Cancer Research: Swim Across America & Bears Care

Application Dates & Deadlines

This funding opportunity is not currently accepting applications. The next time this award will open for funding is spring 2023. This page will be updated with application deadlines and complete instructions when a new funding cycle is announced.  

 

You can view past awardees here.  

 

You can view all currently active funding opportunities here.


In the interest of providing seed funds to support cancer research at Rush University Medical Center, Swim Across America (SAA) and Bears Care have committed philanthropic funds to support investigator-initiated research. The intent of these grants is to encourage translational research by funding well-designed projects that could be competitive for future larger grants from a federal or private agency. Early-stage investigators, defined as individuals who do not have or have not previously received NIH R01 or equivalent funding, are encouraged to apply.

  • For Swim Across America, applications are being solicited to conduct innovative translational, basic science, or population-based research relevant to the cause, prevention, diagnosis, cure or improved treatment of cancer.
  • For Bears Care, only breast cancer research projects that are new to Bears Care will be considered.

Funding amounts and availability

  • Swim Across America funds up to five awards per year of $50,000. Special consideration for early-stage investigators. Salary support at Instructor level only.
  • Bears Care funds one award per year of $75,000 - $100,000.

The period of support is one year. Applicants may reapply for continued support.

Requirements  

  • The award recipient must commit at least 10% of their research effort to the research contained in their proposal.

Who can apply

  • At least one investigator in a proposal must be an active Rush University faculty member at the assistant professor level or above.
  • Inter-institutional or inter-disciplinary proposals are of particular interest.
  • Early investigators, women and members of groups underrepresented in research are encouraged to apply. There are no citizenship or residency requirements. 
  • Applicants may submit only one proposal as a principal investigator or multiple PI in response to each opportunity.  
  • Requirements for SAA only:
    • Instructors may apply if the department chair submits a letter indicating that they will be promoted to assistant professor by the award date.

More information

Study Design & Statistical Analysis
Applicants for these pilot grants are strongly encouraged to develop a robust study design and statistical analysis plan. Development of an award-budget that includes resources for appropriate statistical or data analytics consultation or collaboration expected. 
Review

Process

The review panel for these awards consists of Rush Faculty members who are experienced in their field as and who have served on NIH Study Sections and/or other Review Panels. The review panel will adopt similar review process and rigor for the review of the pilot project proposals. Provisions must be included for compliance for the protection of human subjects, inclusion of women and underrepresented minorities, inclusion of children (if appropriate), protection of vertebrate animals and, for clinical trials, the establishment of a data and safety monitoring board (when relevant). 

Review Criteria

The following NIH Review Criteria will be used for evaluation of proposals in accordance with the Peer Review Process of the SF424 Application Guide for NIH and Other PHS Agencies.

Overall Impact

Reviewers will provide an overall impact/priority score to reflect their assessment of the likelihood for the project to exert a sustained, powerful influence on the research field(s) involved, in consideration of the 5 core review criteria described below.

Scored Review Criteria

Reviewers will consider each of the 5 review criteria below in the determination of scientific and technical merit give a separate score for each. An application does not need to be strong in all categories to be judged likely to have major scientific impact. For example, a project that by its nature is not innovative may be essential to advance a field.

Significance
  • Does the project address an important problem or a critical barrier to progress in the field?
  • Is there a strong scientific premise for the project?
  • 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 that drive this field?
Investigator(s)
  • Are the PIs, collaborators, and other researchers well suited to the project?
  • If the applicants are Early-Stage Investigators, do they have appropriate experience and training?
  • If established, have they demonstrated an ongoing record of accomplishments that have advanced their field(s)?
  • If the project is collaborative, do the investigators have complementary and integrated expertise; are their leadership approach, governance and organizational structure appropriate for the project?
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
  • Is the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses well-reasoned and appropriate to accomplish the specific aims of the 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?
  • If the project is in the early stages of development, will the strategy establish feasibility and will particularly risky aspects be managed?
  • If the project involves clinical research, are the plans for 1) protection of human subjects from research risks, and 2) inclusion of minorities and members of both sexes/genders, as well as the inclusion of children, justified in terms of the scientific goals and research strategy proposed?
  • Have the investigators presented adequate plans to address relevant biological variables, such as sex, for studies in vertebrate animals or human subjects?
Facilities and other resources
  • How does 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?
Format

Proposals should follow the format specifications for an R21 Research Plan as well general page limits in accordance with the SF424 Application Guide for NIH and Other PHS Agencies. The Research Plan should have:

Specific Aims (1 page limit)

This section should state concisely the goals of the proposed research and summarize the expected outcome(s), including the impact that the results of the proposed research will exert on the research field(s) involved. Also list succinctly the specific objectives of the research proposed, e.g., to test a stated hypothesis, create a novel design, solve a specific problem, challenge an existing paradigm or clinical practice, address a critical barrier to progress in the field, or develop new technology.

Research Strategy (6 page limit)

Organize the Research Strategy in the specified order using the instructions provided below. Start each section with the appropriate section heading: Significance, Innovation and Approach. Cite published experimental details in the Research Strategy section and provide the full reference in the Bibliography and References Cited section.

Significance
  • Explain the importance of the problem or critical barrier to progress in the field that the proposed project addresses.
  • Explain how the proposed project will improve scientific knowledge, technical capability, and/or clinical practice in one or more broad fields.
  • Describe how the concepts, methods, technologies, treatments, services, or preventative interventions that drive this field will be changed if the proposed aims are achieved.
Innovation
  • Explain how the application challenges and seeks to shift current research or clinical practice paradigms.
  • Describe any novel theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation or intervention(s) to be developed or used, and any advantage over existing methodologies, instrumentation or intervention(s).
  • Explain any refinements, improvements, or new applications of theoretical concepts, approaches or methodologies, instrumentation or interventions.
Approach
  • Describe the overall strategy, methodology, and analyses to be used to accomplish the specific aims of the project. Unless addressed separately, include how the data will be collected, analyzed, and interpreted as well as any resource sharing plans as appropriate.
  • Discuss potential problems, alternative strategies, and benchmarks for success anticipated to achieve the aims.
  • If the project is in the early stages of development, describe any strategy to establish feasibility, and address the management of any high risk aspects of the proposed work.
  • Point out any procedures, situations, or materials that may be hazardous to personnel and precautions to be exercised.
Facilities and other resouces
This information is used to assess the capability of the organizational resources available to perform the effort proposed.
  • Identify the facilities to be used (laboratory, clinical, animal, computer, office, other). If appropriate, indicate their capacities, pertinent capabilities, relative proximity and extent of availability to the project. Describe only those resources that are directly applicable to the proposed work. Provide any information describing the Other Resources available to the project (e.g., machine shop, electronic shop) and the extent to which they would be available to the project.
  • Describe how the scientific environment in which the research will be done contributes to the probability of success (e.g., institutional support, physical resources, and intellectual rapport). In describing the scientific environment in which the work will be done, discuss ways in which the proposed studies will benefit from unique features of the scientific environment or subject populations or will employ useful collaborative arrangements.
  • For early stage investigators, describe institutional investment in the success of the investigator, e.g., resources for classes, travel, training; collegial support such as career enrichment programs, assistance and guidance in the supervision of trainees involved with the ESIs project, and availability of organized peer groups; logistical support such as administrative management and oversight and best practices training; and financial support such as protected time for research with salary support.
Budget
  • Completed page 4 and 5 from the PHS 398.
  • A line-item budget for the project should include both grant funds requested and funds available from other sources for the project.
  • Where project personnel are engaged in other projects, the percent of time in and compensation from other projects should be identified.
  • A narrative budget justification should accompany the budget.
  • Applications under this initiative should not include the purchase of capital equipment.
  • Preference will be given to proposals demonstrating economy, collaboration and thoughtful use of resources.

Award timeline

For SAA: Award notification will be May 2022. Following final approval from SAA, the grant period will begin June 1, 2022.

For Bears Care: The top applicant will be notified May 2022. That applicant will present to the Bears Care Hospital Committee in July 2022. Following final approval from Bears Care, the grant period will begin January 1, 2023.

RFP Summary
  Bears Care Swim Across America
Project Type
  • Breast Cancer research only
  • Project must be new to Bears Care – no previous funding
  • Any cancer research
# of Awards 1 Up to 5
Award Amounts
  • $75,000 - $100,000 over one year.
  • Applicants may reapply for continued support
  • $50,000 over one year.
  • Applicants may reapply for continued support
Timing
  • Top applicant notified May 2022
  • Applicant presents to Bears Care Hospital Committee July 2022
  • Final approval from Bears Care/grant period begins 1/1/2023
  • Award notification May 2022
  • Final approval from SAA/grant period begins ~6/1/2022
Special Considerations None Early-stage investigators
Faculty Salary Support   Instructor level only

 

 

Contact Us

Norma Sandoval
norma_sandoval@rush.edu