Call for Proposals - American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant

​General Information:

The Harper Cancer Research Institute is pleased to announce the availability of funds for new pilot projects to assist new investigators who hold the rank of Assistant Professor (tenure track). These funds are from the American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant (ACS IRG). This grant provides support for beginning investigators to enable them to initiate their independent research program. Eligible investigators, as defined by the American Cancer Society, have not held or obtained a nationally competitive research grant (e.g., NIH, NSF, DOD, ACS). The purpose of the ACS IRG program is to attract new investigators from Notre Dame and IUSM-South Bend into cancer research and to provide support for new pilot studies that will produce preliminary data for the investigator to develop into studies that will compete successfully for external, national funds from both federal and private sources. Faculties from all disciplines, with any project relating to cancer research, are especially encouraged to apply.


Funding is available for up to two pilot projects, beginning May 15, 2017, in amounts up to $30,000 (see below for eligible expenses). Eligibility: Applications are invited from faculty with ranks of Assistant Professor (tenure track) at Notre Dame or IUSM-South Bend. Proposals MUST describe new pilot studies in cancer research. ACS Guidelines specify that applicants with prior funding from the ACS IRG or with significant funding from other sources are NOT eligible to apply (Applicants may have funding from foundation grants as long as the grant is not the result of a national peerreviewed competition and is for support of a different project). Applicants who have been awarded previous funding are encouraged to check their funding status with Robert Stahelin ( prior to the initiation of an application. Applicants that are not U.S. CITIZENS must submit proof of holding a visa that will allow the applicant to remain in the USA to complete the project.
Application Information and Guidelines:
  • All applications must present a clear plan for pursuing external funding based on the pilot project you submit to the ACS IRG.
  • The body of the proposal must not exceed 6 pages, using the document template, and follow standard NIH format with the below recommendations. Appendices may not be more than 4 pages. Proposals must follow formatting guidelines of fonts of Helvetica or Arial, font size 11 point or larger and 1/2 inch margins. Sections to cover in the body of the proposal (6 pages total):
    • Hypothesis and Aims.  
    • If this is a resubmission, one page is provided to address reviewers’ critiques.
    • Background and Rationale for Pilot Study
    • High Level Description of Research Design/Methods/Data Collection (Note: Make sure to include a description of 1) What preliminary data you feel are needed that would allow you to submit for external funding; and 2) Statistical plan/rationale).
    • Potential sources for external funding (NIH, NSF, DoD, ACS) and how this proposal will help leverage the work for external funding.
    • Therapeutic Indication/Target Population
  • Following the body of the grant:
    • References (not included in the 6 page limit).
    • Budget and Budget Justification (not included in 6 page limit).

Proposals, which exceed the page numbers or fail to follow the formatting guidelines, will be returned to the investigator without review

Post Award Requirements:

Successful applicants will be required to:

  • Provide six month and annual progress reports, including information on publications, grants, and intellectual property for a total of five years. 
  • Present their research at an interactive poster session during the Harper Cancer Research Day.
  • Participate in at least one service opportunity sponsored by the ACS during the year of funding.
  • Acknowledge receipt of ACS support in any presentation or publication of work funded by the ACS IRG Grant Mechanism. Criteria for Review: 1. Cancer relatedness. 2. Scientific merit. 3. Potential for subsequent peer reviewed funding.

Proposal Submission Timeline:

  • Completed Application Due: March 31, 2017 (5 p.m. EDT) •
  • Funding Start Date: May 15, 2017
An electronic copy of the completed submission in PDF format should be submitted to: Andy Bullock, Director of Operations, E-mail:
To acquire an application or for questions regarding proposal development and eligibility, please contact Rob Stahelin at