Alliance Cancer Control Program Pilot Project Award

The Alliance is pleased to announce the availability of funds to support early career investigators and pilot projects in the Cancer Control Program (CCP), including cancer prevention, risk assessment, screening, symptom intervention, surveillance, health outcomes research, or specific population groups, including minority and underserved, older adult, or adolescent and young adult populations. The purpose of these pilot projects is to generate preliminary data that will lead to Alliance protocols. Eligible proposals must address at least one of the following categories and must include a research project:

  1. Foster career development for early career investigators in underrepresented minority groups through a mentored research project.
  2. Generate research within the Alliance focused on underrepresented minorities.

Category 1:

  • The PI must be an early career investigator; defined as either an instructor or assistant professor position within their institution and no more than 10 years from the start of their first faculty appointment.
  • The PI must also be a self-defined member of an underrepresented minority (URM) group (defined as any individual who identifies as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian, and other Pacific Islanders, or American Indian and Alaska Native).
  • Applications must include at least two (2) mentors (one of whom must be a CCP committee member).
  • The PI must submit a detailed and comprehensive mentorship plan at the time of application submission and allocate protected time to engage in training and career development activities.
  • The PI, their mentors, and their respective institutions must be Alliance members, and, if selected for funding, the PI must be a member of a relevant Alliance CCP committee prior to distribution of funds.

Category 2:

  • The PI(s) may be from any career stage.
  • Proposed projects must be in the field of cancer prevention and control, such as cancer prevention, risk assessment, screening, symptom intervention, surveillance, health outcomes research, or specific population groups, including minority and underserved, older adult, or adolescent and young adult populations.
  • Projects must address clinical trial issues related to underrepresented groups including, but not limited to, older or younger individuals or those from racial and/or ethnic, sexual and gender minority groups.
  • If Co-PIs, the contact PI must be a member of a CCP committee at the time of application.

General Information:

  • The proposed project should align with the committee membership of the investigator and have strong potential to lead to a full protocol within the Alliance.
  • Up to two (2) years of funding will be provided to each investigator upon satisfactory completion of annual progress and financial reports.
  • We are planning an Alliance workshop program to foster career development for investigators in underrepresented minority groups and/or doing research in URM patients. More details of this will follow, but participation of awardees in that program when available will be encouraged.
  • Success of these applications will be demonstrated by publications, development of a full protocol within the Alliance or establishment of the early career investigator in a leadership position within the Alliance.

Interested applicants must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to Jill Oliveri ( by September 22, 2022. The LOI must include:

  • Proposal title, goal and/or specific aims and a one-paragraph description of the proposed project.
  • Demonstration/documentation of institutional and individual Alliance membership, as well as CCP committee membership (as appropriate).

Eligible applicants will be invited to submit an application in the form of a 5-page proposal to conduct a CCP pilot clinical trial that addresses at least one of the categories outlined above. Proposals should be written using 11 point (or larger) font in either Arial, Helvetica, Palatino Linotype or Georgia typeface (black font color) with at least 0.5 inch margins on all sides.

The proposal should follow the format below:

  • Title page (include address, phone number, and preferred email address for contact PI; include email address for all Co-PIs) (not included in page limit)
  • Background (include rationale and significance)
  • Study objectives
  • Study plan (include schema and eligibility criteria)
  • Data analysis plan
  • Feasibility (provide evidence that study can reach accrual goal within 18 months of the start of funding)
  • Description of how this pilot study will lead to an Alliance protocol in the near future
  • Description of research environment

Required, but Not Included in Page Limit:

  • References
  • Detailed training plan (for Category 1 only; 1 page limit)
  • Letter of support from the mentors committing time to mentor the applicant (for Category 1 only: 1 page limit for each)
  • NIH-formatted biographical sketch for PI(s) and mentors (if applicable)
  • Summary of Other Support for PI(s) and mentors (if applicable)
  • Budget (following the PHS 398 budget format, including the Detailed Budget for Initial Budget Period AND the Checklist Form page) that may request up to $100,000 in total costs (including institutional indirect costs totaling not more than 15%)
  • Detailed budget justification

Use this checklist to ensure you are submitting a complete application.

Awardees must budget for and attend at least one Alliance Group meeting to present the results of their research. Funds not to exceed 10% may be requested for early career investigator salary support; however, funds cannot be used for PI (or co-investigator) or mentor salary support or salary support for Alliance Central Office staff.

Applications will be judged on likelihood of leading to an Alliance full protocol, significance (including the ability to address issues relevant to underrepresented groups within CCP studies), innovation, approach, likelihood of completion of the project within the allotted timeframe, and strength of training plan (if appropriate).

Note: These pilot studies will not be considered Alliance protocols, and as such, will not be assigned a protocol number or be eligible for cancer control credits/reimbursements or per-case payments for the participating site(s).

Complete applications must be submitted to Jill Oliveri via email ( no later than October 20, 2022 (5:00pm Eastern Time). Approved projects will be funded with an anticipated budget start date of November 15, 2022 and a budget end date of June 30, 2024. Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their proposal to their local IRB for approval at the time the application is submitted to the Alliance CCP for review to reduce time to activation, if funded. If the study is not activated within the first 12 months after funding is awarded, the study will be shut down.

Answers to FAQ can be found here. Other questions about the application process should be addressed to Jill Oliveri, DrPH, at or 614-293-8174.

If the submitted application is not adherent to the requirements described above or if the submission is late, it will not be reviewed.

Download RFP.

Here's a list of past award recipients.
Year 8 | Pilot Project Award Recipient

  • Sagar Sardesai, MD; Jennifer Vaughn, MD; and Maryam Lustberg, MD (The Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center)
    "Episodic Future Thinking: A Behavioral Intervention to Promote Weight Loss in Breast Cancer Survivors"

Year 7 | Pilot Project Award Recipient

  • Kevin Cassel, DrPH, MPH (Hawaii Minority/Underserved NCORP)
    "Improving Quality of Life for Colon Cancer Patients and Their Caregivers"

Year 6 | Pilot Project Award Recipients

  • Audrey Calderwood, MD, MS (Dartmouth-Hitchcock Norris Cotton Cancer Center)
    "Non-invasive Stool Testing (FIT) for Surveillance of Colonic Neoplasia in Older Adults”
  • Tanya M. Wildes, MD, MSCI (Washington University School of Medicine)
    ”Adherence to Lenalidomide in Older Adults with Multiple Myeloma”

Year 5 | Pilot Project Award Recipients

  • Rachel Freedman, MD (Dana-Farber)
    “‘ADVANCE’ (A Pilot Trial) ADjuVANt Chemotherapy in the Elderly: Developing and Evaluating Lower-Toxicity Chemotherapy Options for Older Patients with Breast Cancer”
  • Nathan Staff, MD and Charles Loprinzi, MD (Mayo Clinic)
    ”A Pilot Trial of Fingolimod for Prevention or Treatment of Chemotherapy-Induced Neuropathy”
  • Lisa Yee, MD (City of Hope) and Maryam Lustberg, MD (Ohio State)
    “Curcumin for Breast Cancer Survivors with Aromatase Inhibitor-induced Joint Arthropathy: A Randomized Double-blinded Controlled Pilot Study”

Year 4 | Pilot Project Award Recipients

  • Kathleen Lyons, ScD, Andrew Ray, PhD and David Finley, MD (Norris Cotton Cancer Center)
    "A remotely supervised exercise program for lung cancer patients undergoing chemoradiation"
  • Allison Quick, MD and Maryam Lustberg, MD (Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center)
    "Fractional CO2 laser therapy for survivors of gynecologic malignancies"

Year 3 | Pilot Project Award Recipients

  • Aminah Jatoi, MD (Mayo Clinic)
    "Lipids to prevent carboplatin hypersensitivity reactions"
  • Rudolph Navari, MD, PhD (Northern Indiana Oncology Associates)
    "Olanzapine for the treatment of chronic nausea and/or vomiting, unrelated to chemotherapy or radiation, in advanced cancer patients: A pilot, dose-finding trial"
  • Nitin Pagedar, MD and Richard Hoffman, MD (University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine)
    "Supporting head and neck cancer survivors in making shared decisions for lung cancer screening"

Year 2 | Pilot Project Award Recipient

  • William Wood, MD, MPH (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
    ”Assessing physical fitness in cancer patients with cardiopulmonary exercise testing and wearable data generation: An Alliance pilot study proposal”

Year 1 | Pilot Project Award Recipients

  • Arti Gaur, PhD and Konstantin Dragnev, MD (Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Center)
    "MicroRNAs as biomarkers of treatment efficacy and toxicity in gioblastoma patients"
  • Aminah Jatoi, MD (Mayo Clinic) and Kendrith Rowland, MD (Carle Clinic)
    "Curcumin + piperine for ureteral stent-induced symptoms in older cancer patients:  A pilot study to derive a safe, optimal biological dose"
  • Hyung Kim, MD (Cedars Sinai Medical Center)
    "Cholesterol lowering intervention for prostate cancer active surveillance"