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DOD Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program funding opportunity for FY21

Defense Health Program
Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program
Anticipated Funding Opportunities for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21)

The FY21 Defense Appropriations Act provides funding to the Department of Defense Peer Reviewed Cancer Research Program (PRCRP) to support innovative, high-impact cancer research.  As directed by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, the Defense Health Agency J9, Research and Development Directorate manages the Defense Health Program (DHP) Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) appropriation.  The managing agent for the anticipated Program Announcements/Funding Opportunities is the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Development Command (USAMRDC).

The FY21 PRCRP Program Announcements and General Application Instructions for the following award mechanisms are posted on the Grants.gov website.

Congressionally Directed Topic Areas:  The PRCRP appropriation of $115,000,000 will provide funds for research into cancers not addressed in the breast, pancreatic, prostate, ovarian, kidney, lung, melanoma, and rare cancer research programs.  To be considered for funding, applications for the FY21 PRCRP must address at least one of the FY21 Topic Areas as directed by Congress.  Research applications in the areas of breast, kidney, lung, prostate, pancreatic, rare cancer, ovarian cancer, or melanoma are prohibited and will not be accepted.  The inclusion of the individual rare cancer research program shall not prohibit the PRCRP from funding the below-mentioned cancers or cancer subtypes that may be rare by definition.

The FY21 PRCRP Topic Areas are:

  • Bladder cancer
  • Blood cancers
  • Brain cancer
  • Cancers associated with the use of beryllium\
  • Colorectal cancer
  • Endometrial cancer
  • Esophageal cancer
  • Germ cell cancers
  • Head and neck cancers
  • Liver cancer
  • Lymphoma
  • Mesothelioma
  • Metastatic cancer§
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Pediatric, adolescent, and young adult cancers (PAYAC)*
  • Pediatric brain tumors
  • Sarcoma
  • Stomach cancer
  • Thyroid cancer
  • The link between scleroderma and cancer

\For “cancers associated with the use of beryllium” proposed research must follow Congressional prohibitions in that studies involving breast, pancreatic, prostate, ovarian, kidney, lung, melanoma, and rare cancers are not permitted to be funded under PRCRP. Cancers associated with beryllium must target mechanistically the process of cancer risk, initiation, and be agnostic to the cancer type.

§Metastatic cancer is cancer that has spread from its original location to another place in the body, representing what is known as stage III and stage IV cancer diagnoses.  While recent research has revealed that there is a genetic basis for susceptibility or resistance to metastasis, more research is needed to develop a comprehensive understanding of this complex process.

*National Cancer Institute (NCI) definition of adolescents and young adults (https://www.cancer.gov/types/aya) is people between 15-39 years of age. Cancers studied under this Topic Area should be within the scope of the Congressional language and the intent of the Program Announcement(s). Research should be targeted toward children (ages 0-14 years), adolescents (ages 15-24 years), and/or young adults (ages 25-39 years).

The FY21 PRCRP Military Health Focus Areas are listed below:

It is central to the vision and mission of the PRCRP that applications address how the proposed research is related to military health, mission readiness, and the cancer health needs of both deployed and non-deployed military personnel, their dependents, Veterans, and other military beneficiaries (i.e., family members of retirees).  The FY21 PRCRP requires all applications to answer at least one of the following Military Health Focus Areas:

  • Environmental/exposure risk factors associated with cancer
  • Mission Readiness
    • Gaps in cancer prevention, early detection/diagnosis, prognosis, and/or treatment that may affect the general population but have a particularly profound impact on the health and well-being of military Service members, Veterans, and their beneficiaries.
    • Gaps in quality of life and/or survivorship that may affect the general population but have a particularly profound impact on the health and well-being of military Service members, Veterans, and their beneficiaries.

FY21 PRCRP Overarching Challenges

The PRCRP has developed a strategy to address multiple issues in cancer research over the spectrum of different cancer topics considered for funding.  These Overarching Challenges are critical gaps in cancer research, care, and/or patient outcomes that, if addressed, will advance mission readiness of U.S. military members affected by cancer and will improve quality of life by decreasing the burden of cancer on Service members, their families, Veterans, and the American public.  To reference the PRCRP Overarching Challenges: https://cdmrp.army.mil/prcrp.

https://cdmrp.army.mil/funding/prcrp

Behavioral Health Science Award  – Letter of Intent due July 29, 2021

Independent investigator with a faculty-level appointment (or equivalent).

  • Letter of Intent is required. An invitation to submit a full application is not required.
  • Supports research that span the spectrum of behavioral health science including prevention, survivorship, quality of life, and psychosocial research related to cancer.
  • Must address at least one of the FY21 PRCRP Topic Areas.
  • Must address at least one of the FY21 PRCRP Military Health Focus Areas.
  • Preliminary data required.
  • Pilot clinical trials are allowed.
  • The maximum allowable funding for the entire period of performance is $1,000,000 for direct costs.
  • Indirect costs may be proposed in accordance with the institution’s negotiated rate agreement.
  • The maximum period of performance is 4 years.

Career Development Award – Fellow Option – Letter of Intent due July 29, 2021

Principal Investigator (PI): Independent investigators at or above the level of Assistant Professor or Instructor (or equivalent) and within 7 years after completion of their terminal degree (excluding time spent in residency or on family medical leave) by the time of the application submission deadline.

Career Guide: Investigators at or above the level of Associate Professor (or equivalent); must have a proven publication and funding record in cancer research

  • Letter of Intent is required. An invitation to submit a full application is not required.
  • Supports independent, early-career investigators to conduct impactful research with the mentorship of an experienced cancer researcher.
  • Must address at least one of the FY21 PRCRP Topic Areas.
  • Must address at least one of the FY21 PRCRP Military Health Focus Areas.
  • Preliminary data are not required.
  • Clinical trials are not allowed.
  • The maximum allowable funding for the entire period of performance is $400,000 for direct costs.
  • Indirect costs may be proposed in accordance with the institution’s negotiated rate agreement.
  • The maximum period of performance is 3 years.

Idea Award – Preproposal due May 20, 2021

Independent investigator with a faculty-level appointment (or equivalent).

  • Preproposal is required; application submission is by invitation only.
  • Supports innovative, untested, high-risk/ potentially high-reward concepts, theories, paradigms, and/or methods in cancer research.
  • Emphasis on innovation.
  • Must address at least one of the FY21 PRCRP Topic Areas.
  • Must address at least one of the FY21 PRCRP Military Health Focus Areas.
  • Preliminary data are not required.
  • Clinical trials are not allowed.
  • The maximum allowable funding for the entire period of performance is $500,000 for direct costs.
  • Indirect costs may be proposed in accordance with the institution’s negotiated rate agreement.
  • The maximum period of performance is 3 years

Impact Award – Preproposal due May 20, 2021

Independent investigators at or above the level of Assistant Professor (or equivalent) are eligible to submit an application.

  • Preproposal is required; application submission is by invitation only.
  • Supports hypothesis-driven, high impact research.
  • Encourages applications that support research projects or ideas that specifically focus on critical scientific and clinical cancer issues which, if successfully addressed, have the potential to make a near term, major impact on one of the FY21 PRCRP Topic Areas.
  • Must address at least one of the FY21 PRCRP Topic Areas.
  • Must address at least one of the FY21 PRCRP Military Health Focus Areas.
  • Preliminary data are required.
  • Clinical Trials are allowed.
  • The maximum allowable funding for the entire period of performance is $1,250,000 for direct costs.
  • Indirect costs may be proposed in accordance with the institution’s negotiated rate agreement.
  • The maximum period of performance is 3 years.

Translational Team Science Award – Letter of Intent due July 29, 2021

At least two, and a maximum of three, PIs must partner in one overarching correlative or translational research study.

  • Letter of Intent is required.  An invitation to submit a full application is not required.
  • Emphasizes multi-PI, multidisciplinary collaborations.
  • Supports translational studies associated with an ongoing or completed clinical trial that can lead to a future clinical trial or clinical application in cancer research.
  • Not intended to support high throughput screenings, sequencing, etc.
  • Must address at least one of the FY21 PRCRP Topic Areas.
  • Must address at least one of the FY21 PRCRP Military Health Focus Areas.
  • Preliminary data are required.
  • Clinical Trials are allowed.
  • The maximum allowable funding for the entire period of performance is $2,500,000 for direct costs.
  • Indirect costs may be proposed in accordance with the institution’s negotiated rate agreement.
  • The maximum period of performance is 4 years.
  • At least one of the PIs is encouraged to be a military or US Department of Veterans Affairs investigator.

A pre-application is required and must be submitted through the electronic Biomedical Research Application Portal (eBRAP) at https://eBRAP.org prior to the pre-application deadline.  All applications must conform to the final Program Announcements and General Application Instructions available for electronic downloading from the Grants.gov website.  The application package containing the required forms for each award mechanism will also be found on Grants.gov.  A listing of all CDMRP and other USAMRDC extramural funding opportunities can be obtained on the Grants.gov website by performing a basic search using CFDA Number 12.420.

For email notification when Program Announcements are released, subscribe to program-specific news and updates under “Email Subscriptions” on the eBRAP homepage at https://eBRAP.org.  For more information about the PRCRP or other CDMRP-administered programs, please visit the CDMRP website (https://cdmrp.army.mil).

Point of Contact:

CDMRP Help Desk
301-682-5507
help@eBrap.org