Pilot Projects

Community Outreach and Engagement

IU Simon Cancer Center is inviting proposals for pilot/feasibility research projects focused on how comorbidities (obesity, osteoporosis, diabetes, hypertension, cardiomyopathy or chronic respiratory disease) or behaviors (tobacco use, diet and exercise) affect cancer risk, diagnosis and treatment and survivorship.  Special consideration is given to the cancers with the highest incidence and morbidities in our catchment area (lung, GI, breast and cervical) with the ultimate goal of eliminating cancer’s burden in Indiana and beyond. 

The duration of this pilot funding is one year, and the budget should not exceed $50,000.  The principal investigator must be an Associate or Full member of the IU Simon Cancer Center.  Priority is given to proposals that span research programs or include patient advocates as part of the research team.

Funding will be allocated from the IUSCC using the ITRAC mechanism/process and will be allocated based on need.  We are particularly interested in, and priority will be given to, applications from investigators who, with this additional support, are likely to obtain extramural peer-reviewed funding.  Applicants may have received prior or current extramural research funding, but the proposed project should clearly be separate from previous/current funded projects. 

Applicants must submit a one-page letter of intent (LOI) briefly describing the proposed project, including the study aims and hypotheses/research questions and how the project links a cancer issue in the community with a comorbidity or risk factor.  Upon evaluation of the LOIs, selected applicants will be asked to submit a full application.

Those chosen to submit a full application must schedule a project mapping session, to be completed prior to the full application submission. Please contact Crystal Munson (crybanks@iupui.edu) or Kaitlin Condron (kcondron@iu.edu) to schedule this.  

Final application formatting: The body of the proposal should not exceed three pages plus one page for Aims (total of 4 pages or less).  Applications must follow NIH guidelines and formatting. The detailed budget will be included on the strategy map (to be completed with Crystal or Kaitlin) and can include personnel, supplies and equipment.  Proposals cannot support salary effort for the Principal Investigator. 

Proposals are to be submitted in PDF format, and must include the following:

  1. Abstract (NIH format; 30 lines)
  2. Aims  (1 page)
  3. Significance 
  4. Innovation
  5. Methods/Approach (abbreviated as this information will be included on the strategy map)
  6. Future Directions
  7. ITRAC Map (to be completed by Crystal or Kaitlin with the project team)
  8. NIH biosketch of PI(s) and Co-Is

Note:  References, abstract, project map and biosketches are not included in the four page limit

The Significance, Innovation, Methods, and Future Directions sections should not exceed three pages, and should follow NIH guidelines and formatting. The Specific Aims page can be up to one page. The Abstract should be standard NIH format length (30 lines).

An expert review committee will review all proposals. Previous pilot funding received by the PI and results of that pilot funding will be taken into consideration during the review process.  Final funding decisions will be made based on the review evaluations and rankings.

Review Criteria are:   

  1. Cancer relevance and addressing needs of the catchment area
  2. Importance of the cancer in our catchment area
  3. Scientific merit
  4. Potential for sustaining intra- and inter- disciplinary collaboration
  5. Potential for subsequent R01 or equivalent level external funding
  6. Success of prior IUSCC-funded pilot projects lead by the PI*

*Note: if you have received previous pilot funding, your outcomes from that funding will be evaluated and considered in this review.  It is expected that all pilot funding will lead to submission of externally reviewed research grants.

Due Dates: LOIs must be submitted in PDF format to Crystal Munson (crybanks@iupui.edu) and are accepted year round with full proposal reviews done on an Ad Hoc basis.