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Funding Opportunities

Abramson Cancer Center Pilot Grant Program 2021: Request for Applications

The Abramson Cancer Center (ACC) is soliciting proposals for pilot studies that address important questions in cancer research, across all areas of basic, translational, clinical and population sciences. We expect to fund between 5 and 7 projects.

Application Due Date

April 1, 2021

Project Start and End Dates*

July 1, 2021 – June 30, 2022
*caveat for Early Phase studies, which can be for two years

PI Eligibility

PI(s) must be full faculty members at Penn/CHOP; Instructors and Adjunct faculty are not eligible to be PI

Priority of Proposals

Priority will be given to proposals that:

  1. Are Multi-PI, with at least one PI being a full member of the ACC (best if both were full members)
  2. Generate data that either will lead to an NIH grant application or provide missing data for a peer-reviewed journal article (please specify in the application)
  3. Have well justified plans to spend out the funds by June 30, 2022
  4. Consider cancer burdens in the ACC catchment area – Philadelphia and the 11 surrounding counties. For further information about the cancer burdens in our catchment area – please see the ACC Catchment Report (available via Penn Key authentication), the Philadelphia Cancer Report (statistics released in 2020), and the ACE catchment area explorer (through UPHS servers -

Format for Applications

  1. Arial 11 font, ½ inch margins
  2. NIH Biosketches for each PI
  3. Abstract (200 words)
  4. Two-page research plan that contains Specific Aims, Significance/Background, and Research Design with methods including statistical power and analysis and all figures
  5. Statement that indicates how this proposal will lead to future grant funding or provide missing data for a peer-reviewed publication
  6. References are not counted towards page limits
  7. NIH template standard budget and justification for Direct Costs only
  8. Applicants must combine all documents into one single PDF file for upload

Scientific Priority Areas

  1. Early phase clinical trials (budgets up to 150K over two years) for:
    1. full or partial support investigator-initiated trials (IIT);
    2. biomarker assessment and correlative studies on IITs or industry trials led by Penn investigators
      ~Provide protocol with the application, IRB approval is expected within four months of funding
  2. Pilot projects (budgets up to 50K) in:
    1. basic science (new collaborations, new discoveries);
    2. environmental cancer risk within the ACC catchment area (either testing methods to reduce exposures or communicating exposures to stakeholders);
    3. health disparity and equity;
    4. investigator-initiated innovative research (novel, creative, and/or high risk);
    5. liver cancer, which is a high burden cancer in our catchment area (therapy, screening, prevention, outcomes);
    6. translational research (IND enabling, sample assays, biomarkers, FIH trial, microbiome, germline studies)

Submission Instructions

Applications must be submitted through the ACC grant proposal portal ( All PIs and MPIs must create an account in order for the system to recognize and register your names. Administrative questions should be addressed to Cecilia Scavelli ( Questions about biostatistical support for projects should be addressed to Dr. Qi Long, Director of the Biostatistics and Bioinformatics Core (

The ACC CCSG must be acknowledged on all publications resulting from the supported research with the following sentence: "This work was supported by the Abramson Cancer Center Support Grant from the NCI, P30 CA016520."

Carryover for these projects will be considered on a case by case basis, extremely limited and end in entirety by November 1, 2022. The awards cannot be used to support research that is already funded by an external agency. If funded, a progress report is required within 3 months of the end of the funding period and awardees must present their findings at an ACC Program meeting within 6 months of the end of the funding cycle.