Alliance Cancer Control Program Pilot Project Award Specific to Eliminating InEquities and Delivering Optimal Care

The Alliance is pleased to announce the availability of funds ($100,000 in total costs) to support early stage investigators (ESI) and clinical investigators and pilot projects in the Cancer Control Program (CCP). Priority will be given to ESIs from diverse backgrounds and projects addressing clinical trial issues related to underrepresented populations. Projects may address cancer prevention, risk assessment, screening, symptom intervention, surveillance, health outcomes research, or specific population groups, especially 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. Underrepresented early stage clinical investigator who self-identifies as Black/African American, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander or American Indian and whose research proposal focuses on cancer prevention and control.
  2. Clinical investigator whose research proposal focuses on underrepresented populations (URPs), including those who are racially, ethnically, and age (both young and older) diverse, or belong to a sexual or gender minority (SGM).


Category 1:

  • The PI must be an early stage 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.
  • Applications must include at least one (1) mentor (who must be a CCP committee member by the proposal submission deadline).
  • The PI must submit a letter of support from their mentor at the time of application submission and allocate protected time to engage in training and career development activities during the funding period. The letter should generally describe how the mentor will support the applicant in their career development plan (e.g., possible training activities, meeting frequency, etc.). A formal training plan is not needed.
  • The PI, their mentor, 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 a clinical investigator of any background and at any career stage working on a project relating to URPs.
  • If Co-PIs, the contact PI must be a member of a CCP committee by the proposal submission deadline.

General Information

  • All proposals must be in the field of cancer prevention and control.
  • Priority will be given to proposals that incorporate novel methods that support inclusion of diverse populations (e.g., telehealth, patient navigation, etc.).
  • The PI and their respective institution must be Alliance members.
  • Multi-site pilots are welcome and encouraged.
  • 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 32 months of funding will be provided to each investigator upon satisfactory completion of bi-annual progress and financial reports.
  • Virtual and hybrid Alliance workshops will be organized to foster career development for investigators in underrepresented minority groups and/or doing research in URM populations. More details about this will follow, but participation of awardees in that program when available will be required.

Interested applicants must submit a Letter of Intent (LOI) to Jill Oliveri ( by June 28, 2024. 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).
  • If applying as an ESI, must include a named mentor (mentor must be a CCP committee member by the proposal submission deadline).

Following LOI submission and approval, 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:  

  • 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 the funding timeline)
  • 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:

  • Title page (include address, phone number, and preferred email address for contact PI; include email address for all Co-PIs and mentor, if applicable)
  • References
  • Letter of support from supporting investigator at each site IF a multi-site pilot is proposed; one page limit for each)
  • Letter of support from ESI’s mentor IF applying under that category
  • NIH-formatted biographical sketch for PI(s) and mentor (if applicable)
  • Summary of Other Support for PI(s) and mentor (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 ESI salary support; however, funds cannot be used for PI (co-investigator or mentor) 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, environment, focus on URPs (if relevant) and likelihood of completion of the project within the allotted timeframe.

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 e-mail ( no later than August 5, 2024 (5:00 pm Eastern Time). Approved projects will be funded with an anticipated budget start date of November 1, 2024 and a budget end date of June 30, 2027 (funds will be distributed at the beginning of the funding period and again in February 2026). 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.

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

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

The funding for this RFP is provided by the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology Foundation, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation whose purpose is to support the mission of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology, via the Special Projects Allocation Mechanism.


Award Recipients


  • Kinsey Pebley, PhD, MPH (Medical University of South Carolina)
    Mentor: Alana Rojewski, PhD
    “Video Interventions for Dependence on Smoke (VIDeOS) for Cancer Patients Prevention and Health Outcomes Committees”


  • 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"


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


  • 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”


  • 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”


  • 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"


  • 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"


  • 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”


  • 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"