Legorreta Cancer Center ACS-IRG Request for Applications 2024



The Purpose of the Cancer Center at Brown University’s ACS-IRG Grant Program is to give small grants to beginning cancer research investigators who do not have national peer-reviewed research grant support so they can obtain preliminary results that will enable them to compete successfully for national research grants.

The Purposes of the ACS-IRG Pilot Projects Grants are to:

1. Support the development of beginning investigators to conduct independent cancer research

2. Foster direct relationships between funded institutions and the local American Cancer Society


Date of Announcement: November 29, 2023

Due Date of Preliminary Applications: December 18, 2023

Notification of Invitation to Apply: January 12, 2024

Due Date of Full Applications: February 12, 2024

Earliest Decision Date: February 29, 2024

Earliest Funding Date: Early March, 2024


  1. IRG pilot project grants are intended to support independent, self-directed investigators early in their careers, who have research facilities, resources, or space to conduct independent research.
  2. These individuals (usually assistant professors or equivalent) must be eligible to apply for independent national competitive research grants but may not currently hold such a grant.
  3. Applicants for pilot project grants should be within six years of their first independent research or faculty appointment. Support of senior investigators or postdoctoral fellows is not permitted.
  4. Funds are available to support cancer-related proposals from any school, college, or department within Brown University and its academic affiliated hospitals.
  5. Recipients of IRG pilot project grants are not required to be U.S. citizens. However, any applicant who is not a U.S. citizen must hold a visa that will allow them to remain in the U.S. long enough to complete the IRG pilot project. support cancer-related proposals from any health sciences school, college, or department within the institution


Up to three projects will be awarded a maximum of $40,000 (direct cost only) for one year. A one-time competitive renewal for an additional year of funding is possible.

Submission Guidelines

Preliminary Applications due on December 18, 2023.

Interested applicant must submit 2-page Preliminary Application Form and 1 page Project Description.

Application Forms

  1. Access to the preliminary and full application forms required by the ACS-IRG funding mechanism can be found on the Legorreta Cancer Center website.
  2. The format for all documents is Arial 11-point font, margins no less than 0.5, and single-spaced text must have a space between paragraphs.
  3. Preliminary will be emailed to [email protected] while Full Applications will be submitted via UFunds.

Preliminary Application Form


Preliminary Applications

Interested applicants are required to submit a 2-page Preliminary Application form which includes

Biographical Information
Verification of Applicant Eligibility
Other Research Support
Description of Research Proposed (one page)

  1. Background
  2. Objective/Hypothesis
  3. Specific Aims
  4. Study Design
  5. Cancer Relevance

Full Applications

Full applications will be prepared using the ACS-IRG application format using the forms and biographical information sheets that the American Cancer Society provides with the application. Applicants invited to submit Full Applications will expand upon Preliminary Applications to add the following according to ACS instructions.

Full Description of Proposed Research
Proposed Budget and Budget Justification

  1. Bibliographic references
  2. Copies of submitted application forms or approvals for human studies, animal studies, environmental health and safety, radiation safety etc.

Budget Criteria


Research supplies and animal maintenance
Technical assistance
Domestic travel when necessary to carry out the proposed research program
Publication costs, including reprints
Costs of computer time
Special fees (pathology, photography, etc.)
Stipends for graduate students and postdoctoral assistants if their role is to promote and sustain the project presented by the junior faculty member
Equipment costing less than $2,000 (Special justification is necessary for items exceeding this amount.)
Registration fees at scientific meetings

Not Allowed

Salary of principal investigator (IRG Chair or pilot project grant recipient)
Indirect costs
Honoraria and travel expenses for visiting lecturers
Foreign travel (special consideration is given for attendance at scientific meetings held in Canada)
Secretarial or administrative salaries
Membership dues
Student tuition and fees (graduate or undergraduate). However, tuition is an allowable expense for the principal investigator of a Clinician Scientist Development Grant
Books and periodicals, except required texts for coursework in the approved training plan for Clinician Scientist Development Grants
Office and laboratory furniture
Office equipment and supplies
Rental of office or laboratory space
Construction, renovation, or maintenance of buildings or laboratories
Recruiting and relocation expenses
Non-medical services to patients (travel to a clinical site or patient incentives are allowable expenses)

Link to the ACS 

Review Criteria

Significance: Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field. If the aims of the project are achieved, how will scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice be improved? How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions contribute to the control of cancer or benefit individuals with cancer

Investigator(s): Are the PD(s)/PI(s), collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project? Does the investigator have appropriate experience and training?

Innovation: Does the application challenge and seek to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms by utilizing novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions? Are the concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions novel to one field of research or novel in a broad sense? Is a refinement, improvement, or new application of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation, or interventions proposed?

Approach: Are the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the project? Does the applicant note weaknesses in the rigor of prior research that serves as the key support for the proposed project? Have the investigators presented strategies to ensure a robust and unbiased approach, as appropriate for the work proposed? Are potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success presented? Will the strategy establish feasibility, and will particularly risky aspects be managed? Have the investigators presented adequate plans to address relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies in vertebrate animals or human subjects?

Environment: Will the scientific environment in which the work will be done contribute to the probability of success? Are the institutional support, equipment and other physical resources available to the investigators adequate for the project proposed? Will the project benefit from unique features of the scientific environment, subject populations, or collaborative arrangements?

Cancer Relevance: How will successful completion of the aims change the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions contribute to the control of cancer or benefit individuals with cancer. Is this project likely to lead to independent funding of the investigator?

Other: Have protections of human subjects, vertebrate animals, inclusion, and biohazards been adequately addressed.

Terms of the Award

Publications: Publications resulting from research or training activities supported by the American Cancer Society must contain the following acknowledgment: “Supported by [name of grant and number] from the American Cancer Society.” When there are multiple sources of support, the acknowledgment should read “Supported in part by [name of grant and number] from the American Cancer Society,” along with references to other funding sources.

Public Communication: The Society’s support should also be acknowledged by the grantee and the institution in all public communication of work resulting from this grant, including scientific abstracts (where permitted), posters at scientific meetings, press releases or other media communications, and internet-based communications.

Intellectual Property: Acceptance of a grant from the Society constitutes acceptance of the terms and conditions of the Society’s intellectual property rights policy. It is a goal of the Society that the terms and conditions of this policy does not conflict with the established patent policy of the Grantee.

Reporting: Grantees are expected to submit their annual financial report in early January. Grantees are required to submit an ACS Pilot Project Report to the Legorreta Cancer Center at Brown ACS-IRG for seven years, post award.

Legorreta Cancer Center Activities: ACS-IRG awardees will be expected to participate in Cancer Center activities and required to attend career development activities and grant writing workshops. These activities will be part of an annual report submitted to the ACS.

ACS Interactions: The Society wishes to increase awareness among our volunteers and staff about the importance of our research program. Grantees are expected to foster ACS-institutional interactions by allowing ACS volunteers or staff to visit their research labs, collaborate on ACS sponsored advocacy or cancer control efforts, or present research findings at local ACS events.