Phase I Concept Awards

Funding Opportunity Number


Funding Opportunity Title


Key Dates

Events Cycle 1

November 1, 2019

Schedule a FASTR meeting

January 14, 2020


Febrauary 12, 2020

Award Amount

Up to $15,000

Administrative Contact

John Fry (

Funding Opportunity Description

The Executive Committee of the Purdue Center for Cancer Research (PCCR) would like to allocate funds to support innovative, Cancer-Related Idea grants from single investigators and especially collaborative teams.  For the collaborative teams, both Intra- and Inter-programmatic collaboration are highly encouraged. Projects that utilize the Center for Cancer Research shared resources are also highly desired. Funding for this opportunity is supported by generous donations by the Indiana Elks, gifts and other endowed funds to the Center for Cancer Research. The proposal will be funded at a level appropriate for the proposed work, but will not exceed $15,000.

Preliminary Data:  The existence and inclusion of extensive preliminary data in the proposal is an indication that the project is beyond the scope of this Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA).  However, if necessary, minimal preliminary data is allowed in support of the feasibility of the research approach.   Minimal preliminary data are defined as material which the applicant has independently produced and not yet published in a peer-reviewed journal. For example, unpublished data or data presented in an abstract for a scientific meeting, or used in an oral or poster presentation are acceptable. Such evidence, if provided, should only be used to bolster and help establish the foundational premise for the application. All preliminary data should be clearly marked and are limited to one-half page which may include one figure. Applications including data more than one-half page or more than one figure, will be considered noncompliant with the FOA instructions.

FASTR deadline: Meeting should be scheduled by the dates in the table above. Please contact Douglas Cuttell at to schedule a FASTR meeting.  A FAQ on the FASTR meeting requirements is near the end of this document.

All areas of cancer research relevant to the mission of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) are appropriate for projects submitted to this opportunity announcement. These are areas of particular interest, but are not meant to be exclusive:

  • Adapting existing models or toolsets toward cancer-related systems
  • Structure-based drug design and synthetic optimization: For example, structural biologists collaborating with synthetic chemists
  • Advancing compounds from cell culture efficacy through the ‘Valley of Death’
  • Cryo-EM structure elucidation of cancer relevant targets
  • Molecular targeting projects and immunotherapeutics
  • Creating or advancing new engineering and physical sciences platforms for cancer research. For example: new devices, sensing and imaging technologies etc.
  • Novel Computational and/or statistical projects including AI and Machine Learning
  • Collaborative projects in cancer prevention

CLICK HERE to submit your electronic application by 5 pm on the cycle due date. No exceptions. The electronic submission system will not allow applications beyond the deadline. Once here you can enter your Purdue credentials.  If somehow the password entry does not allow access, please click on "more choices."  Click "Use a different account" and enter "onepurdue\" in front of the user name and re-type your password.  If there are further login problems, please email the administrative contact listed above.


Applicants must be current members of the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research. Only one application per center member is allowed. No exceptions.

Cost share

This announcement does not require cost sharing.

Funds Available and Anticipated Number of Awards

The number of awards is contingent upon PCCR endowments, gifts and other funds and the submission of meritorious applications.  If we do not receive enough applications to conduct a competitive review, i.e. three or more applications, the PCCR reserves the right to re-advertise this request for proposals with a new submission date or defer to the next cycle.  Any applications received would be then be allowed to be revised and resubmitted or allowed to roll over into the new review.

Award Budget

The proposal will be funded at a level appropriate for the proposed work, but will not exceed $15,000 (budget page not included in two-page limit).  See restrictions.

Award Project Period

Work should commence within less than two (2) months of the date of award.  A project period of twelve (12) months or less is suggested.  The FASTR map will indicate your project period from your project design.

Award Restrictions

The budget cannot be used for PI salary support, clerical staff support, travel or equipment greater than $1000.

Award Requirements

Acceptance of an award will indicate your willingness to serve on the Center’s Pilot Grants Review Committee and to possibly represent the Center at the annual Indiana Elks Convention.  The awardee MUST acknowledge the PCCR. Suggested publication acknowledgement:

“The authors gratefully acknowledge the <insert shared resource name/funding mechanism> and support from the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research, P30CA023168”

No Cost Extension (NCE)

No cost extensions are discouraged.  An exception might be considered on a case-by-case basis. Requests must be made to the administration of the PCCR.


Please note the award is contingent upon obtaining all of the necessary regulatory approvals (e.g., IRB, IACUC, PACUC) or a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) pertaining to the work that has pending approvals.


Responding to periodic request of progress is required.  Triage of future applications may occur if reporting requests are ignored.

Proposal Guidelines

  1. Proposal Length: The proposal should be single-spaced and a maximum of three pages in length (Arial, 11pt) with no less than 0.5 inch margins.
  2. Required Proposal Structure:
    1. Title, Applicant(s) name, Applicant(s) program
    2. Brief Significance, Innovation and Specific Aims: This section should emphasize the novel, creative and/or innovative aspects and cancer relevance
    3. Approach: In addition to describing the scientific plan, the integration of collaborative science is important and the relevant expertise of the team. Describe the collaborative nature of the project (or plan for collaboration) and provide strong evidence for the scientific integration of the contributions from the various participants. Letters of collaborative support from your collaborator(s) are encouraged (not included in page limit).  See preliminary data description at the top of this document.
    4. Environment: Describe the shared resource(s) that will be used to add value to the science proposed in the application, if applicable
    5. Timeline and Specific Outcomes: Describe the expected outcomes and evidence that it will be ready to start within two (2) months.  Please describe or outline your plan and expected outcomes/results for collecting the preliminary data necessary for attracting peer-reviewed funding and publications; this is facilitated by the FASTR process.
  1. For the electronic submission, the items to upload should include:
    1. Three page proposal
    2. Cited literature (not included in page limit)
    3. Project Map (created via FASTR process)
    4. NIH Biosketch (including collaborators)
    5. Current and Pending Funding
    6. Letters of Support (if applicable)   

Review Criteria

  1. The primary review criteria will be:
    1. Novelty / Innovative / Creativity
    2. Significance / Scientific Merit / Cancer Relevance
    3. Feasibility
    4. Integration of Collaborative Science
    5. Potential to Attract Peer-Review Funding and Peer-Review Publications
  2. The appropriateness of the budget requested for supplies, where applicable.
  3. Productivity from previous internal awards will be assessed and weighted appropriately.
  4. Reviewers could consist of senior/program leaders, PCCR members or external experts.

Frequently Asked Questions

It is a proposal planning and organization process to help a PI with their grant and resulting communication to reviewers.

If the investigator is a junior investigator, new to any mechanism or has not submitted to a PCCR grant mechanism in the last three years, it is highly recommended to schedule a meeting prior to the due date.  It is suggested that the meeting should take place no less than one week from the due date.  There is a suggested “schedule by” deadline for faculty to arrange a meeting with Doug.

Maybe, see above.  Meeting prior to crafting the proposal and gaining insight into the success of previous applications is helpful.  In addition, Doug can provide a project map and feedback.

Yes.  Project mapping has shown that it enhances the visual connection to the planning process, aids proposal writing and is a valued medium of communication for the reviewers. 

No. Doug can draw one for you from a good draft of your proposal.

The main tool used is Microsoft Visio. It is a flow-charting software. There are alternatives like Smart Draw that is available in a downloadable version or online version. Doug will still be using Visio to draw. Using PowerPoint is not recommended, as it can be cumbersome to use for this purpose.

In order to make sure all the maps look visually the same, Doug will transform any hand drawn or other created map into Visio.  This harmonizes and also Doug can make suggestions to help you organize the map, where applicable.

Announcement History and Updates

Funding Opportunity Number Summary of Change
PCCR-CON-FY2020-01 Initiation of Announcement