Pilot Grant Awards

Funding Opportunity Number


Funding Opportunity Title


Key Dates

Events Cycle 1
Cycle 2

August 27, 2020

August 27, 2020
Schedule a FASTR meeting

October 1, 2020

February 11, 2021

October 15, 2020

February 26, 2021
Award Amount

Up to $25,000

Up to $25,000

Administrative Contact

John Fry ( johnfry@purdue.edu)

Funding Opportunity Description

The Executive Committee of the Purdue Center for Cancer Research (PCCR) would like to allocate funds to support innovative, cancer-related grants from either single investigators or, especially, collaborative teams.  Projects that utilize the Center for Cancer Research shared resources are also highly desired. Preliminary data are not required.  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 $25,000.

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 example areas, 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
  • Moving to murine or other translational model systems.
  • 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

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

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 e-mail and password.  


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.

Award Budget

The proposal will be funded at a level appropriate for the proposed work, but will not exceed $25,000.

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 or travel.  If justified, equipment less than $2,500 is allowed.

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 highly 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 four 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. Specific Aims (suggest no more than one page)
    3. Significance/Innovation and Cancer Relevance: This section should emphasize the novel, creative and/or innovative aspects, and importantly the cancer relevance.
    4. 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 and provide strong evidence for the scientific integration of the contributions from the various participants.
    5. Environment: Describe the shared resource(s) that will be used to add value to the science proposed in the application, if applicable
    6. 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. Four 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

Review Criteria

  1. The primary review criteria will be:
    1. Novelty / Innovative / Creativity
    2. Significance / Scientific Merit
    3. Cancer Relevance
    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, 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.

Yes, but the meeting can be held virtually to save time or as a precaution given the pandemic.  It would be good to have a specific aims or any draft prior to meeting.  This process allows the applicant to gain insight into the success of previous applications.  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: https://www.smartdraw.com/flowchart/flowchart-maker.htm 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-PIL-FY2021-01 Initiation of Announcement