DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED MEDICAL RESEARCH PROGRAMS

NEWS RELEASE

Released: March 31, 2021

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

The FY21 Defense Appropriations Act provides funding to the Department of Defense Melanoma Research Program (MRP) to support innovative, high-impact melanoma research. 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).

The MRP 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 MRP 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 MRP must address one or more of the following focus areas:

  • Identify methods to decrease risk of melanoma development beyond sunscreen and protective clothing
  • Identify and understand risk factor determinants for melanoma, including variants (e.g., uveal, acral, mucosal melanoma)
  • Identify how the tumor microenvironment (e.g., stromal, immune, microbiome) impact tumor initiation, response to therapy, progression, and dormancy
  • Understand how precursor lesions and endogenous host factors may lead to melanomagenesis
  • Develop new decision-making tools for the detection and diagnosis of melanoma that include easily accessible technology (beyond the dermoscope) for primary care physicians and dermatologists
  • Develop prediction and surveillance tools for distinguishing patient at risk for recurrence and/or metastasis. Identify biological determinants to differentiate patient populations
  • Understand mechanisms that underlie metastatic spread to different (regional/nodal) sites or the different distant sites of metastasis from acral, mucosal, and uveal melanomas
  • Delineate the molecular pathways, tumor microenvironment, immune response that influence metastatic spread, recurrence, and/or dormancy

The MRP challenges the research community to redefine the concept of prevention and has issued a FY21 MRP Challenge Statement that must be considered when responding to the FY21 MRP Focus Areas and funding opportunities.

The MRP encourages studies for rare melanomas across the entire spectrum from initiation to distant macro-metastasis.


Award Mechanism PI Eligibility Key Mechanism Elements Funding
Idea Award Independent investigators with a faculty-level appointment (or equivalent).
  • Preproposal is required; application submission is by invitation only.
  • Supports new ideas that represent innovative, high-risk/high-gain approaches to melanoma research that are beyond an incremental advancement.
  • Emphasis on Innovation and Impact.
  • Must address at least one of the FY21 Focus Areas.
  • Preliminary data are not required.
  • Clinical trials are not allowed.
  • Maximum funding of $500,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is years.
Mid-Career Accelerator Award Assistant or Associate Professors more than 7 years post-first faculty appointment.

Instructors and Full Professors are not eligible

  • A letter of intent is required; an invitation to submit a full application is not required.
  • Supports mid-career researchers to conduct impactful melanoma research.
  • Must address at least one of the FY21 Focus Areas.
  • Must show evidence of at least one peer reviewed extramural funding award.
  • Preliminary data relevant to melanoma is required.
  • Clinical trials are not allowed.
  • Maximum funding of $750,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is years.
Team Science Award At least two and up to three investigators must partner in one overarching multidisciplinary research study.

Initiating Principal Investigator:
Independent investigators at or above the level of Associate Professor (or equivalent).

Inclusion of at least one military, US Department of Veterans Affairs investigator, or early career investigator is encouraged.

  • A letter of intent is required; an invitation to submit a full application is not required.
  • Supports new or existing partnerships between two or three independent investigators focusing research across the whole research spectrum.
  • Investigators are expected to demonstrate within the application, the synergistic components (i.e., leveraging disciplines, expertise, or critical resources) that will significantly advance the project such that the patient research outcomes as a whole will be realized in the near-term and efficiently and could not otherwise be accomplished through independent efforts of a single investigator.
  • Emphasis on Synergy, Multi-disciplinary research, and Impact.
  • Must address at least one of the FY21 Focus Areas.
  • Preliminary data are required.
  • Clinical trials are not allowed.
  • Maximum funding of $700,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 3 years.
Translational Research Award Independent investigators at Or above the level of Assistant Professor (or equivalent).
  • A letter of intent is required; an invitation to submit a full application is not required.
  • Supports studies aiming to leverage existing biobanks, biorepositories, ongoing or completed clinical trials to address a translational question or problem in melanoma.
  • Emphasis on Translation and Impact.
  • Must address at least one of the FY21 Focus Areas.
  • Preliminary data is required.
  • Clinical trials are not allowed.
  • Maximum funding of $600,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 3 years.
Translational Research Award – Collaborator Option Two independent investigators at or above the level of Assistant Professor (or equivalent).
  • A letter of intent is required; an invitation to submit a full application is not required.
  • Supports two investigators in a joint study aiming to leverage existing biobanks, biorepositories, ongoing or completed clinical trials to address a translational question or problem in melanoma.
  • Emphasis on Translation and Impact.
  • Must address at least one of the FY21 Focus Areas.
  • Preliminary data is required.
  • Clinical trials are not allowed.
  • Maximum funding of $700,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance Is 3 years.
Melanoma Academy-Director Award Director must be an established melanoma researcher.

Embedded Deputy Director must be an independent melanoma researcher.

  • A letter of intent is required; an invitation to submit a full application is not required.
  • Supports visionary individuals who are established melanoma researchers with a strong record of mentoring and commitment to leadership.
  • The MRP Academy Director with Deputy Director will establish an interactive network of early career investigators (Scholars) to work independently and collaboratively on issues within the scope of melanoma research.
  • The MRP Academy is an opportunity to establish a virtual melanoma center focused on fostering the next generation of melanoma researchers across the spectrum of research disciplines.
  • The MRP Academy will Scholars from multiple different organizations.
  • Director, with Deputy Director, will oversee the interactive MRP Academy of Scholars and their designated career guides, facilitate regular interactive communication among all members, and assess research progress and career progression of the Scholars.
  • Early-career investigators interested in applying to be a Melanoma Academy Scholar should apply to the Melanoma Academy Scholar program announcement.
  • Maximum funding of $1.3M for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance Is 4 years.
Melanoma Academy Scholar Award Must be within 7 years of their last postdoctoral research position (Ph.D.) or clinical fellowship (M.D.), or equivalent as of the full application submission deadline. A letter attesting to eligibility is required.
  • Preproposal is required; application submission is by invitation only.
  • Supports the addition of new Scholar to the unique, interactive virtual academy that provides intensive mentoring, national networking, collaborations, and a peer group for early career melanoma investigators/faculty.
  • A Career Guide who is an experienced melanoma researcher with melanoma cancer funding is required.
  • A Career Guide may only mentor one Scholar.
  • The Career Guide is not required to be at the same institution as the Scholar.
  • The Career Guide will participate in the Melanoma Academy on an advisory panel.
  • Must address at least one of the FY21 Focus Areas.
  • Preliminary data is required.
  • Clinical trials are not allowed.
  • Maximum funding of $500,000 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 MRP 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 Thursday, April 1, 2021