Cincinnati Cancer Center Pilot Grant Program

Application Deadline: March 20, 2017 (11:59 PM, EST)

Letter of Intent Due: February 20, 2017 (11:59 PM, EST)

The Cincinnati Cancer Center (CCC) Pilot Grant Program (PGP) is offering a pilot award to facilitate the development of NIH Program Project (P01) grant applications in cancer research:

Funding Opportunity Purpose:

The CCC invites applications for pilot funding for the development of NIH/NCI investigator-initiated Program Project (P01) Grants. Proposed program projects may address any of the broad areas of cancer research, including (but not limited to) cancer biology, cancer prevention, cancer diagnosis, cancer treatment, and cancer control. Basic, translational, clinical, and/or population-based studies in all of these research areas are appropriate. Each PGP application must consist of at least three projects. The projects must share a common central theme, focus, and/or overall objective.

Funding Opportunity Goals:

  • Encourage meritorious multidisciplinary cancer research and collaborative interactions between basic, population-based, and clinical investigators.
  • Encourage program integration.
  • Establish innovative and novel approaches in cancer research.
  • Facilitate the translation of laboratory findings into clinical interventions that will ultimately lead to cutting edge cancer treatments.

Proposals should focus on key thematic areas within the CCC Research Program.

Award budget:

Up to $80,000

Award Project Period:

Pilot funds will be awarded for a period of one year with the possibility of additional funding for a set period contingent upon adequate progress and availability of funds. A nine month progress report is required following initiation of funds, and will be a criteria for consideration of additional funding and developmental support of the application as an NIH Project Program (P01) grant.


Proposals can focus on a single research theme or link multiple thematic areas within the CCC Research Program. There must be at least three (3) CCC Members participating as Co-Principal Investigators (Co-PIs) with different but complementary expertise in different disciplines. Collaboration across eligible organizations (UC, CCHMC, or UC Health) is strongly encouraged, and joint publications, grants or shared personnel will be viewed favorably. Additional Co-Investigators are optional. The role of each Co-PI and Co-Investigator should be clearly defined.

  • Research proposals must be related to cancer research, and must focus on at least one of the CCC’s thematic areas.
  • Proposals must demonstrate a sustainable infrastructure to implement the project.
  • Projects should be collaborative and have a strong scientific basis for development into a future NIH Program Project (P01) grant application within 18 months of award of PGP funds.
  • Projects must not overlap with other active internal or externally funded grants or contracts.
  • If parts of the project are under active consideration for funding by other sources, and funding is realized, any unused portion of the pilot grant funds must be returned to CCC.
  • Funding may not be used for PI salaries, purchase of capital equipment or for administrative services.
  • Funding will only be made available on presentation of documentation of IRB and/or IACUC protocol approval, where appropriate.
  • All presentations and publications resulting from the PGP should acknowledge affiliation with and support provided by CCC.
  • All investigators who receive funding will be expected to provide information regarding outcomes (such as manuscripts, presentations and grants) for the next three years. This constitutes part of the annual evaluation process for continued membership and success of the CCC programs.


The CCC Pilot Grant Program is open to all CCC Members. Co-PIs must be CCC Members. All UC, CCHMC, and UC Health faculty are eligible to apply for CCC membership.

Review of Proposals:

A two-tier review process will be used.
Tier 1: Merit Review – Proposals will be reviewed and scored by a review panel of experienced cancer researchers for scientific significance and feasibility, with the goal of developing the grant for additional extramural funding support.
Tier 2: Programmatic Review – The CCC Director and Program Leaders will use the peer-reviewed recommendations made by the review panel to make the final funding decisions. The programmatic review will evaluate the innovative aspect of the proposal, the potential to establish novel approaches within the CCC’s research programs and focus areas, and the potential for clinical/human health translation. Efforts towards enhancing inter-institutional collaborations, building CCC research portfolio, and/or promotion of the next generation of CCC scientists will be viewed favorably.

Letter of Intent:

By February 20, 2017 (11:59 PM, EST), prospective applicants are required to submit a letter of intent that includes 1) a descriptive title of the proposed research, 2) the names, email addresses, and institutions of the Principal Investigators (minimum of three), and 3) the biosketches of each Principal Investigator. Letters of intent should be sent to Dr. Shuk-Mei Ho, PhD, Director, Cincinnati Cancer Center, e-mail:

Although letters of intent are not binding, and do not enter into the review of a subsequent application, the information that it contains allows estimation of the potential review workload and plan of the review. Interested applicants will be invited to meet with an expert NIH P01 Reviewer, on March 9, 2017, to discuss the roadmap for a successful P01 application.

Continue to the CCC Pilot Grant Program Application Instructions…

For more information or questions about the CCC Pilot Grant Program, please contact:
Dr. Shuk-Mei Ho, PhD, Director, Cincinnati Cancer Center, e-mail: