DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED MEDICAL RESEARCH PROGRAMS

NEWS RELEASE

Released: October 19, 2020

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

The Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21) Defense Appropriations Bill has not been signed into law. Although FY21 funds have not been appropriated for the Department of Defense Breast Cancer Research Program (BCRP), the BCRP is providing the information in this pre-announcement to allow investigators time to plan and develop ideas for submission to the anticipated FY21 funding opportunities. This pre-announcement should not be construed as an obligation by the Government.

The FY21 Defense Appropriations Act is anticipated to provide funding to the Department of Defense BCRP to support innovative, high-impact research with clinical relevance that will accelerate progress to end breast cancer for Service members, Veterans, and the general public. 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). 

Subject to the FY21 Congressional appropriation for BCRP funding, FY21 BCRP Program Announcements and General Application Instructions for the following award mechanisms will be posted on the Grants.gov website. Pre-application and application deadlines will be available when the Program Announcements are released.  

Applications submitted to the FY21 BCRP must address one or more of the following overarching challenges: 

  • Prevent breast cancer (primary prevention)
  • Identify determinants of breast cancer initiation, risk, or susceptibility
  • Distinguish deadly from non-deadly breast cancers
  • Conquer the problems of overdiagnosis and overtreatment
  • Identify what drives breast cancer growth; determine how to stop it
  • Identify why some breast cancers become metastatic
  • Determine why/how breast cancer cells lie dormant for years and then re-emerge; determine how to prevent lethal recurrence
  • Revolutionize treatment regimens by replacing them with ones that are more effective, less toxic, and impact survival
  • Eliminate the mortality associated with metastatic breast cancer
Award Mechanism Eligibility Key Mechanism Elements Funding
Breakthrough Award Investigators at all academic levels (or equivalent)
  • Supports promising research that has high potential to lead to or make breakthroughs in breast cancer.
  • Potential impact of the research may be near-term or long-term, but it must move beyond a minor advancement and have the potential to lead to a new approach that is fundamentally better than interventions already approved or in clinical development.
  • Partnering PI Option allows two PIs, termed Initiating and Partnering PIs, to partner on a single application.
  • Different funding levels, based on the scope of research, are available. It is the responsibility of the PI to select the funding level that is most appropriate for the research proposed. The funding level should be selected based on the scope of the research project, rather than the amount of the budget.

The following are general descriptions, although not all-inclusive, of the scope of research projects that would be appropriate to propose under each funding level:

  • Funding Level 1: Innovative, high-risk/high-reward research that is in the earliest stages of idea development or an untested theory that addresses an important problem. To foster research that yields new avenues of investigation, preliminary data are not required. Proof of concept is the anticipated outcome.
  • Funding Level 2: Preclinical research that is already supported by substantial preliminary or published data and strongly validates clinical translation in a well-defined context within the breast cancer landscape.
  • Funding Level 2 – Population Science and Prevention Studies: With compelling justification, population science and prevention studies may request higher levels of funding and an additional year in the period of performance. Such studies may require additional resources due to the participation of human subjects and/or use of human biospecimens.
  • Funding Level 3: Advanced translational studies with a high degree of project readiness. Where relevant, proof of availability of and access to necessary data, human samples, cohort(s), and/or critical reagents must be provided. If the proposed research would ultimately require U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) involvement, applications must demonstrate availability of and access to clinical reagents (e.g., therapeutic molecules) and subject population(s). Applications must state a realistic timeline for near-term clinical investigation. Small-scale clinical trials (e.g., first in human; Phase I/Ib) may be appropriate.
  • Funding Level 4: Large-scale projects that will transform and revolutionize the clinical management and/or prevention of breast cancer. Human clinical trials are required. PIs are expected to have experience in successfully leading large-scale projects and demonstrated ability (through personal experience or via a commitment from a collaborating clinical investigator) to implement a clinical project successfully. Where relevant, applications must demonstrate availability of and access to necessary data, human samples, cohort(s), and/or critical reagents. For proposed research that will require FDA involvement, project readiness requirements at the time of application submission include: proof of availability of and access to clinical reagents (e.g., therapeutics) that meet regulatory compliance guidelines; proof of availability of and access to appropriate subject population(s); validated projections for patient recruitment; and submission of an Investigational New Drug or Investigational Device Exemption application to the FDA, if applicable.

Funding Levels 1 and 2

  • Submission of a Letter of Intent is required prior to full application submission.
  • Each PI may submit only one application as a PI or Initiating PI for each funding level. There are no limitations on the number of applications for which an investigator may be named as a Partnering PI. However, applicants are discouraged from submitting as a Partnering PI on multiple applications unless they are clearly unique, meaningful collaborations addressing distinct research questions.
  • Additional funds are available for applications submitted under the Partnering PI Option.
  • Clinical trials are not allowed.

Funding Levels 3 and 4

  • Submission of a preproposal is required; application submission is by invitation only.
  • There are no limits on the number of pre-applications for which an investigator may be named as a PI, Initiating PI, or Partnering PI
  • Applicants are discouraged from submitting as a Partnering PI on multiple applications unless they are clearly unique, meaningful collaborations addressing distinct research questions.
  • Additional funds are available for Funding Level 3 applications submitted under the Partnering PI Option.
  • PIs must include two or more breast cancer advocates on their research team.
  • Clinical trials are allowed (Funding Level 3) or required (Funding Level 4).

Funding Level 1

  • Maximum funding of $450,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 3 years.

Funding Level 1 – Partnering PI Option

  • Maximum funding of $750,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 3 years.

Funding Level 2

  • Maximum funding of $1M for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 3 years.

Funding Level 2 – Partnering PI Option

  • Maximum funding of $1.5M for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 3 years.

Funding Level 2 – Population Science and Prevention Studies

  • Maximum funding of $1.5M for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 4 years.

Funding Level 2 – Population Science and Prevention Studies – Partnering PI Option

  • Maximum funding of $2M for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 4 years.

Funding Level 3

  • Maximum funding of $4M in direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 4 years.

Funding Level 3 – Partnering PI Option

  • Maximum funding of $5M for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 4 years.

Funding Level 4 and Funding Level 4 – Partnering PI Option

  • Maximum funding of $10M for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 4 years.
Era of Hope Scholar Award Independent, non-mentored investigators within 6 years of their last training position (e.g., postdoctoral fellowship, medical residency, clinical fellowship) as of the application submission deadline
  • Supports exceptionally talented, early-career scientists who have demonstrated that they are the “best and brightest” in their fields through extraordinary creativity, vision, innovation, and productivity.
  • PIs should articulate a vision that challenges current dogma and demonstrates an ability to look beyond tradition and convention.
  • PIs must demonstrate experience in forming effective partnerships and collaborations and exhibit strong potential for future leadership in breast cancer.
  • PIs are required to include two or more breast cancer advocates on their research team.
  • Submission of a Letter of Intent is required prior to full application submission.
  • Maximum funding of $3M for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 4 years.
Innovator Award Associate Professor or above (or equivalent)
  • Supports visionary individuals who have demonstrated exceptional creativity, innovative work, and paradigm-shifting leadership in any field.
  • Provides opportunity to pursue novel, visionary, high-risk ideas that will accelerate progress toward ending breast cancer.
  • PIs must include two or more breast cancer advocates on their research team.
  • Submission of a preproposal is required; application submission is by invitation only.
  • Maximum funding of $7M for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 4 years.
Transformative Breast Cancer Consortium Award Independent investigators at all academic levels (or equivalent)
  • Supports collaborations and ideas that will transform or improve the lives of individuals with, and/or at risk for, breast cancer and will significantly accelerate progress toward ending breast cancer.
  • The proposed consortium’s work must pursue innovative, high-risk/high-reward research that has the potential to change existing paradigms, or develop new paradigms.
  • Requires synergistic, highly integrated, multidisciplinary, and multi-institutional research teams of leading scientists, clinicians, and consumer advocates who will be assembled into a consortium to address a major problem in a way that could not be accomplished by a single investigator or group.
  • The award mechanism is structured with a Consortium Director and at least three, but not more than four, Team Principal Investigators (PIs) representing at least two institutions.
  • The consortium must include at least one breast cancer consumer advocate per team.
  • May include clinical trials up to and including Phase I or equivalent; however, clinical trials are not required, and the primary thrust of the application should not be a clinical trial.
  • Submission of a preproposal is required; application submission is by invitation only.

Preference will be given to applications that include one or more of the following:

  • Different disciplines that come together with one overarching plan to address ending breast cancer with an ecologic approach. An ecologic approach is one that brings together the different perspectives that affect the complexity of breast cancer and their interdependence, or looks at all aspects of the disease and brings together these different perspectives.
  • Research that includes truly innovative and brand new paradigms in breast cancer that will address vital issues in a unique way. The issues may be one of the FY21 BCRP Overarching Challenges, the intersection of multiple Overarching Challenges, or with justification, may be a different issue that meets the intent of the award mechanism and addresses the mission of ending breast cancer.
  • A plan for a deep, definitive dive into one of the FY21 BCRP Overarching Challenges or a fundamental issue that has not yet been asked or answered in a manner that has not yet been attempted. 
  • Maximum funding of $25 million (M) for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 4 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 and other USAMRDC extramural funding opportunities can be obtained on the Grants.gov website by performing a basic search using CFDA Number 12.420.  

Submission deadlines are not available until the Program Announcements are released. 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 BCRP or other CDMRP-administered programs, please visit the CDMRP website (https://cdmrp.army.mil).



Point of Contact:

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


Last updated Monday, October 19, 2020