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Career Catalyst Research Grants

Grants to USA, Canada, and International Early-Career
Researchers for Long-Term Studies on Metastatic Breast Cancer

Agency Type:

Foundation / Corporation

Funding Source:

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Susan G. Komen

LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

09/25/19 1:00 PM EST


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Grants to USA, Canada, and International early-career researchers for long-term studies to address metastatic breast cancer treatments and early detection. Applicants must submit a letter of interest prior to applying. Proposals must address liquid biopsy detection or treatment methods. Funding is intended to provide researchers with the preparation required to compete for independent funding as an established and successful breast cancer researcher. Proposals must focus on either refining treatment of metastatic breast cancer or early detection of metastatic breast cancer.

For the current funding cycle the area of interest is redefining metastatic breast cancer through liquid biopsy. The goal of this focus area is to support outstanding research seeking to use liquid biopsy techniques to improve treatment, detection, and understanding of metastatic breast cancer which will lead to a reduction in breast cancer deaths by 2026. A liquid biopsy is defined as the collection and analysis of a sample of blood to detect cancer cells or pieces of DNA from cancer cells that are circulating in the blood.

1. Refining treatment of metastatic breast cancer: The goal of this focus area is to support studies that leverage liquid biopsy approaches to improve the treatment of metastatic breast cancer. Appropriate studies for this mechanism include, but are not limited to:
- Using liquid biopsies to track the response of metastatic breast cancer to therapy, including host immune response to immunotherapy approaches, genomic responses, or resistance mechanisms.
- Using liquid biopsies to identify and validate circulating biomarkers that will predict response to therapy and optimize therapeutic interventions for metastatic breast cancer.
- Combining liquid biopsy techniques and data science methods to gain new insights into the biology or treatment of metastatic breast cancer.

2. Early detection of metastatic breast cancer: The goal of this focus area is to support studies that will use liquid biopsies to develop new approaches to detect new or recurrent metastatic breast cancer as early as possible, before standard symptoms may be detectable. Appropriate studies for this mechanism include, but are not limited to:
- Development and testing of novel liquid biopsy technologies and methods for early detection of metastatic breast cancer.
- Identification and validation of liquid biopsy diagnostic or prognostic circulating biomarkers, including micro-metastases, for the earliest possible detection of metastatic breast cancer.
- Using liquid biopsy techniques and analyses to predict metastatic breast cancer recurrence, including identification of tumor dormancy or treatment-resistant cancer cells.

Applications that fit these focus areas and include studies that address metastatic breast cancer disparities, or leverage data science to better understand and treat metastatic breast cancer are highly encouraged.For these purposes, metastatic breast cancer disparities research is defined as research investigating the biologic, behavioral, social and systems contributors to late-stage (metastatic) breast cancer in population groups affected by breast cancer disparities. This may include the identification, validation and testing of biological and/or socioeconomic factors that contribute to breast cancer disparities in metastatic breast cancer. This may also include identification of health services and public health interventions that address the causes of disparities in care and outcomes across population groups in metastatic breast cancer. Data science includes artificial intelligence and other analytical methods applied to data aggregated from multiple sources (Electronic Health Records, other clinical data, administrative databases, large data repositories, genomics and other -omics data, etc.).

For budgetary guidelines, see:

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 181654

Estimated Size of Grant:

Applicants/PIs may request funding of up to $150,000 per year (combined direct and indirect costs) for up to three years ($450,000).

Term of Contract:

Grants are up to three years.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants/PIs, Mentors, and Institutions must conform to the following eligibility criteria to apply for a CCR Grant. Eligibility must be confirmed in writing by the Institution at the time of the Letter of Intent submission (July 10, 2019). It is the responsibility of the Applicant/PI to ensure that the Institutional Letter of Support clearly outlines eligibility by the Application due date (September 25, 2019).

Grants will be awarded to a single Principal Investigator (PI). Co-Principal Investigators (Co-PIs) are not allowed.

- Must have a doctoral degree, including M.D., Ph.D., Dr.P.H., D.O., or equivalent.
- Must currently hold a full-time faculty appointment or have a formal offer letter from the Institution that confirms position and start date by the Application due date (September 25, 2019), documented by the
Applicant/PI Biosketch and Letter of Institutional Support.
- Must not have held any faculty appointment, including non-tenure and tenure track appointments combined, for more than a total of 8 years by the Application due date (September 25, 2019), documented by the Applicant/PI Biosketch and Letter of Institutional Support. All positions that are considered as “Faculty” positions by the Applicant/PI’s institution (or prior institution) count towards the 8-year limit. This may include positions such as Instructor, Research Fellow, or other non-tenure track faculty positions as appropriate. All faculty positions and terms must be verified by the Letter of Institutional Support.
- May only submit ONE LOI per funding cycle.
- Must not simultaneously hold any other Grant awarded by Susan G. Komen. Such Grants must end within 3 months of receiving a Notification of Intent to Fund or the funding will be withdrawn.
- Must not currently be or have been a Principal Investigator on an existing NIH R01 grant or their equivalent as of the date of Award Notification (April 15, 2020).
- Must conduct the proposed research and training at the Lead Mentor’s institution, which may be located anywhere in the world.
- Must have adequate space and facilities to conduct the proposed research and protected time for research, as verified by the Letter of Institutional Support by the Application due date (September 25, 2019).
- Must ensure that all past and current Komen-funded Grants are up to date and in compliance with all Komen requirements; e.g., progress report submissions, IRB approvals, etc. by the Application due date (September 25, 2019).
- Is not required to be a U.S. citizen or resident.
- Applicants/PIs located outside of the U.S. or proposing research to be conducted outside of the U.S. will also be considered eligible if they clearly state in the Letter of Intent how the proposed research will lead to a reduction in breast cancer deaths.

- Must be a non-profit institution or organization anywhere in the world.
- May not be a governmental agency (i.e., NIH, NCI, etc.) within any country.
- Must agree to adhere to Komen’s Policies and Procedures for Research and Training Grants, which may be downloaded along with the Letter of Intent Templates in proposalCENTRAL.

The Lead Mentor must be at the same institution as the Applicant/PI and serve as the onsite representative for the entire Mentor Committee. Only one mentor may serve as the Lead Mentor for an Applicant/PI.
- Must hold a full-time faculty appointment with an accredited institution (at the same institution as the Applicant/PI).
-Must currently conduct breast cancer research, or alternately, at least one member of the Mentor Committee must have breast cancer research experience.
- Is not required to be a U.S. Citizen or resident.

The Applicant/PI must propose a Mentor Committee, typically consisting of 3-5 mentors, including the Lead Mentor and a Patient Advocate Mentor. The primary purpose of the Mentor Committee is to provide the research, scientific, clinical, management, and leadership guidance necessary to foster the Applicant/PI’s career advancement and assist in the successful development of the proposed Research Project. All members of the Mentor Committee are not required to currently conduct breast cancer research but should provide expertise, leadership or support to the Applicant/PI and proposed Research Project. It is strongly encouraged that the Lead Mentor be considered an expert in breast cancer research, but in the absence of this expertise at least one member of the Mentor Committee must fulfill this requirement. Members of the Mentor Committee are not required to include % effort.

If an Applicant/PI is invited to submit an Application, a Patient Advocate Mentor must be named as Key Personnel and a member of the Mentor Committee for submission of the Application (September 25, 2019). While Applicants/PIs are strongly encouraged to name a Patient Advocate Mentor in the Letter of Intent (due July 10, 2019), it is not a requirement for Letter of Intent submission.

Pre-proposal Conference:

Komen is happy to offer a previously recorded webinar that was hosted by members of Komen Advocates in Science on How Advocates and Researchers can Work Together on Komen Funded Research. Please view this webinar for
tips on how to involve patient advocates as you develop your research proposal and plan the research objectives.

View webinar:

Pre-Application Information:

The application due date is September 25, 2019.

Susan G. Komen utilizes a multi-step approach to grant application and review that first requires submission of a Letter of Intent and upon invitation only, submission of an Application. Applicants/PIs will be notified of Letter of Intent review decisions via email. Applicants/PIs invited to submit an Application will then be granted access to the Application site in proposalCENTRAL.

Key Dates:
- LOI Announcement Release Date: June 7, 2019
- LOI Submission system open date: June 7, 2019
- LOI Submission deadline: July 10, 2019
- Invitation to submit an Application: July 29, 2019
- Application Due: September 25, 2019, by 1 p.m., Eastern Standard Time
- Award Notification: On or around April 15, 2020

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To start a LOI, go to:

For technical assistance with proposalCentral:
Toll-free within the US and Canada: 1‐800‐875‐2562
International: 1‐703‐964‐5840

Direct programmatic inquiries to:

For assistance in identifying trained advocates:

Susan G. Komen
5005 LBJ Freeway, Suite 250
Dallas, Texas 75244

URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

USA Compact Free Associations: The Federated States of Micronesia (USA)   Marshall Islands (USA)   Republic of Palau (USA)

Canada: Alberta;   British Columbia;   Manitoba;   New Brunswick;   Newfoundland and Labrador;   Northwest Territories;   Nova Scotia;   Nunavut;   Ontario;   Prince Edward Island;   Quebec;   Saskatchewan;   Yukon;


International country outside of the USA, Israel and Canada.

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