Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs (CDMRP) -- Melanoma Research Program -- Mid-Career Accelerator Award

Funding Agency:
Department of Defense

The MRP MCAA supports independent, mid-career investigators conducting impactful research in the field of melanoma. The MCAA presents an opportunity for mid-career investigators with prior experience in melanoma research and/or patient care to obtain funding to continue performing impactful research that will also accelerate their career and establish them as leaders in the melanoma field. Preliminary data relevant to melanoma are required.

• Required Pre-Application Deadline: Aug. 31, 2023
• Application Submission Deadline: Sep. 22, 2023

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

The MRP is seeking to support research that aims to inhibit melanoma earlier in the disease progression to prevent metastasis, reduce suffering, and increase survival. To be considered for funding, applications for the FY23 MRP Mid-Career Accelerator Award (MCAA) must address at least one of the following FY23 MRP Focus Areas.

Prevention: The MRP challenges the research community to expand the concept of melanoma prevention to include improving detection and monitoring capabilities, as well as inhibiting the initiation of melanoma, the early dissemination, the emergence from tumor dormancy, and the development of metastases. The FY23 MRP Focus Areas that encourage research into the role of prevention throughout the disease process are: • Identify and understand risk factors and biomarker determinants for melanoma, including rare subtypes. • Develop prediction and surveillance tools for distinguishing patient populations and/or early tumors at risk for second primary, recurrence, metastasis, and/or treatment toxicity. • Develop new tools for the detection of melanoma, which includes easily accessible technology (beyond the dermoscope) for primary care physicians, dermatologists, oncologists, and/or pathologists. • Understand how precursor lesions evolve, and/or how environmental/endogenous factors influence melanomagenesis and/or early dissemination. • Identify how the tumor microenvironment and/or microbiome impacts tumor initiation, response to therapy, progression, recurrence, and/or dormancy. • Delineate the cellular and/or molecular mechanisms that influence metastatic spread (e.g., site-specific adaptations), recurrence, and/or dormancy. • Develop new preclinical models of melanomagenesis, early dissemination, and progression that more faithfully represent the disease progression observed in humans.

Rare melanomas: Rare melanoma subtypes (e.g., uveal, acral, mucosal, pediatric melanomas) can have distinct characteristics compared to cutaneous melanoma, which makes up the majority of melanoma diagnoses. This has led to a variety of prevention, diagnosis, and treatment challenges. Furthermore, rare melanomas are less well-studied than cutaneous melanoma, resulting in a dearth of knowledge across the entire cancer research spectrum. The following FY23 MRP Focus Area encourages research relevant to rare melanoma research and patient care: • Address unmet needs across the entire cancer research spectrum (biology, etiology, prevention, early diagnosis and detection, prognosis, treatment, and survivorship) for rare melanomas.

Survivorship: Increasing availability of effective treatment options for advanced melanoma over the last decade means that patients are living longer. This has created a need to address the long-term effects of treatment toxicities, fertility issues, and the overall quality of life of patients living with melanoma. The following FY23 MRP Focus Area encourages research relevant to these important survivorship issues: • Address the physical and psychological impacts of a melanoma diagnosis, symptom trajectories, adverse effects of treatment, and other outcomes that affect individuals with melanoma and their family members.

Eligibility Requirements

To be named as the PI on the application, the investigator must:

• Be at the level of Assistant or Associate Professor (or equivalent). ○ Instructors and Full Professors (or equivalents) are NOT eligible.

• Be at least 7 years from their first faculty-level appointment at the time of application submission.

• Be able to demonstrate previous receipt of at least one peer-reviewed extramural source of funding.

An investigator may be named on only one MCAA application as a PI.



Amount Description

The anticipated direct costs budgeted for the entire period of performance for an FY23 MRP Mid-Career Accelerator Award should not exceed $725,000. Refer to Section II.D.5, Funding Restrictions, for detailed funding information.

Funding Type





Engineering and Physical Sciences
Environmental & Life Sciences
Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

August 31, 2023