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Funding Opportunities

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center regularly solicits applications for pilot funding to support basic, translational, clinical or collaborative cancer research. Pilot funds allow investigators to collect preliminary data to support an application for independent research support through extramural, peer-reviewed funding. Over the past five years, the Cancer Center awarded $4.1 million to fund 98 pilot projects. This investment led to the acquisition of more than $41 million in extramurally funded grants – a 985 percent return on investment.

Calls for proposals are distributed throughout the year by email, online, and in campus publications. Award amounts and submission deadlines vary. All pilot project awards are funded for one-year periods.

For more information, contact us at vicc.fundingopportunity@vumc.org

VICC Multi-Tier Developmental Research Funding

Complete an online application to apply for this funding

Submit Your Proposal

 

Complete this online application to apply for pilot funding

Funding Sources

Source Eligibility Funding Cycle Amount Principal Investigator
Multi-Tier Developmental Research Funding Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center members only Variable Three Tiers Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D.
American Cancer Society-Institutional Research Grants (ACS-IRG) Open to junior faculty in any school/department at Vanderbilt University Spring & Fall up to $30,000 David Cortez, Ph.D
Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center members only Variable up to $35,000  Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D.
Breast SPORE Tenured and tenure-track faculty at Vanderbilt or Meharry Medical College with membership in the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center Variable

up to $50,000

Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D.; Ingrid Mayer, M.D., M.S.C.I.
GI SPORE DRP Tenured and tenure-track faculty at Vanderbilt, Meharry Medical College or Tennessee State University with membership in the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center Variable up to $50,000 Robert Coffey, M.D.
GI SPORE CEP The GI SPORE Career Enhancement Program solicits applications yearly from investigators at Vanderbilt, Meharry Medical College or Tennessee State University.  Variable up to $50,000 Robert Coffey, M.D.
Hematology Helping Hands Fund (HHHF) Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center members only Variable $10,000 to $20,000 Michael Savona, M.D.
VICC Ambassadors Junior faculty at Vanderbilt Fall $50,000 Scott Hiebert, Ph.D. 

 

American Cancer Society-Institutional Research Grants

The American Cancer Society (ACS)-Institutional Research Grant (IRG) is the major source of support at Vanderbilt University for young investigators building cancer research programs. These funds provide seed money to support junior faculty members with an interest in cancer research who do not have national grant support of their own or who have not received prior support from the IRG. The ACS defines junior faculty as investigators at the rank of assistant professor or equivalent who are eligible to apply as a principal investigator for grant support from national agencies. Eligible investigators must be within six years of their first independent faculty appointment. Awards are made for a one-year project period and the maximum allocation is limited to $30,000. If sufficient progress has been made toward the project goals, IRG support may be renewed for an additional year. Funds are available to all schools at Vanderbilt University.

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Cancer Center Support Grant Pilot Projects

Funding provided by the Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG) supports several types of pilot projects (1) highly innovative pilot projects focusing on proof-of-concept or translational research; (2) preliminary collaborative investigations that lead to multi-investigator grant awards or clinical trial; (3) projects that closely align with the Cancer Center's strategic plan and enhance key initiatives; and (4) pilot funding for junior investigators to jump-start independent projects or for more senior investigators looking to study a novel idea derived from discovery.

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SPORE Pilot Projects

The Breast SPORE Developmental Research Program provides pilot funding to promote excellent translational research in breast cancer. These funds allow early, high-risk research to move solid basic science findings toward clinical application, as well as the migration of provocative clinical observations back to the laboratory in order to understand their mechanistic basis. Main criteria for selection and funding of developmental (pilot) projects include scientific merit, relevance to mammary biology and/or breast cancer, collaboration and potential for extramural peer-reviewed funding. There also is an emphasis on utilization of emerging technologies and on young investigators.

Current Opportunity: Breast SPORE DRP and CEP

The GI SPORE Developmental Research Program solicits applications once a year in the spring from investigators at Vanderbilt, Meharry Medical College or Tennessee State University. Proposals are reviewed for scientific merit and the likelihood of leading to extramural funding. Special emphasis is placed on attracting young investigators into GI cancer research, high risk/high gain projects, and emerging technologies and their application to GI cancer research. Award amounts of up to $50,000 per project per year are available.

Current Opportunity:  GI SPORE Pilot Project Funding

The GI SPORE Career Enhancement Program solicits applications yearly from investigators at Vanderbilt, Meharry Medical College or Tennessee State University. Proposals are reviewed for scientific merit and the likelihood of leading to extramural funding. Special emphasis is placed on attracting young investigators into GI cancer research, high risk/high gain projects, and emerging technologies and their application to GI cancer research. Award amounts of up to $50,000 per project per year are available.

Current Opportunity:  GI SPORE Career Enhancement Program Funding

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Hematology Helping Hands Fund

The Hematology Helping Hands Fund was started in 2007 at the request of philanthropic donors to provide financial aid for patients undergoing stem cell transplant. The program has evolved over the last eight years and now allows for 25 percent of the funds to be used for research projects. RFAs are distributed to cancer center members. Applications are peer reviewed and awards in the range of $10,000 to $20,000 per awardee are granted. In addition, important pilot projects which are aligned with cancer center mission and felt to be at high yield for federal funding are supported.

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VICC Ambassadors

The VICC Ambassadors are the next generation of philanthropists committed to winning the battle against cancer by awarding Discovery Grants to promising young researchers at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Discovery Grants allow skilled researchers to pursue exciting discoveries in basic and clinical science—aiding our understanding of disease processes and leading to better methods of prevention, diagnosis and treatment. For Vanderbilt physicians and scientists this funding not only yields early results, it helps develop the ideas that grow to large federally funded projects aimed at transformative breakthroughs in care. Three grants of $50,000 each are awarded every fall.

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Other Funding Resources

Cancer Research Institute Technology Impact award
The Cancer Research Institute Technology Impact Award provides seed funding of up to $200,000 to be used over 12-24 months to address the gap between technology development and clinical application of cancer immunotherapies. These grants aim to encourage collaboration between technology developers and clinical cancer immunologists and to generate the proof-of-principle of a novel platform technology in bioinformatics, ex vivo or in silico modeling systems, immunological or tumor profiling instrumentation, methods, reagents and assays, or other relevant technologies that can enable clinician scientists to generate deeper insights into the mechanisms of action of effective or ineffective cancer immunotherapies.
Additional Details
November 15, 2021

NIH/NCI
Administrative Supplements to Participate in the NCI Early-stage Surgeon Scientist Program (ESSP) Contact nicholas.j.jenkins@vumc.org for further information
Additional Details
December 8, 2021

Conquer Cancer Research Professorship for Diversity and Inclusion in Breast Cancer
The Conquer Cancer – Breast Cancer Research Foundation Research Professorship for Diversity and Inclusion in Breast Cancer will provide flexible funding to outstanding researchers who have made, and are continuing to make, significant contributions in breast cancer research and will dedicate their time in training future breast cancer researchers.  This Professorship is designed with the primary goal of increasing diversity in the leadership of the oncology workforce and cancer research.  An award will be given to an established investigator who is a member of racial and/or ethnic groups traditionally excluded in academic medicine and breast cancer research. The investigator must hold the rank of full professor and is dedicated to mentoring the next generation of researchers.
Additional Details
December 14, 2022

Conquer Cancer Advanced Clinical Research Award (ACRA) for Diversity and Inclusion in Breast Cancer Research
The Conquer Cancer – Breast Cancer Research Foundation Advanced Clinical Research Award (ACRA) for Diversity and Inclusion in Breast Cancer Research is designed with the primary goal of increasing diversity in the oncology workforce and cancer research.  Awards will be given to mid-career investigators who are members of racial and/or ethnic groups traditionally excluded in academic medicine and biomedical research, and who wish to conduct original breast cancer research not currently funded.
Additional Details
December 14, 2023

Conquer Cancer Career Development Award (CDA) for Diversity and Inclusion in Breast Cancer Research
The Career Development Award (CDA) provides research funding to clinical investigators, who have received their initial faculty appointment, as they work to establish an independent clinical cancer research program. This is a mentored award and the research project is conducted under the guidance of a scientific mentor. The research must have a patient-oriented focus, including a clinical research study and/or translational research involving human subjects. Proposals with a predominant focus on in vitro or animal studies (even if clinically relevant) are not allowed. Applications in all areas of cancer research are accepted from U.S. and international applicants.
Additional Details
January 10, 2024

Conquer Cancer Young Investigator Award (YIA) for Diversity and Inclusion in Breast Cancer Research
The Young Investigator Award (YIA) provides funding to promising investigators to encourage and promote quality research in clinical oncology. The purpose of this grant is to fund physicians during the transition from a fellowship program to a faculty appointment. This is a mentored award and the research project is conducted under the guidance of a scientific mentor.  Applications in all areas of cancer research are accepted from U.S. and international applicants. 
Additional Details
January 10, 2025

Cancer Research Institute Technology Lloyd J. Old STAR Program
The CRI Lloyd J. Old STAR Program—Scientists Taking Risks—provides long-term funding to mid-career scientists, giving them the freedom and flexibility to pursue high-risk, high-reward research at the forefront of discovery and innovation in cancer immunotherapy.
Additional Details
January 15, 2022

Foundation for the National Institutes of Health
Call for Clinical Trials for the Partnership for Accelerating Cancer Therapies (PACT)
Additional Details
Rolling basis through January 31, 2022

National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Notice of Special Interest (NOSI): Dissemination and Implementation Science for Cancer Prevention and Control in Low Resource Environments
Additional Details
Through May 8, 2022

NIH/NCI Cancer Target Discovery and Development Network
The Cancer Target Discovery and Development (CTD2) Network, a functional genomics initiative, bridges the gap between cancer genomics and biology. The Network aims to understand how tumor heterogeneity leads to drug resistance in order to develop optimal combinations of chemotherapy or small molecules in combination with immunotherapy. 
Additional Details
Rolling basis through October 6, 2022

NIH/NCI Research Specialist (Clinician Scientist) Award
The Research Specialist Award is designed to encourage the development of stable research career opportunities for exceptional clinician scientists who want to continue to participate in the NCI clinical trials networks through leadership in the 1) development of national clinical trials, 2) implementation of NCI clinical trials in their institutions, and 3) national service to the NCI clinical trials networks through participation in the scientific review committees, monitoring committees and other activities, but not serve as principal investigators of research project grants. These clinician scientists are vital to sustaining the NCI-funded clinical trials enterprise. The Research Specialist Award is intended to provide salary support and sufficient autonomy so that individuals are not solely dependent on NCI grants held by others or other sources of support for cancer research career continuity.
Additional Details
Rolling basis through October 6, 2023

*The VUMC Corporate & Foundation Relations team is happy to assist with proposal development for the above opportunities. Contact cfr@vumc.org for more information.