Pilot Projects

Drug Discovery in Breast Cancer

A Request for Pilot Project Proposals Supporting Drug Discovery for Breast Cancer Treatment

The IU Simon Cancer Center and the Vera Bradley Foundation for Breast Cancer Research requests applications for pilot funding to support innovative research focused on drug discovery efforts for breast cancer treatment. All Cancer Center members may apply regardless of primary research focus. Investigators who would like to apply innovative tools or concepts in their area of expertise to enhance drug discovery for breast cancer are encouraged to apply. Proposals may span early drug development, including target identification, lead compound optimization, and IND-enabling studies. Development of new model systems for drug discovery and/or testing will also be considered. This mechanism may not be used to support clinical trials. Funding is scheduled to begin on June 1, 2020.

Funding will be allocated from the IUSCC using the ITRAC mechanism/process and will be allocated based on need, up to $50,000.  Two to three proposals are expected to receive funding. We are particularly interested in receiving applications from investigators who, with this additional support, are likely to obtain extramural peer-reviewed funding. Applicants must be IU Simon Cancer Center members (full or associate). Submitted projects must not currently be supported by external funds or other internal pilot funding sources. Proposals previously reviewed by a federal funding agency, scored favorably, and now under revision will be given additional consideration (a copy of the summary statement should be enclosed).  Additionally, preference will be given to proposals with the potential to lead to early-phase clinical trials or to multi-investigator external funding.

To schedule the project mapping, which must be completed prior to the application submission date, contact Crystal Munson (crybanks@iupui.edu).  For further details of ITRAC, contact Mark Kelley (mkelley@iupui.edu).  For this RFA specific questions, contact Harikrishna Nakshatri (hnakshat@iupui.edu) or Kathy Miller (kathmill@iu.edu). Mapping requests must be scheduled by:  March 30, 2020.

Final applications are due by April 13, 2020.  The body of the proposal should not exceed three pages and should include specific plan/timeline for peer review funding applications. Follow NIH guidelines and formatting. A budget should be included and address the usual categories of personnel, supplies, and equipment (which must be justified). Proposals should not include percent effort (salary) for the Principal Investigator.  An electronic copy in PDF format should be submitted and should include:

  1. Abstract (NIH format; 30 lines)
  2. Aims  (1 page)
  3. Significance 
  4. Innovation
  5. Approach
  6. Response to prior critique (1 page, if applicable)
  7. Budget justification
  8. NIH biosketch
  9. ITRAC Map

The Significance, Innovation, and Approach sections should not exceed three pages. Aims page can be up to one page. Abstract should be standard NIH format length (30 lines). 

An expert review committee comprising members of cancer center programs will review all proposals. Final funding decisions will be made based on the review evaluations and rankings.

Criteria for review are:   

  1. Scientific merit
  2. Likelihood of leading to peer review funding
  3. Priority will be given to proposals previously submitted for external funding that were scored but not funded. If applicable, please include critique and explain how the pilot funding will help you respond (one page response to critique + 3 page proposal body).
  4. Return on investment and productivity (external grants, publication) from previously funded pilot proposals

The timetable is:

Mapping request before or by: March 30, 2020
Completed application (must include completed map): April 13, 2020
Funding Start date: June 1, 2020

A complete application in PDF format should be sent to:

Elizabeth Parsons
Phone: 278-0078