The Challenge Research Award

Optional: Schedule a FASTR meeting by November 1, 2012

Proposal Due December 3, 2012


The Purdue University Center for Cancer Research invites applications for a cancer-focused research award. This $ 30,000 award is made possible through the The Challenge Walk/Run held on April 13, 2013. The goal of this call for proposals is to identify a novel, innovative project that when completed will generate high impact in the field.  Inter-programmatic collaborative proposals are encouraged, where applicable.  Projects that utilize/incorporate Center for Cancer Research shared resources are also desired. 

Awardees must be willing to present their projects at one The Challenge Walk/Run event during the funding period and at one event during the year after completion of the award (two events).  Also, it is expected that the PI of the awarded project will be present for a recognition announcement at The Challenge Walk/Run on April 13, 2013.





The proposed research introduces new ideas, methods, tools, or devices that are different from current approaches. 

Innovative / Creativity

The proposed research uses current approaches in new ways.

Cancer Relevance

The proposed research has a cancer focus. 

Integration of Collaborative Science

The research team has the expertise to implement the study design.  If the proposal is a single investigator proposal, describe its potential to grow into collaboration. (Inter-programmatic collaboration is encouraged, where applicable)

Translational Potential

The proposed research has the potential either to directly impact or form a foundation that can lead to a reduction in the incidence, mortality and morbidity of cancer.

Definitions/Examples are given on the next page.

Potential to Attract Peer-Review Funding and Peer-Review Publications

The proposed research provides a foundation for submitting or moving towards a peer-reviewed funding opportunity and/or publications.

  1. Principal Investigator(s) must be a member(s) of the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research. 
  2. The proposal should be single-spaced using 11 point Arial font, no less than 0.75 inch margins and not exceed FIVE typed pages.

The following must be included within a five-page limit:

1.  Abstract (summary of the project)

2.  Specific Aims of the project

3.  Background and Significance

-   This section should emphasize the novel, creative and/or innovative aspects,
-   cancer relevance,
-   and the relevant expertise of the PI(s))

 4.  Plan of Research

-   If the proposal is collaborative, describe the collaborative nature of the project and provide strong evidence for the scientific integration of the contributions from the various participants.  Letters of collaborative support from your collaborator(s) is encouraged (not included in page limit).

-   Please describe or outline your plan and expected outcomes/results for collecting the preliminary data necessary for attracting peer-reviewed funding (and publications); this can be facilitated by the FASTR process if you want to add a map to your proposal; this is optional.

The following must be included in the application, but not within the five-page limit:

1.   Cited Literature (limited to one page)

2.   Mandatory cover page.

3.   CV of PI(s)

4.   A complete list of all existing and pending grant support for each PI. List any additional sources (e.g., companies) where support for the proposed project is being requested.

5.   A brief statement from the PI(s) explaining how the proposed project is substantially different from currently supported projects. Derivatives of ongoing projects will not be supported.  This is placed on “Proposed Budget Form.”

6.   Complete the “Proposed Budget Form”; a brief description of the required personnel and supplies must be included.  Salary support for PIs and clerical staff, equipment above $ 2500 and travel are not allowed. 

Electronic applications must be emailed to by 5 pm December 3, 2012.  Applications require prior written approval of the appropriate department heads and deans but do not require completion of the university transmittal check sheet at the time of submission. 

Acceptance of an award will indicate your willingness to serve on the Center’s Small Grants Review Committee and to present for a recognition announcement at The Challenge Walk/Run on April 13, 2013.

For the continued success of the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research’s NCI Cancer Center Support Grant (CCSG, “Core Grant”), it is essential that Cancer Center members acknowledge support from the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research in publications and seminar presentations. Suggestions for acknowledging the Cancer Center are found below.

Acknowledgement of the Center’s Shared Resources

  1. Methods section of publications: Data were obtained in the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research’s “XXXX” facility.
  2. Acknowledgement section of publications: “XXXX” data were acquired in the Purdue University Center for Cancer Research “XXXX” facility supported by NCI CCSG CA23168 to Purdue University Center for Cancer Research.
  3. Acknowledgement section of presentations: Purdue University Center for Cancer Research “XXXX” Facility

Acknowledgement of Support from the Center’s Small Grants Program

Support from the Purdue University Center for Cancer ResearchSmall Grants Program, specifically The Challenge Walk/Run, is gratefully acknowledged.

Outcomes of previous awarded grants by the Center may be used as a basis for funding decisions (over the past 5 years)

The projected start date is April 2013 to March 2014.  Funds must be expended in one year from award date (Extensions will be considered). 

For questions contact Doug Cuttell (phone: 49-45022, email:

Examples of Translational Potential:

Cell Growth and Differentiation– Applicants should articulate how the results of their work will could be applied to improve current diagnostics or available treatments for cancer. 

Chemical and Structural Biology– Translation is defined broadly for projects that fall under the chemical and structural biology program.  These could include:

Efforts to utilize high-resolution biomolecular structural information to develop agents that bind to those targets and evaluate their efficacy in cell culture or animal models; Mechanistic elucidation and/or target validation of mode-of-action of inhibitors in animal models of disease; Activity enhancement via structure-guided design of therapeutic agents and their evaluation in cell culture or animal models; Application of proteomic, genomic, metabolomic or bioinformatic tools to assess the impact of anti-infectious agents in the relevant disease model.

Medicinal Chemistry– For a laboratory that had developed chemical technology, its application to a synthetic problem that has clear relevance to cancer treatment could be engaged in translation. Such studies could involve either a collaborative project to discover molecules that target proteins of interest in cancer cells, or the synthesis of a compound with clear and compelling anti-cancer activity.

For a laboratory that had been developing compounds with activity toward a potential anti-cancer drug target, a translational project could involve new efforts (potentially involving new collaborations) to take the project to the next level – either cellular work for compounds with biochemical activity, or animal studies for compounds with cellular activity.

For a laboratory with a cellular or animal model system of cancer development, growth, or progression, a translational project could involve its use in the evaluation of new therapeutic modalities (either derived from MC or from DDMS colleagues), or its use to evaluate new diagnostic techniques.

Drug Delivery and Molecular Sensing– The term translation can be used rather broadly for projects that fall under drug delivery and molecular sensing.  A few examples are provided.

For example a laboratory that discovers and characterizes new polymers would be engaged in translation if now these polymers were investigated as matrices for an anticancer drug. The translation activity might include one or more of the following activities:  optimizing the drug binding to the polymeric material, characterizing the drug-polymer matrix by physical methods, measuring uptake into cells by imaging or determination of toxicity in animal models.

A laboratory that develops new sensing or imaging techniques would be engaged in translation if now these techniques were applied to cancer cells, animal cancer models, or human samples/patients. The translation activity might include one or more of the following activities: validating a biochemical process for cancer relevance by novel imaging tools, visualizing the uptake and intracellular transport of potential anticancer agents in cell, analyzing cancer related biological specimens by novel sensing techniques, developing strategies for tumor imaging or cancer therapeutic monitoring in animal models or human patients.