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, 95 awards have been made, and the goal for applications received is to likely fund five awards for 2022 (January 1 – December 31, 2022). Awards will be up to $35,000 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.

Full applications are due on Monday, October 25, 2021, by 4 p.m.

Eligibility | Evaluation Criteria | Application Workshop | Timeline
Application Guidelines

Eligibility

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.

Please contact Brett Bechtol (bechtolb@musc.edu) with questions.

ACS IRG Application Workshop

Dr. Guttridge, Dr. Betsy Hill, director of the Hollings Biostatistics Shared Resource, and members of the Hollings administrative team will lead a workshop detailing the ACS IRG application process and advice on submitting exceptional proposals. The event will take place on Wednesday, September 15, 2021, from 1 – 3 p.m. in HCC 120.  If you would like to take part in the meeting, please email Brett Bechtol (bechtolb@musc.edu) for information.

Timeline for Proposals for Sub-Grant Awards 

  • Each applicant is strongly encouraged to include a biostatistician collaborator as part of the proposal to assist with design and statistical methods. If assistance is needed in identifying a biostatistician, please contact Dr. Betsy Hill (hille@musc.edu) as soon as possible, but no later than Monday, September 20, 2021. Please use the Biostatistics Resource Request Form to submit your biostatistics requests.
  • Notification of intent to submit is due Monday, September 27, 2021, by 4 p.m. This notification allows us to better prepare for the review. Please send Brett Bechtol (bechtolb@musc.edu) a brief email stating that you plan to submit an application. The email should contain a preliminary title, notice of any collaborators, your academic title and department, and an abstract of your intended project. Also, please include a list of all Current, Recent, and Pending grant applications you may have. This will allow us to identify any potential eligibility issues. If your list of collaborators, the nature of the proposed research, or your funding status changes at any time, you must notify Brett Bechtol as soon as possible.
  • Applications are due Monday, October 25, 2021, by 4 p.m. Please send one PDF file of the application packet via email to Brett Bechtol (bechtolb@musc.edu).
  • Applications received by the deadline will be scientifically reviewed by the ACS IRG committee in December, and all applicants will be notified soon after. Every effort will be made to have awards allocated by January 1, 2022. Please notify your departmental business manager about your submission.
  • Grant awards are for a 12-month period, from January 1, 2022 through December 31, 2022. All awards should be completed and spent by December 31, 2022. No cost extensions will only be granted under special circumstances.