Extended Special Call: Cancer Health Disparities Pilot Grants

The Carolina Community Network to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CCN)encourages new investigators to apply for small-scale pilot research grants to address breast, prostate or colorectal cancer health disparities. The deadline for submission is February 6, 2009.

The Carolina Community Network to Reduce Cancer Health Disparities (CCN) encourages new investigators to apply for small-scale pilot research grants to address breast, prostate or colorectal cancer health disparities. Pilot grants should be completed within 10-12 months and have the potential to lead to a larger federally or foundation funded award application. We are particularly interested in projects that work to forge partnerships
with community-based organizations.


1. The Principal Investigators (PI) must be an early stage investigator (ESI) or a new investigator* as defined
by the National Institutes of Health and on faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

*Special Note: Please visit http://grants.nih.gov/grants/guide/notice-files/NOT-OD-09-013.html for the definition of new investigators

2. Research must be based in North Carolina, preferably in one or more of the counties involved in the CCN: Alamance, Caswell, Chatham, Edgecombe, Guilford, Halifax, Montgomery, Nash, Northampton, Orange, Randolph, Rockingham, and Wilson.

3. For mentored projects, the mentor can be from either the same institution or another institution. The mentor should be someone who will provide guidance and relevant scientific expertise throughout the pilot project period. PIs are required to submit with their application a letter of support from their faculty mentor and their mentor’s NIH biosketch.

4. The proposed project must focus on breast, prostate, or colorectal cancer disparities in the adult population. In doing so, CCN resources will be available to the PI. For more information on the CCN, visit http://www.carolinacommunitynetwork.org

Budget Guidelines:

We anticipate awarding 2 pilot grants with a maximum budget of $20,000. All projects must be completed within twelve months. This time frame includes a lead-time of 2 months to receive IRB approval and 10 months for project implementation. We expect all funded projects to receive IRB approval within 2 months of the award date. Projects that are unable to establish IRB approval within the stated time period shall run the risk of having the funding decision retracted, and a re-application to the pilot program will be required.

Award funds may be used for data collection, mailing of surveys, analyses of any type, research staff support, or for other resources necessary to complete the project. Funding can be used to support the work of the partnering community-based organization and should be reflected in the submitted budget. However, award funds may not be used to pay for university overhead, clinical patient care, computer hardware, food, or investigator travel to conferences or meetings. In addition, funds may not be used for salary support of UNC Chapel Hill faculty.

Important Dates:

Full proposal deadline: February 06, 2009 by 5:00 p.m.
One electronic copy of the completed, ten-page proposal will be due by 5:00 p.m. on February 06, 2009. Your proposal must conform to the CCN proposal template. This template will be available for download from the CCN website (http://www.carolinacommunitynetwork.org).
Notification of award: end of February 2009
Anticipated start date: mid-March 2009
Anticipated end date: April 30, 2010

Guidelines for Proposal

The proposal should include the components listed below and should not exceed 10 double-spaced pages (minimum of 1 inch margins; font at least 11-point):

Title Page (not included in 10 page limit):

  • Project Title
  • Name, professional title, department, address, work telephone number(s), e-mail address and fax number
  • Abstract
  • Signature and contact information of Research Official and Department Chairperson

Research Plan (maximum of 10 double-spaced pages)

  • Specific Aims and Rationale; clearly state how the proposed study addresses racial/ethnic cancer health disparities (1 page)
  • Background and Significance (about 1.5 - 2 pages)
  • Research Design and Methods (detailed analysis plan) including (5-6 pages):
    • Study population
    • Collaboration potential with community-based organizations
    • Data collection & measurement
    • Analysis plan
  • Summary, including (1 –2 pages):
    • Strengths and limitations
    • Significance
    • Relevance to health disparities

In addition to the contents of the 10 pages outlined above, applicants are to provide within the proposal template:

  • A list of references cited in the proposal;
  • Letter of Support from Department chairperson
  • Proposed project timeline
  • Human subjects section (about 1-2 paragraphs); Although, IRB approval is not required prior to
    submission, briefly describe human subjects issues.
  • Appendices, ONLY if necessary;
  • Budget and budget justification
  • Two-page NIH biosketch;
  • Faculty-Mentor’s biosketch and letter of support, if required; and
  • Additional letters of support, if necessary.

*NOTE: Please include all of the above items (including appendices, references, budget, budget justification, CV and faculty-mentor biosketch) within the application template as one document. Items such as letters of support and the cover page will need to be scanned and copied to the template as well.

For questions regarding this pilot RFA, Please contact Randall Teal at rteal@schsr.unc.edu or (919) 966-7129.

Review Criteria:

Applications will be evaluated based on scientific merit. It is the researcher’s responsibility to present the proposal in a clear and logical fashion, to make a convincing case for the significance of the work and to present sufficient detail about the research plans so that an adequate evaluation of the proposal can be made.

Included in the consideration of merit are:
1) relevance of the proposed study to racial/ethnic cancer health disparities (breast, prostate, colorectal);
2) significance of the work;
3) soundness of the proposed methods;
4) ability to partner with a community-based organization
5) feasibility of accomplishing the stated goals of the project within 12-16 months study period;
6) potential for contributing to or fostering further research in the area;
7) potential for leading to additional external funding; and
8) PI status as a new investigator

Funded Investigator Responsibilities:
The UNC Program on Ethnicity, Culture, and Health Outcomes will manage the review and administration of all pilot grant applications. Pilot award recipients will be required to (a) obtain IRB approval prior to the conduct of the research and file a copy of that approval in the ECHO office, (b) conduct the research as proposed and further directed by the reviewers’ comments, (c) manage their project budget and expend the grant funds in accordance with budget guidelines, (d) submit a progress report and a final pilot evaluative survey (e) acknowledge the source of pilot grant funding on all related manuscripts and presentations (information will be provided), and (f) be willing to present funded research at a CCN or ECHO-sponsored event. Potential grant recipients are also encouraged to participate in the monthly Health Disparities Seminar Series held at the Cecil G. Sheps Center. The progress report will be due midway through the project and a final report in the form of a survey is due on or within 30 days after the project period ends. This survey collects valuable data (e.g. number of publications and/or grants based on pilot data) on the benefits of pilot funding in the development of
new investigators in the area of cancer disparities.

Applications are due electronically before 5:00 p.m. on February 06, 2009 to Randall Teal at

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