Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center

DLDCC Pilot Project Grant

Applications should be submitted by 06:00 PM on Thursday, April 30, 2015.

The Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center is seeking proposals for six $50,000 one-year translational pilot projects to be awarded before June 30, 2015. Projects must have a clear translational endpoint. These pilot projects will be targeted to stimulate translational research in two areas:

  • Three pilots will be awarded for projects involving collaboration with members of the Cancer Evolvability (formerly VMO) Program
  • Three pilots will be awarded in translational research with a preference given on fostering collaborations with the Center for Drug Discovery

Proposal Application

All proposals will require project descriptions, limited to six pages not including references, to be written in the standard NIH grant format. The applications should include specific aims, significance, innovation, approach, as well as a few references, a budget and budget justification, and biographical sketch(s). All proposals will be evaluated by peer review and scored in a manner that simulates the NIH peer review process. Cancer Center leadership may direct some awards in a way that assures balanced distribution of projects across programmatic and thematic spectrums or supports strategic aims.

Format of the Application

Applications should be submitted online at this location


Instructions: This application is a modified version of the PHS 398 application. Please read and follow the instructions carefully. The application must be single-sided and single-spaced, staying within the margin limitations (at least 1/2”). The font must be Arial typeface and a font size of 11 points or larger.

Please submit the application in the following order:
  1. SUMMARY SHEET - This page is part of the online application.

  2. PROJECT DESCRIPTION Project description template

    State the application’s broad, long-term objectives and specific aims, making reference to the health relatedness of the project. Describe concisely the research design and methods for achieving these goals. Avoid summaries of past accomplishments and the use of the first person. This description is meant to serve as a succinct and accurate description of the proposed work when separated from the application. DO NOT EXCEED ONE PAGE FOR PROJECT DESCRIPTION.

  3. RESEARCH PLAN (maximum 6 pages)

    The research plan should include sufficient information needed for evaluation of the project, independent of any other document. Be specific and informative, and avoid redundancies.

    All applications must include an Introduction.

    Organize Items a-d, to answer these questions:
    1. What do you intend to do?
    2. Why is the work important?
    3. What has already been done?
    4. How are you going to do the work?
    1. Specific Aims - State concisely the goals of the proposed research and summarize the expected outcome(s), including the impact that the results of the proposed research will exert on the research field(s) involved.
      List succinctly the specific objectives of the research proposed, e.g., to test a stated hypothesis, create a novel design, solve a specific problem, challenge an existing paradigm or clinical practice, address a critical barrier to progress in the field, or develop new technology.
    2. Significance -Explain the importance of the problem or critical barrier to progress in the field that the proposed project addresses.
      Explain how the proposed project will improve scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice in one or more broad fields.
      Describe how the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field will be changed if the proposed aims are achieved.
    3. Innovation - Explain how the application challenges and seeks to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms.
      Describe any novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation or intervention(s) to be developed or used, and any advantage over existing methodologies, instrumentation or intervention(s).
      Explain any refinements, improvements, or new applications of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation or interventions.
    4. Approach - Describe the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses to be used to accomplish the specific aims of the project. Unless addressed separately in Item 5.5.15, include how the data will be collected, analyzed, and interpreted as well as any resource sharing plans as appropriate.
      Discuss potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success anticipated to achieve the aims.
      If the project is in the early stages of development, describe any strategy to establish feasibility, and address the management of any high risk aspects of the proposed work.
      Point out any procedures, situations, or materials that may be hazardous to personnel and precautions to be exercised.
    5. Bibliography and References Cited - Provide a bibliography of any references cited in the Research Plan. Each reference must include names of all authors (in the same sequence in which they appear in the publication), the article and journal title, book title, volume number, page numbers, and year of publication. Include only bibliographic citations. Follow scholarly practices in providing citations for source materials relied upon in preparing any section of the application.
      The references should be limited to relevant and current literature. While there is not a page limitation, it is important to be concise and to select only those literature references pertinent to the proposed research. (References are not included in six page limit)

  4. ƒ BUDGET Budget template

    Provide a detailed budget with complete justification for each item. Funds are to be used primarily for supplies and technical support. P.I. salary and major equipment are not allowed. Proposals cannot exceed $50,000 in total costs. No indirect costs will be required.

  5. ƒƒ BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH (4-page biosketch is acceptable. However, new 5 page biosketch format is highly encouraged) Sample Biosketch, Biosketch MS Word format.

    Provide a biographical sketch of the principal investigator and collaborator(s), including the following information:

    1. Personal statement
      Briefly describe why you are well-suited for your role in the project described in this application. The relevant factors may include aspects of your training; your previous experimental work on this specific topic or related topics; your technical expertise; your collaborators or scientific environment; and your past performance in this or related fields (you may mention specific contributions to science that are not included in Section Also, you may identify up to four peer reviewed publications that specifically highlight your experience and qualifications for this project. If you wish to explain impediments to your past productivity, you may include a description of factors such as family care responsibilities, illness, disability, and active duty military service.
    2. Positions and Honors
      List in chronological order previous positions, concluding with the present position. List any honors. Include present membership on any Federal Government public advisory committee.
    3. Contribution to Science
      Briefly describe up to five of your most significant contributions to science. For each contribution, indicate the historical background that frames the scientific problem; the central finding(s); the influence of the finding(s) on the progress of science or the application of those finding(s) to health or technology; and your specific role in the described work. For each of these contributions, reference up to four peer-reviewed publications or other non-publication research products (can include audio or video products; patents; data and research materials; databases; educational aids or curricula; instruments or equipment; models; protocols; and software or netware) that are relevant to the described contribution. The description of each contribution should be no longer than one half page including figures and citations. Also provide a URL to a full list of your published work as found in a publicly available digital database such as SciENcv or My Bibliography, which are maintained by the US National Library of Medicine.
    4. Research Support
      List both selected ongoing and completed research projects for the past three years (Federal or non-Federally-supported). Begin with the projects that are most relevant to the research proposed in the application. Briefly indicate the overall goals of the projects and responsibilities of the key person identified on the Biographical Sketch. Do not include number of person months or direct costs.
  6. ASSURANCES AND COMPLIANCE

    Neither pending nor approved protocols are required with this application. However, if funded, researchers must obtain institutional approval for proposals involving human subjects, animals, radioisotopes, or biohazardous materials.

Printable Format of Application

Please use your BCM ECA credentials to login to submit the application. Enter your BCM user id as BCM\your_username.
For general questions, contact Ted Yank, in the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center Administrative Office at 713-798-9045 or Shari Yepez, in the Dan L. Duncan Cancer Center Administrative Office at 713-798-2087.

For problems/questions regarding this web site, please contact ICTR/RRO Research Informatics