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Request for Applications: DF/HCC Nodal Awards

Nodal Award Program, 2008
Pilot Project Initiative to Support Interprogrammatic Research of DF/HCC Members

Award Amount:  $75,000 per year for two years ($150,000 total direct costs), with full indirect costs.

Deadline for submission: June 13, 2008

Anticipated award date: July 1, 2008



Deadline:    June 13, 2008
Submission requirements: An electronic (PDF) copy of application AND 12 hard copies of application (complete with figures)
Submit to:  Dr. Peter Howley
c/o Mabel Duyao, PhD (Email: mabel_duyao@hms.harvard.edu)
Department of Pathology
Harvard Medical School
77 Avenue Louis Pasteur, NRB-850
Boston, MA 02115

Contact regarding questions: Mabel Duyao
Tel. (617) 432-1145
 Email: mabel_duyao@hms.harvard.edu

A key goal of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center (DF/HCC) is to encourage and support the development of scientific collaborations among Center members that promote new translational cancer research as well as research that address issues relevant to the unequal burden of cancer and cancer outcomes in diverse populations. 

To advance this goal, the DF/HCC annually solicits proposals for Pilot Projects that are designed to enhance or create new “nodal point” interactions between disease-based and discipline-based DF/HCC Research Programs. These interactions provide an opportunity to link the research efforts based across Program, with a focus on projects that have the potential of significant human application. The Cancer Center has a particular interest in proposals that focus on eliminating cancer disparities.  Such inter-programmatic research efforts are the “nodal points” that are targeted for support by this award program. 

Nodal points are inter-programmatic research efforts that link DF/HCC discipline-based studies with disease-site specific research.  The Cancer Center is programmatically organized into distinct Research Programs, in accordance with NCI guidelines. Currently, there are 17 Research Programs that are fully established and have been approved by the NCI through the Cancer Center Support Grant process.  Ten other areas are in various stages of development, and as defined by NCI guidelines, are Programs-in-Development. 

DF/HCC Research Programs can be classified by two categories: disease-site programs, such as Prostate Cancer or Breast Cancer, or discipline-based programs, such as Cancer Genetics.  A current list of DF/HCC Programs and Programs-in-Development is available on the website at www.dfhcc.harvard.edu.

Only Cancer Center members are eligible to apply for a grant. 

Two awards will be awarded this year, one of which is specifically intended for a project addressing issues relevant to “Disparities in Cancer”. We encourage applications that include a partnership with UMB faculty, in support of the DF/HCC’s U56 cancer center-minority serving institution partnership grant.

Each award is for $75,000 per year for two years ($150,000 total in direct costs). 

Proposals will be reviewed by a DF/HCC peer-review committee, which has representation from all DF/HCC member institutions.  Projects to be of greatest scientific merit and have greatest potential for fostering nodal inter-programmatic research or enhancing research in the area of “Disparities in Cancer” will be ranked and submitted to the full Executive Committee for final approval for funding. 

Grants will be awarded on the basis of the following review criteria (with this order of importance):

1. SCIENTIFIC EXCELLENCE and MERIT.  We invite project proposals that are innovative in terms of cancer knowledge, prevention, and/or care.  Proposals need not have extensive preliminary data.  For the disparities award, proposals must address a critical issue in “disparities in cancer.”

2. TRANSLATION.  Projects that have the opportunity to stimulate direct application to cancer treatment or prevention are encouraged.

3. INTER-INSTITUTIONAL LINKS.  Proposals that stimulate inter-institutional research will be favored in decisions between equally ranked applications. 

1.  Projects must be submitted as collaboration between two or more DF/HCC members who are members in good standing in the programs the project interaction proposes. 
2.  Proposals must involve the creation of new inter-programmatic “nodal point” interactions or the enhancement of pre-existing interactions between discipline- and disease-based Programs within the Center (these can be Programs-in-Development).
3.  Proposals must fulfill the page and content requirements listed above.  Please send an electronic (PDF) copy AND twelve (12) hard copies of application by 4:30pm June 13, 2008.

Required items (4):
• “New Nodal Award” Coversheet: (available below) or from mabel_duyao@hms.harvard.edu) listing title of proposal, PI, PI’s DF/HCC Program (or Program-in-Development) affiliation, the interprogrammatic nodal collaboration proposed (i.e., the disease- and discipline-based programs to interact on the proposal), indication that this is a disparities-focused project (if appropriate), and the name and DF/HCC programmatic affiliation of each collaborator (some of whom should be active in both interacting Programs or Programs-in-Development listed).  A complete listing of programs and current listing of program members is available on the DF/HCC website.

• Proposal: Maximum of 5 pages of text.  Figures and references are allowable in addition to this page limit.  No other appendix material will be accepted.

• Biosketches: Current NIH Biosketch for each participating PI, including all funding sources.

• Budget Request: Budget estimates should be submitted as NIH 398 form with major divisions of funds (personnel, equipment, supplies, other, etc.; but no itemization or rationale needed).  Funds can be utilized for anything EXCEPT for PI salaries (can be used for Fellow/staff salary).

The anticipated award date is July 1, 2008.  Projects must be ready to commence immediately after receipt of award.  Year one of funding is July 1, 2008 to June 30, 2009.
Progress reports are required after the first year of the project. The PI may be asked to present results to the DF/HCC Executive Committee. 

Funding for the second year (commencing July 1, 2009) is contingent upon first-year progress. 

A final report and informal spending summary is due at the end of the two-year project period.  Should the PI leave the seven institutions of the DF/HCC, the remainder of the award will be forfeited (i.e. may not be transferred to a non-DF/HCC institution).