         Paper – White 8 ½ x 11 inch

·         Font – Standard Arial 12 point font.  No smaller than 10 point Arial font for legends and tables.

·         Spacing – Single-spaced text is acceptable; spaces between paragraphs are recommended. 

·         Margins – 0.5 inch or greater.

·         Page limitNarrative Summary cannot exceed 6 pages. 

·         Page numbersThe first few pages of the application consist of the Cover Form and the Abstract Form, and are already numbered.  These pages are not included in the 6 page Narrative Summary.  Subsequent pages must be numbered consecutively at the bottom center of the page (do not use page designations such as “9A” or “9B”).


11.  Questions

Please direct questions to Regina Schwind, Associate Director for Administration: 312-413-3728 or rschwind@uic.edu