Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center SPORE in Breast Cancer funding opportunity


Career Enhancement Program

The overall goal of the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center SPORE in Breast Cancer is to conduct collaborative, multidisciplinary and mechanism-based translational research that will have the highest possible impact for women and men with or at risk for breast cancer. The VICC SPORE in Breast Cancer announces a Career Enhancement Program funding opportunity that aims to attract, develop and mentor promising basic, translational and population-based research scientists, including physician scientists, in breast cancer research. The goal of this funding is to support junior and established investigators who wish to enhance or refocus aspects of their research in breast cancer for the generation of preliminary data required for the submission of external, breast cancer-relevant grant applications (e.g. R type, DOD).

Funds are available to qualified faculty from Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Vanderbilt University, Meharry Medical College and Tennessee State University. For the CEP, junior faculty are defined as investigators at the rank of assistant professor or equivalent who are eligible to apply as a principal investigator for grant support from national agencies (e.g., NIH, ACS, NSF). The investigator must be within six years of their first independent research or faculty appointment and have a commitment from the institution for salary and space. Up to two $50,000 grants will be awarded for one-year projects beginning in August 2021, with the possibility of renewal for a second year based on measurable progress of impact.

Ranking will be by peer review based on novelty and scientific merit, with consideration given to the projects with relevance to breast cancer. A major criterion will be the perceived probability that the research project will lead to the submission of a competitive research grant application to the NCI or similar major source of extramural funding. The purpose of this program is not to serve as the sole source of funding for small projects, but rather to catalyze the generation of relevant preliminary data needed for a larger study. Other factors to be considered in the review will be the areas of expertise of the investigator(s) and the value of the project to the cancer research priorities of the VICC.

Interested applicants for the Career Enhancement Program should submit the following:

  • cover letter that includes the title of the project, participating investigator(s), whether the proposed research will involve human subjects or vertebrate animals, and the status of the appropriate committee (e.g., IACUC or IRB) approval, if appropriate.
  • NIH biographical sketch for the applicant (and the mentor for junior faculty)
  • other support of the applicant (and the mentor for junior faculty) using the NIH PHS398 form
  • two-page research proposal (excluding references)
  • detailed budget for the project period using the NIH PHS 398 detailed budget form page (form page 4)
  • budget justification (include a certification that there is no financial or scientific overlap with existing projects)
  • for junior faculty, a letter from the department chair supporting the applicant’s proposal and commitment toward research supplies and providing specific assurances that space and resources are available for the applicant

All applications are due by Friday, June 18, 2021.

To submit your application electronically, please submit a single PDF containing all documentation through the VICC Pilot Project Application Portal. A link to the VICC Pilot Project Application Portal can also be found at the top right-hand corner of the VICC Funding Opportunities webpage. In the VICC Pilot Project Application Portal, please select “Breast SPORE CEP” from the dropdown options.

VICC may require oral presentations of competitive projects to VICC senior leadership before final funding selections. Oral and written progress reports will be required at the end of the project period. If you have further questions or comments, please contact Paul Spilburg.

CEP announcement and instructions >>