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American Cancer Society-Institutional Research Grants

Description of the Program

Applications are being solicited for support by the American Cancer Society‐Institutional Research Grant (IRG). These funds are designed to provide seed money to support junior faculty members with an interest in cancer research who do not have external grant support. 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 (e.g., NIH, ACS, NSF). New ACS guidelines allow IRG support to be renewed if the review committee feels that sufficient progress has been made toward the project goals. Eligible investigators must be within six (6) years of their first independent faculty appointment.

Special Interests awards are available for faculty members with an interest in the psychosocial and behavioral aspects of cancer and are encouraged to apply.

Funds are available to faculty from all schools at Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Individual allocations are limited to a maximum of $30,000. The earliest possible start date for this funding cycle will be December 1, 2021 – November 30, 2022.

Deadline for applications is Monday, November 8, 2021 by 5:00 p.m.

Examples of Research Supported

Highlights over the past five years from research funded include: 1) discovery of a novel breast cancer meta-signature capable of predicting poor-prognosis risk in patients with breast cancer; 2) establishment of data sets to address racial disparities in the quality of care and improvement in access to patients with bladder cancer; 3) selection and evaluation of promising miRNAs for ovarian cancer risk prediction; 4) focused research on the validation of advanced magnetic resonance imaging techniques to identify early response biomarkers in pancreatic cancer patients; and 5) identifying metabolic syndrome risk of long-term survivors of pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia towards the development of preventive interventions. Of the 24 funded applications, 23 were made to tenure-track faculty, and onegrant was awarded to a research-track faculty who subsequently secured a tenure-track faculty position.

One of the best measures of success of a pilot project program is conversion of pilot projects to extramurally funded research grants. Over the past five years, the ACS has invested $660,000 into the Vanderbilt IRG to fund cancer-based pilot projects. This investment has led to acquisition of $15M of extramurally funded grants by recipients of ACS-IRG pilot projects. Thus, the ACS-IRG program has had an outstanding return on investment and has been instrumental in the establishing the independent careers of numerous scientists at Vanderbilt.

Current Opportunities

Applications are being solicited for support by the American Cancer Society-Institutional Research Grant (IRG). These funds are designed to provide seed money to support junior faculty members with an interest in cancer research who do not have external grant support. 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 (e.g. NIH, ACS, NSF). New ACS guidelines allow IRG support to be renewed if the review committee feels that sufficient progress has been made toward the project goals. Eligible investigators must be within six (6) years of their first independent faculty appointment. 

Special Interests awards are available for faculty members with an interest in the psychosocial and behavioral aspects of cancer and are encouraged to apply.

Funds are available to faculty from all schools at Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Individual allocations are limited to a maximum of $30,000.

Deadline for applications is Monday, November 8, 2021 by 5:00 p.m.

Application Form and Instructions

For further information, please contact Paul Spilburg (paul.spilburg@vumc.org).