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Preliminary Grant Application

Request For Proposal


National Canine Cancer Foundation

Request for Investigator-Initiated Research Proposals: 2014 Cycle

Issue Date: April 15, 2014

Letter of Intent Due Date: June 30, 2014

Invited Proposals Due Date: September 1, 2014

Anticipated Grant Start Date: November 3, 2014

I. Executive Summary

The National Canine Cancer Foundation (NCCF) invites applications from eligible investigators for its 2014 grants cycle for original research projects investigating any area of canine cancer. This continuing initiative by the NCCF is built on strategic partnerships that seek to accelerate discovery of new, effective strategies for cancer prevention, detection, prognosis, and treatment. A letter of intent is required; grants in amounts up to $75,000 per year (including indirect costs) for 1-2 years will be considered. Any individual with the skills, knowledge, and resources necessary to carry out a research project investigating canine cancer is invited to submit a letter of intent and develop an application for support.


Applicants may submit only one application per RFP as a Principal Investigator.


II. Research Objectives

a. Purpose

The goal of the NCCF is to reduce the mortality and suffering caused by canine cancer. This program seeks projects with rapid potential for clinical translation to pet dogs with cancer, and will use a model for continued support based on milestones. Investigators are encouraged to consider new ideas and high-risk, high-reward projects. Provision of preliminary data to support the projects is highly encouraged and is likely to enhance competitiveness of applications, but it is not absolutely necessary.  Funding can be used to establish the foundation for a larger project, or when applicable, to implement translation of existing projects. A clear path leading to clinical applications in dogs with cancer is required. The NCCF is particularly interested in, but not limited to, projects that address new treatments for canine hemangiosarcoma.


b. Background

Canine cancer is a leading cause of morbidity and mortality among companion animals.  Approximately half of all dogs over the age of 10 years will die of cancer.  Certain breeds are predisposed to certain cancers, and the genetic impact of cancer risk continues to unfold. Regardless of the cause of cancer, more sensitive methods of detection are needed to improve success with treatment. Less toxic, more targeted therapies also are needed to reduce morbidity associated with cancer and its treatment.  Companion animals provide unconditional support and improve the health and well being of their owners/guardians. Pet owners seek advanced care comparable in scope and efficacy to that provided to people.


It is the goal of the NCCF to make a dramatic impact by facilitating the transition of life-altering research from the lab into clinical trials, and finally into more effective treatments to win the battle over canine cancer. The NCCF also seeks to develop new diagnostic methods to improve early detection and accurate diagnoses of cancer in our beloved dogs. We expect that the research supported by the NCCF will have the ancillary result of advancing human cancer research.


c. Objectives and Scope

This funding opportunity is meant to support the inception and implementation of creative projects that will transform our understanding and approach to canine cancer. Specifically, the purpose of this request is to encourage high risk-high reward applications from new and established investigators that are unlikely to receive support from other agencies. Applications should state a principal long-term goal to develop or implement an effective strategy for prevention, detection, prognosis, or treatment of one or more cancer types in dogs in a manner that is consistent with the mission of the NCCF. Projects investigating any canine cancer are eligible and will be considered; projects investigating canine hemangiosarcoma are especially encouraged for this request.


Applicants should submit a letter of intent as described below. Full proposals will be invited from these letters of intent. Only invited full proposals will be considered for support. Anticipated start date will be November 3, 2014.


Investigators who achieve excellent progress on all milestones and objectives towards translation will be eligible for a "fast track" extension process.


III. Letter of intent

a. Due date

A letter of intent is due on June 30, 2014

b. Content and organization

The letter of intent must follow the format described below. Letters that do not adhere to formatting guidelines will not be considered. Letters of intent should be prepared to fit standard US letter size paper (8.5 x 11 “) using 1” margins and Arial or Helvetica 11 point fonts. Paragraph breaks should include 6 point spacing. Use of smaller fonts, compressed fonts, reduced line spacing, or smaller margins will result in administrative disqualification.


1)    Page 1

a)    Grant title

b)    Principal investigator (note: co-investigator information provided as addenda at the end)

i)      Name

ii)    Institutional affiliation and contact information, including Principal Investigator email

c)    Name, title and contact information (including email) of officer authorized to sign for the institution

d)    Direct costs and duration of project

i)      Grants up to $75,000 (total costs) per year, for 1-2 years will be considered

e)    Is this a resubmission? If yes, provide a brief document (>1 page) responding to the critique as an addendum

f)      Has this proposal been submitted in any form to another organization? If yes, the outcome for that application (score, reviews) and an explanation for why it should be considered for this program is required as an appendix

g)    Investigator Qualifications (200 words)

2)    Page 2

a)    Cancer type(s) to be investigated

b)    Long term objective

c)    Translational potential (200 words)

i)      How might this project change the current paradigm of prevention, detection, prognosis, or treatment of this cancer in dogs?

ii)    What is the timeline to clinical translation?

(1)  Briefly describe the plan and timeline to translate this technology for dogs with cancer. Projects should have a capability for clinical translation, or at least be able to establish if the project will likely have translational relevance within two to three years. Timelines that extend up to three years into the future do not require additional justification. Projects that envision a longer time to translation must justify the timeline and clearly describe how they are responsive to this RFP.

d)    Hypothesis and objectives (300 words)

3)    Page 3

a)    Proposed milestones and timeline

i)      Describe specific, attainable milestones that can be used to negotiate and maintain financial support of the project, how each milestone relates to the specific objectives, and how the milestones will establish a framework for translation

4)    Pages 4-5

a)    Proposed budget and detailed justification

i)      Personnel

(1)  Support for up to 10% effort of principal investigators is allowable, but not required. Proposals that commit <5% effort for principal investigators will not be considered.

(2)  Key personnel salaries and customary fringe benefits for the institution. Applicants from small businesses or non-profit entities that do not have set fringe benefits must justify fringe requests based on actual costs.

ii)    Supplies and reagents

(1)  Laboratory or clinical supplies are eligible and must be described in detail. For proposals that address prevention, control, or therapy without laboratory components, office supplies, mailing costs, survey research costs, web costs, financial incentives, and contract costs will be considered.

iii)   Facilities costs

(1)  Facilities costs, capital equipment, and renovation are not allowable

iv)   Travel

(1)  Travel to meetings or for sample collection will be considered if it is essential to complete the milestones

v)     Other expenses

(1)  Charges from core facilities and other essential components that are not included in categories above will be considered if they are essential to complete the milestones

vi)   Administrative overhead

(1)  A rate of 11.1% of the direct costs will be considered for administrative overhead

vii)  Subawards

(1)  Subawards are allowable, but additional overhead costs will not be provided to manage subawards

viii)Justification (no page limit)

(1)  A detailed justification for funds requested in each category is required

(2)  Any unconventional funding requests (for example, supplementation of NCCF funds with institutional funds) will require approval from the Foundation Board prior to submission of the Letter of Intent. Please submit such requests at least 4 weeks in advance of the Letter of Intent to Mr. Gary Nice at

5)    Addenda (use one page for each co-investigator, and as many pages as needed)

a)    Grant title

b)    Co-investigators

i)      Name

ii)    Institutional affiliation and contact information (including email)

c)    Subcontract (Yes/No)

i)      If Yes: Name, title, and contact information (including email) of officer authorized to sign for the institution

d)    Response to NCCF reviews (if applicable; <1 page)

e)    Score and reviewers’ comments if application has been submitted to another agency


Applicants are advised to pay special attention to the following categories that will be used by the reviewers to assign a priority score to each application. Selection criteria and funding decisions will be the sole purview of the NCCF Board of Directors.

  • Principal Investigator - does s/he have relevant experience, is s/he well suited to lead the project, and did s/he commit sufficient effort?
  • Key Personnel - does the team possess the required expertise to achieve the milestones?
  • Project – is there evidence of innovation, achievable milestones that will fulfill the objectives, and a clear path for clinical translation (to dogs with cancer)?
  • Current and future funding potential – is this project a good fit for the RFP? Are there other agencies and mechanisms that are better suited to fund this project? If the investigators achieve the milestones, does it create additional opportunities for funding?
  • Institutional Commitment – matching costs are not required, but will be considered. Cost-sharing faculty effort will not be considered as matching costs.


Letters of intent must be submitted as a single PDF file to Gary Nice, President and CEO of NCCF by email at no later than 5 PM CDT on June 30, 2014. Review is expected to occur by July 20, 2014 when successful applicants will receive an invitation to submit a full proposal. Invited proposals will be due no later than September 1, 2014.


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