DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED MEDICAL RESEARCH PROGRAMS

NEWS RELEASE

Released: April 1, 2015

Defense Health Program
Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program
Funding Opportunities for Fiscal Year 2015 (FY15)

The FY15 Defense Appropriations Act provides $80 million (M) to the Department of Defense Prostate Cancer Research Program (PCRP) to support innovative, high-impact prostate cancer research. As directed by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Health Affairs, the Defense Health Agency, Research, Development, and Acquisition (DHA RDA) Directorate manages and executes the Defense Health Program (DHP) Research, Development, Test, and Evaluation (RDT&E) appropriation. The executing agent for the anticipated Program Announcements/Funding Opportunities is the Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP). The PCRP is providing the information in this pre-announcement to allow investigators time to plan and develop applications. FY15 PCRP Program Announcements and General Application Instructions for the following award mechanisms are anticipated to be posted on the Grants.gov website in May 2015. Pre-application and application deadlines will be available when the Program Announcements are released. This pre-announcement should not be construed as an obligation by the government.

IMPORTANT: The PCRP's FY15 mission is to find and fund research that will lead to the elimination of death and enhance the well-being of men with prostate cancer. As such, the PCRP seeks to focus applications and direct funding by providing four Overarching Challenges and seven Focus Areas to address critical needs in prostate cancer research and clinical management. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit research that addresses one or more of the Overarching Challenges and Focus Areas.

New for FY15: The PCRP has consolidated many of the discipline specific mechanisms that have been offered in prior fiscal years to provide a more simplified funding approach, focused around the program's priorities of innovation, impact, and training. Specific mechanisms also incorporate options to support both individual awards and team-based awards. All mechanisms continue to maintain the program's focus to support research that will lead to the elimination of death from prostate cancer and enhance the well-being of men experiencing the impact of the disease.

Overarching Challenges: (1) Develop better tools for early detection of clinically relevant disease. (2) Distinguish aggressive from indolent disease in men newly diagnosed with prostate cancer. (3) Develop effective treatments and address mechanisms of resistance for men with high-risk or metastatic prostate cancer. (4) Develop strategies to optimize the physical and mental health of men with prostate cancer.

Focus Areas: (1) Biomarker Development. (2) Genetics. (3) Imaging. (4) Mechanisms of Resistance and Response. (5) Survivorship and Palliative Care. (6) Therapy. (7) Tumor and Microenvironment Biology.

Award Mechanism Eligibility Key Mechanism Elements Funding
Exceptional Responders Award (NEW for FY15!) Independent investigators at or above the level of Assistant Professor (or equivalent)
  • Preproposal is required; application submission is by invitation only.
  • Supports high-impact research that specifically focuses on identifying and understanding the predictors of disease outcomes for prostate cancer patients who are exceptional responders to prostate cancer therapy.
  • Criteria for identifying exceptional responders must be clearly defined. Both discovery and hypothesis-driven studies are allowed.
  • Preliminary data to support feasibility are required.
  • Principal Investigators (PIs) must demonstrate availability and accessibility of samples and/or data, and are highly encouraged to leverage pre-existing resources, e.g., biorepositories.
  • Clinical trials are not allowed.
Partnering PI option:
  • Allows for individual awards to multiple sites (maximum of three sites in total), provided the combined direct costs for all sites does not exceed the $2.5M maximum.
  • Maximum funding of $2.5 million (M) for direct costs (plus indirect costs)
  • Maximum period of performance is 3 years
Impact Award (NEW for FY15!) Independent investigators at or above the level of Assistant Professor (or equivalent)
  • Preproposal is required; application submission is by invitation only.
  • Supports high-impact, potentially high risk, studies (including clinical trials) that address a central question or problem in prostate cancer. As such, the primary emphasis of this mechanism is on Impact.
  • Potential impact of the research may be near-term or long-term, but it must be significant and go beyond an incremental advancement.
  • Proposed projects may include basic, translational, or clinical research, including clinical trials.
  • Preliminary data to support feasibility are required.
Partnering PI Option:
  • Provides a higher level of funding to support synergistic partnerships between two or three independent investigators collaborating on a single application.
  • PIs are expected to demonstrate within the application the synergistic components that will significantly advance the project such that the research outcomes could not otherwise be accomplished through independent efforts of a single PI.
  • Allows for individual awards to multiple sites (maximum of three sites in total), provided the combined direct costs for all sites does not exceed the $2M maximum.
Individual PIs:
  • Maximum funding of $750,000 (K) for direct costs (plus indirect costs)
  • Maximum period of performance is 3 years
Partnering PI Option:
  • Maximum funding of $2M for direct costs (plus indirect costs)
  • Maximum period of performance is 3 years
Health Disparity Research Award Established Investigators: Independent investigators at or above the level of Assistant Professor (or equivalent); or

New Investigators: Investigators that meet the following criteria at the application submission deadline date:
  • Have the freedom to pursue individual aims without formal mentorship
  • Have not previously received a PCRP Health Disparity Research Award
  • Have either completed at least 3 years of postdoctoral training or fellowship or are within 5 years of having begun first independent faculty position (or equivalent)
  • Preproposal is required; application submission is by invitation only.
  • Supports new ideas for prostate cancer research that have the potential to make an important contribution to reducing and ultimately eliminating disparities in prostate cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality.
  • Preliminary data are encouraged but not required.
  • New Investigator Option supports applicants early in their faculty appointments or in the process of developing independent research careers.
  • Qualified Collaborator Option supports a higher level of funding for PIs who include a collaborator that significantly contributes (10% level of effort or greater and provides both intellectual input and research resources) to the research project such that it could not otherwise be accomplished.
  • Nested Health Disparity (HD) Traineeship Option supports predoctoral and postdoctoral training, nested within the overall proposed project, for individuals committed to pursuing careers as independent investigators in prostate cancer health disparity research.
  • Maximum funding of $450K for direct costs (plus indirect costs)
  • If applying for the Qualified Collaborator Option, maximum funding of $600K for direct costs (plus indirect costs)
  • Maximum period of performance is 3 years
  • Additional funds can be requested if including the Nested HD Traineeship Option
Idea Development Award (Modified!) Established Investigators: Independent investigators at or above the level of Assistant Professor (or equivalent); or

New Investigators: Investigators that meet the following criteria at the application submission deadline date:
  • Have the freedom to pursue individual aims without formal mentorship
  • Have not previously received a PCRP Idea Development Award
  • Have either completed at least 3 years of postdoctoral training or fellowship or are within 5 years of having begun first independent faculty position (or equivalent)
  • Preproposal is required; application submission is by invitation only.
  • Supports new ideas that represent innovative, high-risk/high-gain approaches to prostate cancer research, and have the potential to make an important contribution to eliminating death and enhancing the well-being of men with prostate cancer.
  • Emphasis is equally placed on Innovation and Impact.
  • Preliminary data are encouraged but not required.
  • Clinical trials are not allowed.
  • New Investigator Option supports applicants early in their faculty appointments or in the process of developing independent research careers.
  • Partnering PI Option:
    • Provides a higher level of funding to support synergistic partnerships between two or three independent Established Investigators collaborating on a single application.
    • PIs are expected to demonstrate within the application the synergistic components that will significantly advance the project such that the research outcomes could not otherwise be accomplished through independent efforts of a single PI.
    • Allows for individual awards to multiple sites (maximum of three sites in total), provided the combined direct costs for all sites does not exceed the $750K maximum.
Established PIs:
  • Maximum funding of $375K for direct costs (plus indirect costs)
New Investigator Option:
  • Maximum funding of $275K for direct costs (plus indirect costs)
Partnering PI Option:
  • Maximum funding of $750K for direct costs (plus indirect costs)
  • Maximum period of performance is 3 years
Collaborative Undergraduate Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) Student Summer Training Program Award Independent investigators at or above the level of Assistant Professor (or equivalent) with a proven record in prostate cancer research and training
  • Supports new or existing summer training programs for undergraduate HBCU students at host institutions with thriving prostate cancer research programs.
  • Must enroll a minimum of four undergraduate HBCU trainees per year.
  • Host institution must have a record of achievement in prostate cancer research and training.
  • Maximum funding of $200K for direct costs (plus indirect costs)
  • Maximum period of performance is 3 years
Physician Research Training Award At the time of application submission, the PI must be either:
  • In the last year of an accredited medical residency or medical fellowship program;
or
  • Within 3 years of having initiated an appointment as Instructor, Assistant Professor, or equivalent
  • Supports training of physicians with clinical duties for careers in prostate cancer research.
  • PIs must demonstrate a commitment to a career at the forefront of prostate cancer research and clinical practice.
  • PIs must have a designated mentor with an established research program in prostate cancer.
  • Institutions must provide at least 40% protection of PI's time for research.
  • Projects that focus on providing training in basic research are highly encouraged.
  • Maximum funding of $130K per year for direct costs (plus indirect costs)
  • Maximum period of performance is 4 years
Postdoctoral Training Award By March 31, 2016, the PI must:
  • Have successfully defended a doctoral thesis or possess an M.D. degree, and
  • Have 3 years or less of postdoctoral fellowship experience
  • Supports prostate cancer research training opportunities for postdoctoral trainees who are recent doctoral graduates.
  • PIs must have a designated mentor who is an experienced prostate cancer researcher.
  • Maximum of $125K for direct costs (plus indirect costs up to a maximum rate of 8%)
  • Maximum period of performance is 2 years

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 that will be 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 funding opportunities can be obtained on the Grants.gov website by performing a basic search using CFDA Number 12.420.

Applications must be submitted through the federal government's single-entry portal, Grants.gov. Submission deadlines are not available until the Program Announcements are released. Requests for email notification of the Program Announcements release may be sent to help@eBRAP.org. For more information about the PCRP or other CDMRP-administered programs, please visit the CDMRP website (http://cdmrp.army.mil).

Point of Contact:

CDMRP Public Affairs
301-619-9783
usarmy.detrick.medcom-cdmrp.mbx.cdmrp-public-affairs@mail.mil