American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant

MUSC Hollings Cancer Center is a recipient of the American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant (ACS IRG). The ACS IRG is an institutional award that enables Hollings to provide small pilot research funding to beginning investigators who have not yet achieved independent funding at the national level. Since 2003, over 100 awards have been made. Awards will be up to $50,000 each and upon competitive review can be renewed for a second year.  

The Principal Investigator of the ACS IRG award is Denis C. Guttridge, Ph.D. The review of applications and allocation of awards will be managed through Hollings using a peer-review process. The award is exempt from indirect costs, so all funds are used for cancer research as direct costs. IRB and/or IACUC approvals must be sent to Hollings administration before any funding will be released. If approvals are not applicable, an exemption letter will be required. 

Hollings collaborates with the local ACS to promote ACS research opportunities and to disseminate information about research findings and benefits to public and professional groups. To learn more about the ACS IRG and other ACS research opportunities, visit the ACS website.

For more information or questions regarding the ACS IRG Award, eligibility, or the application process, please contact Mary Shipp-Tabor (

Eligibility | Evaluation Criteria | Awardees

ACS IRG Award Application

Applications are not being accepted at this time.


ACS IRG sub-awards are intended to support independent, self-directed, early career investigators for whom the institution must provide research facilities or space customary for an independent investigator. Applicants for the individual awards:

  • Must be within four years of their first independent research or faculty appointment. Although applicants may apply for multiple awards, a grantee may not be the principal investigator on more than one ACS grant at any time.
  • Must not currently hold any national, non-developmental career, peer-reviewed project grant funding [e.g., R01, R03, R21, national ACS award, national DOD award]. Exceptions will be made for faculty members who hold national peer-reviewed grants in a non-cancer related area. Individuals with career development awards (NIH K, R00 awards and other career development awards from national foundations) are eligible. 
  • Must at the time of application have U.S. residency status or hold a visa that will allow time for full completion of the project.
  • Must have a primary academic appointment at MUSC.
  • As part of the ACS Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategy, special consideration will be given to underrepresented minority investigators. The National Science Foundation reports that certain racial and ethnic groups are underrepresented at many career stages in health-related sciences, namely, African Americans (or Blacks), American Indians and Alaska Natives, Hispanics (or Latinos), Native Hawaiians and other Pacific Islanders. Collectively these groups are known as underrepresented minorities (URM) in science.

Evaluation Criteria

Each proposal will be reviewed by two or more Hollings members, including a biostatistician, and scored by each committee member using the NIH scoring system and process. Written evaluations of the projects will be provided to individual applicants after funding decisions have been made.

Review criteria will include:

  • Proposed research has direct cancer relevance and addresses an important problem in cancer.
  • There is high probability that the pilot project supported by this sub-award will form the basis for major peer-reviewed funding.