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Funding Opportunities

Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center regularly solicits applications for pilot funding to support basic, translational, clinical or collaborative cancer research. Pilot funds allow investigators to collect preliminary data to support an application for independent research support through extramural, peer-reviewed funding. Over the past five years, the Cancer Center awarded $4.1 million to fund 98 pilot projects. This investment led to the acquisition of more than $41 million in extramurally funded grants – a 985 percent return on investment.

Calls for proposals are distributed throughout the year by email, online, and in campus publications. Award amounts and submission deadlines vary. All pilot project awards are funded for one-year periods.

For more information, contact us at viccresearchenterprise@vumc.org

VICC Multi-Tier Developmental Research Funding

Complete an online application to apply for this funding

Submit Your Proposal

 

Complete this online application to apply for pilot funding

Funding Sources

SourceEligibilityFunding CycleAmountPrincipal Investigator
Multi-Tier Developmental Research FundingVanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center members onlyVariableThree TiersBen Ho Park, M.D., Ph.D.
American Cancer Society-Institutional Research Grants (ACS-IRG)Open to junior faculty from all schools at Vanderbilt University and Vanderbilt University Medical CenterSpring & Fallup to $40,000David Cortez, Ph.D
Breast SPORE DRPTenured and tenure-track faculty at Vanderbilt, Meharry Medical College or Tennessee State University with membership in the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer CenterVariableup to $50,000Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D.
Ben Ho Park, M.D., Ph.D.
Breast SPORE CEPThe Breast SPORE Career Enhancement Program solicits applications yearly from investigators at Vanderbilt, Meharry Medical College or Tennessee State University. Variableup to $50,000Jennifer Pietenpol, Ph.D.
Ben Ho Park, M.D., Ph.D.
GI SPORE DRPTenured and tenure-track faculty at Vanderbilt, Meharry Medical College or Tennessee State UniversityVariableup to $50,000Robert Coffey, M.D.
GI SPORE CEPThe GI SPORE Career Enhancement Program solicits applications yearly from investigators at Vanderbilt, Meharry Medical College or Tennessee State University. Variableup to $50,000Robert Coffey, M.D.
VICC AmbassadorsJunior faculty at VanderbiltFall$50,000Scott Hiebert, Ph.D. 
P3 Catalyst AwardTenured and tenure-track faculty at Vanderbilt, Meharry Medical College, or Tennessee State UniversityVariableUp to $100,000 for single PI; Up to $200,000 for multi-PIBen Ho Park, M.D., Ph.D.

 

American Cancer Society-Institutional Research Grants

The American Cancer Society (ACS)-Institutional Research Grant (IRG) is the major source of support at Vanderbilt University for young investigators building cancer research programs. These funds provide seed money to support junior faculty members with an interest in cancer research who do not have national grant support of their own or who have not received prior support from the IRG. The ACS defines junior faculty as investigators at the rank of assistant professor or equivalent who are eligible to apply as a principal investigator for grant support from national agencies. Eligible investigators must be within six years of their first independent faculty appointment. Awards are made for a one-year project period and the maximum allocation is limited to $40,000. If sufficient progress has been made toward the project goals, IRG support may be renewed for an additional year. Funds are available to all schools at Vanderbilt University.

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SPORE Pilot Projects

The Breast SPORE Developmental Research Program provides pilot funding to promote excellent translational research in breast cancer. These funds allow early, high-risk research to move solid basic science findings toward clinical application, as well as the migration of provocative clinical observations back to the laboratory in order to understand their mechanistic basis. Main criteria for selection and funding of developmental (pilot) projects include scientific merit, relevance to mammary biology and/or breast cancer, collaboration and potential for extramural peer-reviewed funding. There also is an emphasis on utilization of emerging technologies and on young investigators.

Current Opportunity: Breast SPORE Developmental Research Program Funding

The Breast SPORE Career Enhancement Program solicits applications yearly from investigators at Vanderbilt, Meharry Medical College or Tennessee State University. Proposals are reviewed for scientific merit and the likelihood of leading to extramural funding. Special emphasis is placed on attracting young investigators into breast cancer research, high risk/high gain projects, and emerging technologies and their application to breast cancer research. Award amounts of up to $50,000 per project per year are available.

Current Opportunity: Breast SPORE Career Enhancement Program Funding

 

The GI SPORE Developmental Research Program solicits applications once a year in the spring from investigators at Vanderbilt, Meharry Medical College or Tennessee State University. Proposals are reviewed for scientific merit and the likelihood of leading to extramural funding. Special emphasis is placed on attracting young investigators into GI cancer research, high risk/high gain projects, and emerging technologies and their application to GI cancer research. Award amounts of up to $50,000 per project per year are available.

Current Opportunity:  GI SPORE Developmental Research Program Pilot Project Funding

 

The GI SPORE Career Enhancement Program solicits applications yearly from investigators at Vanderbilt, Meharry Medical College or Tennessee State University. Proposals are reviewed for scientific merit and the likelihood of leading to extramural funding. Special emphasis is placed on attracting young investigators into GI cancer research, high risk/high gain projects, and emerging technologies and their application to GI cancer research. Award amounts of up to $50,000 per project per year are available.

Current Opportunity:  GI SPORE Career Enhancement Program Funding

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VICC Ambassadors

The VICC Ambassadors are the next generation of philanthropists committed to winning the battle against cancer by awarding Discovery Grants to promising young researchers at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center. Discovery Grants allow skilled researchers to pursue exciting discoveries in basic and clinical science—aiding our understanding of disease processes and leading to better methods of prevention, diagnosis and treatment. For Vanderbilt physicians and scientists this funding not only yields early results, it helps develop the ideas that grow to large federally funded projects aimed at transformative breakthroughs in care. Three grants of $50,000 each are awarded every fall.

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P3 Catalyst Award

The P3 Catalyst Award supports impactful cancer-related projects at any stage of research (i.e., pilot projects, need for translation, etc.) from any stage faculty member. This award aims to provide funding to support paradigm-shifting, practice-changing, or policy-creating research.

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Other Funding Resources

 

Notice of Intent to Publish a Notice of Funding Opportunity for National Cancer Institute's Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPOREs) in Cancer Health Disparities and Minority Health (U54 Clinical Trial Optional) 
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) intends to issue the U54 Specialized Programs of Research Excellence in Cancer Health Disparities and Minority Health (CHD-MH SPORE) notice of funding opportunity (NOFO). The program will support a network of multidisciplinary, multi-institutional U54 CHD-MH SPOREs, which are multi-project awards uniquely focused on health disparities and/or minority health translational research for improved prevention, early detection, diagnosis, and treatment of cancer in populations who are underserved. U54 CHD-MH SPOREs can investigate more than one cancer type in underserved populations, including groups of highly related cancers (e.g., gastrointestinal or head and neck). The research supported through this program must be translational and must stem from research on human biology, addressing the interplay of various determinants of health with the biology of the disease. U54 CHD-MH SPORE projects must have the goal of reaching a translational human endpoint within the project period of the grant, which may include a clinical trial. This Notice of Intent to Publish is being provided to allow sufficient time for applicants to develop strong applications.  The NOFO is expected to be published in late winter 2024 with only one expected application due date in late September 2024. 
Additional Details
September 25, 2024

Impacts of Climate Change Across the Cancer Control Continuum R01 Clinical Trial Optional
These funding opportunities aim to support innovative research relevant to advancing the understanding of the effects of climate change across the cancer control continuum, from cancer etiology and cancer risks through survivorship, and ways to prevent or mitigate negative health effects. This includes, but is not limited to, studies to improve knowledge of the impact of climate change related environmental effects on cancer risks, control, and behaviors. 
Additional Details
May 8 2026

Impacts of Climate Change Across the Cancer Control Continuum R21 Clinical Trial Optional
These funding opportunities aim to support innovative research relevant to advancing the understanding of the effects of climate change across the cancer control continuum, from cancer etiology and cancer risks through survivorship, and ways to prevent or mitigate negative health effects. This includes, but is not limited to, studies to improve knowledge of the impact of climate change related environmental effects on cancer risks, control, and behaviors. 
Additional Details
May 8 2026

Notice of Special Interest: NCI Supports Applications for the Mentored Research Scientist Development Awards (K01) Within the Mission of the Division of Cancer Control and Population
Cancer control science is defined as basic and applied research in the behavioral, social, and population sciences to create or enhance interventions that, independently or in combination with biomedical approaches reduce cancer risk, incidence, morbidity, and mortality, and improve quality of life. DCCPS has several broad areas of interest: development and validation of methods, technologies, and tools in surveillance, statistics, epidemiology, health care delivery, and the behavioral sciences; identification of modifiable risk factors or host susceptibility factors associated with cancer etiology, cancer prevention, and treatment outcomes; and clinical and translational science to reduce risk, incidence, and death from cancer, as well as enhance the quality of life for cancer survivors. 
Additional Details
Deadline: February 12, 2029; Rolling deadlines through 2029

Notice of Special Interest: NCI Supports Applications for the Mentored Research Scientist Development Awards (K01) Within the Mission of the Division of Cancer Prevention
The focus of this research area is early translational research aimed at advancing the application of the mechanistic and scientific understanding of carcinogenesis and human biology towards interventions focused on cancer prevention, interception, screening, and early detection. These mechanistic understandings can be informed by research conducted across basic science, epidemiology, behavioral, or clinical studies and by varied scientific disciplines. 
Additional Details
Deadline: February 12, 2029; Rolling deadlines through 2029

*The VUMC Corporate & Foundation Relations team is happy to assist with proposal development for the above opportunities. Contact cfr@vumc.org for more information.