The Foundation Dedicated to Discovering a Cure for Neuroendocrine Cancer

Caring for Carcinoid Foundation

Researching Funding Opportunities

Caring for Carcinoid Foundation RFP: Systematic Evaluation of the Immune Environment of Neuroendocrine Tumors

Mission

The mission of the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation (CFCF) is to discover cures for carcinoid, pancreatic neuroendocrine, and related neuroendocrine cancers.

Approach

CFCF is the leading non-­‐profit organization funding neuroendocrine cancer research, having awarded over ten million dollars since inception. Our approach is to award research grants to physicians and scientists whose work will provide insight into the causes of neuroendocrine tumors and/or lead to improved treatment for patients who suffer from these cancers.

CFCF is aware of the many recent successes treating cancer patients with immune-­‐based therapies and is eager to explore the possibility that these therapies may be useful in treating neuroendocrine tumor patients.  However, there is currently limited understanding of the immune environment of neuroendocrine tumors.

Purpose

The purpose of this Request for Proposals is to fund investigators who will make meaningful contributions toward understanding the immune microenvironment of ileal carcinoid and pancreatic neuroendocrine tumors.  We invite applicants with access to suitable clinical tumor samples to submit proposals to:

  1. systematically characterize the immune microenvironment of neuroendocrine tumors in detail.  This characterization might include different immune cells and subsets such as lymphocytes, macrophages, myeloid derived suppressor cells, and dendritic cells as well as cell receptors and soluble factors, but need not be limited to these features, depending on investigator expertise.
  2. systematically characterize the genomes of the same neuroendocrine tumor samples. This is because information about the genetic features will be useful for classifying tumor-­‐immune interactions. Genomic characterization should at a minimum include copy number analysis and presence or absence of known mutations in pancreas NETs; exome sequencing is optional but proposals will be considered.

Funding

  • Applicants are invited to submit one year proposals for up to $100,000 in direct research costs.
  • In exceptional circumstances a second year of funding will be considered after demonstration of progress in the first year.

Eligibility

  • The sponsoring facility must be an academic medical institution.
  • Applicants must spend the majority of effort in clinical investigation or basic research.
  • MD, PhD, or MD/PhD required.
  • At least one Key Investigator on the application must have expertise in immunology.
  • Candidates must demonstrate expertise in immune characterization of tumor samples or in neuroendocrine tumors.
  • Applicants must present credible evidence of access to tumor samples that permit both immune and genome characterization of the same specimen.

Use of Funds

  • Funds may be used for personnel salaries, supplies, small equipment (costing less than $5,000 in aggregate), and/or research-related services only.
  • Award funds are directed to the applicant’s institution.
  • Use of funds for overhead costs is prohibited.
  • Funds may not be applied to costs covered by other sources.
  • A progress report summarizing research accomplishments and use of the funds is required semi-­‐annually for the duration of the award.

Deadlines and Review Schedule

  • Notification of intent to apply: October 31, 2014 (5pm Eastern Standard Time).  Letter of intent to apply should include the project title, name and institution of all investigators, and designate a primary investigator.
  • Full application:  November 30, 2014 (5pm Eastern Standard Time).

Peer Review Committee

  • The Peer Review Committee comprises available members of the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation’s Board of Scientific Advisors and additional consultants who are experts in tumor immunology.
  • Members of the Peer Review Committee will be recused if investigators from their institutions submit an Application or if there is another direct or perceived conflict of interest.
  • Applicants may make reasonable requests that individuals with potential conflicts not review their Application.

Selection Process

  • CFCF’s Peer Review Committee will evaluate all Applications against five criteria, in accordance with NIH guidelines:
    • Approach
    • Adherence to current standards and concepts in the field
    • Investigators’ track record
    • Access to tumor samples
    • Interactions within a team of investigators, including an immunologist
  • Next, our Board of Directors, acting in its sole discretion, will select the research grant recipients based on the recommendations of the Peer Review Committee, funds available, and impact of the research on the mission of the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation.

Application

Length

  • Body: 5 page limit
    • Single-­‐spaced (12-point  Times  New  Roman font)
    • Must include all figures, charts, tables, and preliminary data
  • Appendix: No page limit
    • Required: Biosketch (NIH format) of the Principal Investigator and key collaborators
    • Required: List of all sources of funding (current and pending) for the Principal Investigator, including the specific aims associated with each source
    • Optional: Reprints and/or letters of collaboration 

Body

  • Principal Investigator name, title, and contact information
    • Address, Telephone, Fax, and E-­‐mail
  • Sponsoring Institution name and contact information
    • Address, Telephone, Fax, and E-­‐mail
  • Description of project
    • Title
    • Objectives
    • Abstract (scientific version)
    • Abstract (lay version)
    • Performance metrics to track rapid progress
    • List and roles of all involved personnel and collaborators
    • Funding requested
    • Duration requested
  • Detailed research proposal (NIH format)
    • Specific aims
    • Background and significance
    • Preliminary  results
    • Experimental plan, including plan for access to patient tumor samples
  • Detailed budget, including other sources of support
  • Plan for sharing research data with other scientists/institutions
  • Plan for sharing research resources with other scientists/institutions 

Rules

  • Application must be written in English.
  • Application must be submitted before the deadline.
  • Application must conform to the prescribed page limits.
  • Incomplete Applications will not be reviewed.
  • Application cannot be changed after submission.

Submission Process

  • Sign and date the following statement on a separate page (does not count toward page limits): "I certify that the statements herein are true, complete, and accurate to the best of my knowledge. Any false or fraudulent statements or claims may subject me to criminal, civil, and/or administrative penalties. I have read and agree to be bound by the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation’s Research Grant Policies and Procedures."
  • Department Chairperson (or equivalent) of the applicant’s Sponsoring Institution must sign and date the following statement on a separate page (does not count toward page limits): "I certify that the statements herein are true, complete, and accurate to the best of my knowledge. I am aware that any false, fictitious, or fraudulent statements or claims may subject me to criminal, civil, and/or administrative penalties. [Insert name of Sponsoring Institution] has read and agrees to be bound by the Caring for Carcinoid Foundation’s Research Grant Policies and Procedures."
  • Convert the Application to a single PDF file and email to lauren.erb@caringforcarcinoid.org
  • The Caring for Carcinoid Foundation will e‐mail the applicant to confirm receipt of the Application within 5 business days.
  • The Caring for Carcinoid Foundation will disclose the Application only to individuals directly involved in our process to award research grants.

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