DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE - CONGRESSIONALLY DIRECTED MEDICAL RESEARCH PROGRAMS

NEWS RELEASE

Released: March 2, 2021

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

The FY21 Defense Appropriations Act provides funding 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 J9, Research and Development Directorate, manages the Defense Health Program’s (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).

The PCRP 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 PCRP 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.

The mission of the FY21 PCRP is to fund research that will lead to the elimination of death from prostate cancer and enhance the well-being of Service Members, Veterans, and all the men and their families who are experiencing the impact of the disease. Within this context, the PCRP is interested in supporting research that addresses specific gaps in prostate cancer research and clinical care; therefore, applications are required to address one or more of the following FY21 PCRP Overarching Challenges:

  • Improve quality of life to enhance outcomes and overall health and wellness for those impacted by prostate cancer

Applications should aim to understand the impact of prostate cancer on quality of life for the cancer survivor, their family, caregivers, and their community with the goal of improving and enhancing quality of life and overall health and wellness. Studies should consider both short- and long-term quality of life outcomes. Areas of particular interest include:

  • The mental and emotional health of patients and their families/caregivers
  • Impact of quality of life considerations on decision-making after diagnosis and/or treatment
  • Identification of vulnerable groups of men and their families at great risk of quality of life detriments
  • Translation of factors or interventions that improve quality of life outcomes and overall health and wellness
  • Develop treatments that improve outcomes for men with lethal prostate cancer

Applications must be directly related to prostate cancer with a high risk of death, including high-risk, very high-risk, and metastatic prostate cancer. Applications should not focus on active surveillance, low-risk and intermediate-risk prostate cancer and/or biochemical recurrence. Refer to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines for risk assessment definitions (https://www.nccn.org/patients/guidelines/content/PDF/prostate-advanced-patient.pdf).

  • Advance Health Equity and Reduce Disparities in Prostate Cancer

Applications must be directly relevant to the better understanding and/or reduction of inequities and disparities that impact a person, their family, or their caregiver's ability to prevent, detect, manage, and survive prostate cancer.


Inequities may arise from socioeconomic status, race or ethnicity, geography, environment, lifestyle, sexual and/or gender identification, access to care (in rural or urban settings), or other factors.


Health inequities may include physical, mental, or emotional health differences, as well as social and financial differences experienced primarily in high-risk or underserved prostate cancer patients.


High-risk populations include, but are not limited to, people of African descent (including Caribbean), genetically predisposed populations, Service Members, and Veterans.


Underserved populations include, but are not limited to, men with limited access to clinical care and resources (in rural or urban settings), and sexual and/or gender minorities.

  • Define the biology of lethal prostate cancer to reduce death

Applications must be directly related to prostate cancer with a high risk of death, including high-risk, very high-risk, and metastatic prostate cancer. Applications should not focus on active surveillance, low-risk and intermediate-risk prostate cancer, and/or biochemical recurrence. Refer to the National Comprehensive Cancer Network guidelines for risk assessment definitions (https://www.nccn.org/patients/guidelines/content/PDF/prostate-advanced-patient.pdf).


Award Mechanism Eligibility Key Mechanism Elements Funding
Early Investigator Research Award By March 31, 2022

Postdoctoral Principal Investigators (PIs):
  • Must possess a doctoral degree (or equivalent).
  • Have 3 years or less of postdoctoral research experience (excluding clinical residency or clinical fellowship training).
  • Supports research opportunities focused on prostate cancer for individuals in the early stages of their careers.
  • PIs must have a designated mentor who is an experienced prostate cancer researcher.
  • Researcher Development Plan articulating an individualized strategy for acquiring necessary skills, competence, and expertise to complete the project and foster the PI’s career development is required.
  • Maximum funding of $300,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is years.
Physician Research 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 5 years of having initiated a faculty appointment (including Instructor positions).
  • Supports a mentored research experience to prepare 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.
  • Applications are strongly encouraged to demonstrate protection of at least 40% of the PI’s time for prostate cancer research (not required to be exclusive to this award).
  • Researcher Development Plan articulating an individualized strategy for acquiring necessary skills, competence, and expertise to complete the project and foster the PI’s career development is required.
  • Maximum funding of $750,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 4 years.
Translational Science Award Independent investigators at all levels.
  • Supports advanced translational research that will foster transformation of promising ideas in prostate cancer into clinical applications, ultimately providing a solution to one or more of the FY21 PCRP Overarching Challenges.
  • Translational research may be defined as an integration of basic science and clinical observations, including a reciprocal flow of ideas and information from bench to beside and/or bedside to bench.
  • Supports a broad range of translational studies such as:
    • Advanced translation of results from animal studies to applications with human samples/cohorts.
    • Late-stage preclinical work leading to/preparing for a clinical trial, e.g., Investigational New Drug application submission.
    • Correlative studies that are associated with an open/ongoing or completed clinical trial, e.g., projects that utilize biospecimens from clinical trial to inform future work.
    • Projects that develop endpoints for clinical trials.
  • Preliminary data to support the feasibility of the research hypotheses and research approaches are required. The inclusion of additional preliminary data to support the clinical relevance of the idea is strongly encouraged.
  • Clinical trials are not allowed.
  • Each PI may submit only one application.
  • Partnering PI Option: Allows two PIs, termed Initiating and Partnering PIs, to collaborate on a single application. Collaborations between basic science and clinical researchers are highly encouraged.
  • Maximum funding of $750,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is years.
Health Disparity Research Award Established Investigators:
Independent investigators at all levels

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 and/or Idea Development Award.
  • Have either completed at least 3 years of postdoctoral training or fellowship or are within 10 years after completion of a terminal degree (excluding residency or family medical leave).
  • Supports research ideas that have the potential to make an important contribution to reducing and ultimately eliminating disparities in prostate cancer incidence, morbidity, and mortality.
  • Proposed projects must address one of the following health disparity focus areas: (1) access to healthcare, (2) social and cultural factors, (3) environmental factors, or (4) biological and genetic contributors.
  • Proposed projects may include basic, translational, population science, or clinical research, including clinical trials.
  • Primary emphasis will be placed on the potential impact of the proposed work.
  • Preliminary data are encouraged, but not required.
  • Each PI may submit only one application.
  • Maximum funding of $750,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 3 years.
Idea Development Award Established Investigators:
Independent investigators at all levels

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 and/or Health Disparity Research Award.
  • Have either completed at least 3 years of postdoctoral training or fellowship or are within 10 years after completion of terminal degree (excluding residency or family medical leave).
  • 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 one or more of the FY21 PCRP Overarching Challenges.
  • Emphasis is equally placed on Innovation and Impact.
  • Preliminary data are encouraged, but not required.
  • Clinical trials are not allowed.
  • Each PI may submit only one application.
  • Multidisciplinary projects are encouraged, and multi-institutional projects are allowed.
  • Maximum funding of $750,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 3 years.
Data Science Award

NEW for FY21
Independent investigators at all levels.
  • Supports research where quantitative and analytical approaches, processes, and/or systems are developed and/or used to obtain knowledge and insight from large and/or complex sets of prostate cancer data.
  • Applications may propose development of a new data-science driven tool or apply an existing tool or method to gather and analyze information from large data sets with the intent of advancing prostate cancer research and patient care relative to the FY21 PCRP Overarching Challenges.
  • Research efforts must be built upon the logic, concepts, and methods of one or more of the following research areas, as they pertain to prostate cancer:
    • Computational Biology
    • Bioinformatics
    • Artificial Intelligence and machine learning
    • Epidemiology
    • Analysis of -omics data
    • Imaging Assessments
    • Digital Pathology Assessments
    • Analysis of clinically annotated datasets
  • Clinical research is allowed, but must be retrospective; prospective recruitment of human subjects and/or collection of clinical data, images, samples, etc. is not allowed.
  • Presentation of preliminary data is strongly encouraged, but not required.
  • Partnering PI Option: Allows two PIs, termed Initiating and Partnering PIs, to collaborate on a single application. Collaborations between data scientists and clinicians are highly encouraged. At least one of the submitting or partnering PIs must have expertise in prostate cancer basic and/or clinical research.
  • Maximum funding of $1,000,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 3 years.
Health Equity Research and Outcomes Improvement Consortium (HEROIC) Award

NEW for FY21
Phase 1:
Independent investigators with a faculty-level appointment (or equivalent).
Phase 2:
Independent investigators with a faculty-level appointment (or equivalent) that have previously received a phase 1 PCRP Consortium Research Award.
  • Supports collaborations incorporating innovative and translational approaches that have the potential to make a major impact on one of the following FY21 PCRP Overarching Challenges:
    • Advancing health equity and reducing disparities in prostate cancer.
    • Improving quality of life to enhance outcomes and overall health and wellness for those impacted by prostate cancer.
  • The consortium requires a synergistic, multidisciplinary team of leading scientists, clinicians, and consumer advocates that will address the PCRP Overarching Challenge from multiple perspectives in a way that could not be accomplished by a single investigator or group.
    • Scientists and/or clinicians who have specific expertise related to health disparities or survivorship research or other areas of expertise related to addressing the overarching theme of the proposal should be included.
    • Teams are encouraged to also include promising early-career investigators and scientists from nontraditional disciplines.
    • At least one prostate cancer consumer advocate must be included on each research team; this person should have an active role in every aspect of the proposed consortium’s work.
  • The consortium must include one Consortium Director and three or more additional Research Teams; a minimum of three institutions must be represented.
  • Consortia funding will be offered in two phases. Phase 1 awardees will be eligible to compete for phase 2 funding in FY23, pending availability of funds.
Phase 1 Funding Level
  • Provides initial support necessary to establish the infrastructure of the consortium and to conduct one or more pilot studies.
  • Pilot studies are expected to serve as the basis for future consortium projects by generating preliminary data and providing proof of concept for the studies that will be proposed for phase 2 funding.
  • Clinical trials are not allowed.
Phase 2 Funding Level
  • Only recipients of a phase 1 Consortium Research Award will be eligible for phase 2 funding support.
  • Proposed translational projects should build on the results of the phase 1 pilot study (or studies) and should include multiple, parallel projects that approach the research problem from a variety of perspectives.
  • Continued phase 2 funding may be contingent upon successful completion of specific research milestones and goals.
Phase 1:
  • Maximum funding of $2,700,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 2 years.
Phase 2:
  • Maximum funding of $10,000,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs).
  • Maximum period of performance is 4 years.
Clinical Consortium Award

Modified for FY21
Independent investigators with a faculty-level appointment (or equivalent).
  • Supports a consortium will facilitate the rapid execution of collaborative phase 2 or phase 1/2 clinical trials that will bring to market high-impact, novel therapeutic interventions that will significantly decrease the impact of prostate cancer.
  • One Coordinating Center and 10 Clinical Research Sites will be selected and will be jointly responsible for proposing, selecting, and conducting trials.
  • Funds may not be used for research or development of clinical protocols.
  • Significant emphasis is placed on the inclusion of patients from diverse populations, particularly those from high-risk (e.g., men of African descent, Caribbean Americans), underserved (e.g., men with limited access to clinical care and resources in rural or urban settings), and/or military populations (Service members and Veterans).
  • Coordinating Center applications will identify two or more Affiliate Clinical Research Sites to be supported and managed by the Coordinating Center that must specialize in the recruitment of patients from the emphasized populations.
  • Clinical Research Sites must provide plans for accruing patients from diverse patient populations.
Coordinating Center:
  • Maximum funding of $7,200,000 for direct costs (plus indirect costs), including no less than $500,000 per year for support of two or more Affiliate Clinical Research Sites.
  • Maximum period of performance is years.

Clinical Sites:

  • Maximum funding of $1,200,000 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 PCRP 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 Tuesday, March 2, 2021