Adult Translational Cancer Research

Funding Agency:
V Foundation

The V Foundation seeks to support translational research projects within the scope of adult cancer research, specifically in the focus area of early detection of cancer. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many routine cancer screenings were missed, especially routine screenings for breast, cervical, colorectal, prostate and lung cancer. These failed screenings resulted in much later detection of these and other cancers, increasing the death rate. Researchers estimate that 25% fewer cancers were detected due to these missed screenings. Better early detection methods are needed for all cancer types. Some examples of early detection research areas include better liquid biopsy detection methods, better imaging techniques, better at-home assays and identification of better early warning cancer signals. We welcome new areas of research and innovative ideas in the early detection area outside of those listed here. Even after the pandemic recedes, there are likely to be persistent health disparities related to screening failures associated with socioeconomic factors. Some cancers, like colon cancer, have worse outcomes in minorities due in part to late diagnosis. We encourage cross disciplinary research, including expertise from other disciplines (for example: bioinformatics, computational scientists, or engineers) as applicable to the research. Translational projects should move a novel strategy from the bench to clinical application. The research should apply in some direct way to human beings within the time frame of less than 3 years. If biomarker research is undertaken, a validation set or independent clinical trial is essential. A plan for biomarker validation, if applicable, must be included in any proposal.


Areas of Interest

SPECIAL FOCUS AREA: This request for applications is specifically for adult cancer research in the focus area of early detection. While not required, we also encourage research on the biological basis of cancer disparities experienced by patients from minority ethnic or racial populations in areas related to causes, aggressiveness, detection, treatment or relapse. Research within the biological basis of cancer disparities will be eligible for funding through the Stuart Scott Memorial Cancer Research Fund. Cancers in which ethnic and racial disparities have previously been demonstrated include: lung and bronchus, colon and rectum, breast, prostate, uterine, cervix, stomach, and liver. Applicants submitting research proposals on the biological basis of disparities will need to describe how their research is applicable to the scope of the RFA, even if in one of the above cancers.

Each invited institution may submit one nominee to apply.


  • Duke Internal: Applications due to DCI by Feb. 9, 2022
  • Sponsor Deadline: March 10, 2022

Eligibility Requirements

Only DCI Members are eligible to apply.

Application Eligibility:

Your nominee must be the lead Principal Investigator (PI) on the Translational research team and must meet all of the following criteria:
• Nominated by their Cancer Center Director or similar high ranking research official.
• Employed at a non-profit research institution (e.g., 501c3, Section 170).
• Hold a tenure-track or tenured faculty position at their cancer research institution. Non-promotable adjunct, affiliated, temporary, part-time or acting faculty positions are not eligible for Principal Investigator nomination to lead the Translational Research Team.



Amount Description

GRANT SPECIFICS: The total amount of this grant is $600,000, paid in three annual installments of $200,000. Indirect costs up to 10% are permitted (i.e., over the grant term, a maximum of $60,000 can be utilized for indirect costs leaving $540,000 for direct costs).

Funding Type



Junior Faculty


Medical - Translational

Internal Nomination

DCI will be conducting an internal review of applications. The following items are required and will be reviewed by the DCI’s Scientific Review Committee.

To be considered for nomination, the following should be submitted in one PDF to Karen Judge at by February 9th:

  1. 2 page PDF including the following:

    1. Title of the proposed project
    2. Applicant’s eligibility (see RFA)
    3. Brief description of the Research Proposal
    4. Brief description of the Applicant’s eligibility
  2. Budget and budget justification
  3. Applicant’s NIH biosketch

Selected nominees will be notified by February 25th, 2022.  The nomination form (to be submitted to V Foundation by the DCI) is due February 28th, 2022. If selected as the nominee, the full application will be due to the sponsor by March 10, 2022.

Internal Deadline

February 9, 2022

External Deadline

March 10, 2022