Email sguiffre@ccalliance.org to be added to our notification list for information about future cycles.

Introduction & Background

Founded in 1999, the Colon Cancer Alliance is a U.S. 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to empower a nation of advocates who work with us to offer support for patients, raise awareness of preventative measures, and inspire efforts to fund critical research.  In honor of the late Christine Sapienza, and for all the families who are affected by colorectal cancer, the Chris4Life Research Program was established in 2010. To date, we have committed over $1 million dollars to innovative and life-saving research.  For more information, visit www.ccalliance.org.

Program Summary

The Colon Cancer Alliance will award one grant in December 2017:

          • Colon Cancer Alliance Chris4Life Research Grant in Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Research

According to the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, from 1989-90 to 2012-2013 the proportion of rectal cancers diagnosed in adults younger than age 55 doubled from 14.6% to 29.2%. Compared with adults born circa 1950, those born circa 1990 have double the risk of colon cancer and quadruple the risk of rectal cancer.  Nearly one-third of rectal patients are younger than age 55.  Given these rising trends, the Colon Cancer Alliance Chris4 Life Research Grants in Young-Onset Colorectal Cancer Research represent an effort to encourage and support researchers to conduct young-onset colorectal cancer research and to establish a successful career path in this field. The research proposed for funding may be as follows:

          • Basic
          • Translational,
          • Clinical, or
          • Epidemiological in nature and
          • Should focus on changes in the microbiome and its impact in the development of young onset colorectal cancer.

One grant in the amount of $125,000 will be awarded over a two-year period to support the salary and benefits of the researcher while working on mentored, young-onset colorectal cancer research. A partial amount of funds may be designated for non-personnel expenses, such as research/laboratory supplies, equipment, publication charges for manuscripts that pertain directly to the funded project, and other research expenses.

Who Can Apply

          • An MD or PhD early career researchers and young investigators at the instructor, research scientist or assistant professor level
          • More senior researchers who have shifted their area of interest toward colorectal cancer research.
          • Researchers at any academic level who need seed funding to test an innovative hypothesis
          • Researchers from non-profit institutions (including academic institutions) are eligible to apply
          • Researchers from for-profit institutions will NOT be considered

Important Information for Applicants

Proposals must fall within the scope of the Colon Cancer Alliance’s funding priorities as outlined in the program summary above to be considered. The goal of the Colon Cancer Alliance’s research program is to provide funding for innovative projects expected to lead to future funding from other peer-reviewed sources.

          • Basic science grants must demonstrate substantial potential for impact on determining changes in the microbiome, which are contributing to the increase in young-onset colorectal cancer.
          • Applications that do not have a biographical sketch for all key personnel will not be considered.
          • Researchers need not be United States citizens. However, research must be conducted in the United States primarily.
          • Researchers who applied in a previous cycle and wish to resubmit their project for reconsideration may do so only one time.

Policy on Tobacco-Industry Funding and Conflicts of Interest

Scientific investigators or health professionals who are currently funded by the tobacco industry for any project, or who have been funded by the tobacco industry during the previous four years, or whose named mentors in the case of mentored fellowships are funded by the tobacco industry for any project (currently or during the previous four years) may not apply and will not be eligible for the Colon Cancer Alliance research grants. Scientific investigators, health professionals, or named mentors who accept funding from the tobacco industry for any project during the tenure of a Colon Cancer Alliance research award must inform the Alliance of such funding, whereupon the Alliance grant will immediately be terminated. Tobacco industry funding includes the receipt of funds from a company that is engaged in or has affiliates engaged in the manufacture of tobacco produced for human use; funds in the name of a tobacco brand, whether or not the brand name is used solely for tobacco products; funds from a body set up by the tobacco industry (e.g., a corporate foundation) or by one or more companies engaged in the manufacture of tobacco products. The following do not constitute tobacco industry funding for the purposes of this policy:

          • Legacies from tobacco industry investments (unless the name of a tobacco company or cigarette brand is associated with them)
          • Funding from a trust or foundation established with assets related to the tobacco industry but no longer having any connection with the tobacco industry even though it may bear a name that (for historical reasons) is associated with the tobacco industry
          • Funds from the Master Settlement Agreement of November 23, 1998

For purposes of the Colon Cancer Alliance grants, tobacco industry funding is defined as money provided or used for all or any of the costs of the research, including personnel, consumables, equipment, buildings, travel, meetings and conferences, and operating costs for laboratories and offices.

Applicants to the grant program must disclose any additional financial relationships that may impact the integrity of science and results.

APPLICATION POLICIES

Award Amount

The grant will be awarded for two years for a total of $125,000. The grant will be paid in three installments:

          • The first installment of $50,000 to be paid at the inception of the research project.
          • The second installment of $50,000 will be paid after satisfactory review of the interim progress report.
          • The final installment of $25,000 will be paid after the satisfactory review of the final progress report.

See POST-AWARD REQUIREMENTS for information about required interim and final progress reports. The goal of the Colon Cancer Alliance’s Chris4Life Research Program is to provide funding for innovative projects expected to lead to future funding from other peer-reviewed sources. Therefore, grants are non-renewable.

Application Submission Information

          • The application fee is $75.00. Include a check made payable to the Colon Cancer Alliance to:

Colon Cancer Alliance, Chris4Life Research Program

Attention: Stephanie Guiffre

1025 Vermont Avenue, NW, Suite 1066

Washington, DC 2005

Proposals that do not include the fee will not be considered. If you require a receipt, please email the Research Administrator at sguiffre@ccalliance.org. This fee is non-refundable. Checks must be postmarked no later than September 1, 2017 in order for applications to be considered.

          • Late and/or incomplete applications will not be accepted. No exceptions will be made.
          • Applications should be typed in no smaller than 11-point font size in Arial or Times New Roman. Margins should be no more or less than 1 inch on the right and left and top and bottom. Applications with smaller fonts and margins will be automatically disqualified. 
          • Tables should be prepared in black ink.
          • Supplemental information such as support letters should be included in the appendix of the online application. Please consult the Application Submission Checklist Before you submit your application. Verify that all sections are complete. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. 

The grant applicant must sign the Colon Cancer Alliance Statement of Compliance with Tobacco Policy that he/she (and his/her mentor) does not accept tobacco-industry funding, as outlined above. The application will be considered incomplete if the signed statement is not included.

Grant Application Checklist

          • Include letters of support/collaboration as part of the appendix in the electronic application.
          • Verify that page limits in each section have not been exceeded. All page lengths refer to single-sided pages. Applications exceeding any page limit will not be reviewed.
          • Verify that all page numbers are correct.
          • Be sure to put the Principal Investigator’s name and Project Title in the Document Header on each page.
          • Tobacco Sign Statement of Compliance with the Tobacco Policy verifying that the applicant does not accept tobacco-industry funding.
          • Submit electronic grant application.
          • Pay the $75.00 application fee by check made payable to the Colon Cancer Alliance. Checks must be postmarked no later than September 1, 2017 in order for applications to be considered.

OVERVIEW OF RESEARCH PROPOSAL

          • All page lengths refer to single-sided pages. Applications exceeding any page limit will not be reviewed.
          • Layperson’s Summary: A statement of no more than 2000 characters explaining the subject of your research proposal, geared towards the lay public. State how the work is significant to young-onset colorectal cancer. This summary will be provided to help the general public and the Alliance’s donors understand the nature of your work. It also demonstrates that the researcher has a clear grasp of the project’s significance to microbiome and its potential relationship to the rising trends in young-onset colorectal cancer.
          • Technical Abstract: A scientific abstract of no more than 2000 characters suitable for a technical audience.
          • Statement of Significance (1 page): A statement of the significance of your proposed project with respect to young-onset colorectal cancer.
          • Specific Aims (1 page): A statement of the goals, objectives and relevance to the Alliance’s funding priorities. Proposals which are not directly related to young-onset colorectal cancer will not be considered. 
          • Background (2 pages): A statement of the problem or need that will be addressed by the proposed project.
          • Methods (5 pages): A statement of the methodology to be used in achieving the specific aims, including an adequate bio-statistical analysis.
          • Timetable (1 page): A timetable for implementing the proposed project. Reviewers will weigh heavily the feasibility of completing the project within the two-year time frame.
          • Evaluation (2 pages): A detailed evaluation plan that addresses the specific project activities outlined within your methodology.
          • Biographical Sketch (Up to 5 pages per person): The biographical sketch should be completed for the Principal Investigator and all key personnel in NIH format.
          • Grant Budgets (1 page/year) and Budget Justification (1 page/year): Indirect costs will not be covered.
          • Personnel – The names of all personnel involved in the project, and whether or not salaries are requested. Fringe benefits may be requested if benefits are treated by the applicant’s institution as a direct cost to all sponsors. The percentage of salary requested cannot exceed the percent effort for each person. Justify personnel expenses by briefly explaining the services each person will perform or knowledge he or she brings to the project.
          • Consultant Costs – The name and institutional affiliation of any and all consultants, including statisticians, who have agreed to serve on the project and are not listed under personnel. Under budget justification, describe services to be performed, the number of days, rate of compensation, and other associated costs.
          • Indirect Costs – will not be covered.
          • Use of Funds – The Colon Cancer Alliance funds must be used for the specific purpose for which they are awarded unless written permission is granted from the Alliance. The Alliance will not allow grants to fund construction of buildings or purchase of land.
          • Appendix: List of literature cited should be included as part of the appendix. It does not count towards page limits. Articles should be referenced but not included in the appendix. Also, the appendix should include any letters of support and the signed Statement of Compliance with the Tobacco Policy.
          • Letters of Support or Collaboration are strongly encouraged, especially if the success of the proposed project is critically dependent on access to another individual’s professional assistance, supplies or equipment.
          • Certification for Human Subjects: If activities involving human subjects are planned at any time during the proposed project period, you must submit a letter of approval from your Institutional Review Board (IRB). Letters of approval are not required at the time of application. If you receive a notification of award from the Colon Cancer Alliance, you must verify IRB approval within 90 days after the award notification. The letter must be dated no earlier than one year before the application is submitted. If verification of IRB approval is not received within 90 days after the award notification, the application will be considered incomplete and an award will not be made.
          • Certification for Vertebrate Animals: If activities involving vertebrate animals are planned at any time during the proposed project period, you must submit a letter of approval by the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (IACUC). Letters of approval are not required at the time of application. If you receive a notification of award from the Colon Cancer Alliance, you must verify IACUC approval within 60 days after the award notification. The letter must be dated no earlier than one year before the application is submitted. If verification of IACUC approval is not received within 60 days after the award notification, the application will be considered incomplete and an award will not be made.

GRANT REVIEW CRITERIA

Grants are evaluated by an independent Scientific Review Panel according to a peer-review process similar to that of the National Institutes of Health. However, the Colon Cancer Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which is supported by the general public.

Proposals not meeting the Alliance’s funding guidelines will not be considered by the panel.

Administrative and Eligibility Review

          • All applications are reviewed for their completeness and compliance with the guidelines. Any incomplete application or non-compliant with stated guidelines will be disqualified.
          • The Scientific Review Panel co-chairs will determine if an application does not qualify if it does not meet the criteria outlined in the program summary or the science is too basic. They will also determine whether proposals fall within the scope of the Alliance’s funding priorities in order to be considered for scientific review.

Scientific Review Criteria

A criteria score on a scale of 1-9 will be given by the Scientific Review Panel according to the following criteria:

          • Clarity of specific aims and significance to young-onset colorectal cancer and the microbiome.
          • Quality of the institutional research environment
          • Study design and Methodology
          • Relevance of supporting data
          • Competence of Principal Investigator and supporting personnel
          • Appropriateness of project size to resources and timeline
          • Budget

A final grade based on a score of 1-5 will be determined by the following: 

          • Does this project contribute significantly to the field of young-onset colorectal cancer?
          • Do these results significantly improve the application of knowledge to microbiome and its impact on young-onset colorectal cancer?
          • Will these data stimulate further scientific research into the causes associated with a rise in young-onset colorectal cancer?
          • Potential for future impact on the field, given the innovative nature of the project.
          • If incorporated into public health policy, will this new knowledge make a useful contribution to early interventions and detection of young-onset colorectal cancer?
          • Achievability of the project’s specific aims within the two-year time frame. Reviewer comments will be shared with applicants: grades are not shared.

POST-AWARD REQUIREMENTS

All grant recipients must adhere to the following requirements.

Yearly Reporting

          • 1)  An interim progress report, personal statement and financial statement are due one month prior to the end of year one. The second year of funding is contingent upon a satisfactory year-one progress report.
          • 2)  A final progress report, personal statement and cumulative financial report are due three months after the end of year two. The final report must include the remaining month of year one through the project end date. The final quarterly payment of a research award will not be made until the Colon Cancer Alliance has received all required year-two reports.
                    • Progress Report (3-6 pages)
                      Summarize the main focus of your research and clearly state your findings. Specify how the research results met the objectives established in your application. This report should include but is not limited to answering the following questions: Did you meet all of the goals you set out to achieve? If not, why not? What is the impact of your research on the current understanding of the rising trends associated with young-onset colorectal cancer? What further research remains to be done?
                    • Personal Statement (1-3 pages in lay-friendly language)
                      How has the funding provided by the Colon Cancer Alliance helped your overall professional growth (e.g., journal submissions, career opportunities, new research focus)? Has this grant led to other funding opportunities? Have you had the opportunity to report your findings at professional meetings?
                    • Financial Statement
                      Give a breakdown by category (i.e., personnel, supplies, etc.) of how the Alliance’s funds were utilized. This document should be filed by the University’s Office of Research Administration or other comparable source. You may use your institutions’ template for this and must be signed by the designated official in order to have a completed report.
                    • Publication of Award
                      The awarded grant must be publicized by the recipient institution, either in its own publications (student newspaper, alumni newsletter, institutional magazine, etc.) or in a local newspaper, with attribution to the Colon Cancer Alliance. Please forward copies of these news articles to the Colon Cancer Alliance’s Research Department upon publication. Recipients should also send a reprint of all research published as a result of their Colon Cancer Alliance award.
                    • Peer-Reviewed Publications
                      All publications, presentations, project materials, etc., must acknowledge the Colon Cancer Alliance’s support of the project by displaying the statement, “This project is supported by the Colon Cancer Alliance.” The recipient must also send a reprint of all research published as a result of his/her Colon Cancer Alliance award.
                    • Authorization
                      Funding of a proposal authorizes the Colon Cancer Alliance to use the applicant’s name and proposal in soliciting contributions to fund its cancer research and educational programs. The awarded proposals may be featured on the Colon Cancer Alliance website, blog, annual report and other publications. Awardees should expect to answer additional questions regarding their work periodically throughout the two-year period to support future funding of the Colon Cancer Alliance’s cancer research and educational programs.
                    • Participation in Colon Cancer Alliance National Conference Grant recipients will be required to attend the Colon Cancer Alliance’s National Conference to present their funded work and any results associated with the project.

Photo Submission and Photo Release

The recipient must provide a hi-res photo (300 dpi, 1 MB) for use on the Colon Cancer Alliance website, blog and publications. If the recipient does not have a hi-res photo, the recipient must provide contact information for a staff person in the university press office. See acceptance agreement for details. Please sign and return a photo release form along with the signed Acceptance Agreement. The awarded proposals will be featured on the Colon Cancer Alliance website, social media accounts and blog.

No-cost Extensions

In the event that a project cannot be completed within the two-year time line granted by the Colon Cancer Alliance, a request for one six-month, no-cost extension must be submitted to the Research Department at least two months prior to the project end date.

Final Payment Policy

The Colon Cancer Alliance will hold the final payment of all awarded grants and until receipt of the final progress report, personal statement and cumulative, signed financial statement. If these reports are not received within 6 months of the project end date (including no-cost extension end date), the Alliance will withdraw the final payment; no payment will be made.

Sunshine Act

Physicians who receive grant funding may be required to sign the Sunshine Act Physician Payment Information Form.