Congressionally Directed Medical Research Programs -- Ovarian Cancer Research Program -- Ovarian Cancer Academy -- Early-Career Investigator Award

Funding Agency:
Department of Defense

Initially created in FY09, the OCRP Ovarian Cancer Academy Award mechanism is a unique, interactive virtual academy providing intensive mentoring, national networking, collaborations, and a peer group for junior faculty. The overarching goal of the Ovarian Cancer Academy (OCA) is to develop successful, highly productive ovarian cancer researchers in a collaborative research and career development environment.

The OCA is a virtual career development and research training platform that consists of EarlyCareer Investigators (ECIs), and their Designated Mentors from different institutions, and an Academy Dean and Assistant Dean. New for FY21 is a change in the eligibility of the ECI, please refer to Section II.C.1.b., Principal Investigator. The OCRP Ovarian Cancer Academy – Early-Career Investigator Award is not a traditional career development award; the ECI is expected to participate in monthly webinars and annual workshops and to communicate and collaborate with other members of the Academy (other ECIs, Mentors, Dean, Assistant Dean) as well as with the advocacy community. Since its inception, the Academy’s ECIs have presented at and chaired sessions for ovarian cancer-specific symposia and served on symposia review committees. They have also served as peer reviewers for the Department of Defense (DoD) OCRP and other funding agencies.

The Academy Leadership (the Dean and the Assistant Dean) serves as a resource for the ECIs and Mentors, assessing the progress of the ECIs, and facilitating communication and collaboration among all of the ECIs and Mentors, as well as with national research and advocacy communities. In addition to fostering the scientific development, the Academy, through its Leadership, provides for professional and leadership development of the ECIs to include skills and competencies needed to fund and manage a productive laboratory. Information about the Academy is available through the Academy website,

This FY21 Program Announcement/Funding Opportunity is soliciting additional ECIs to join the existing Academy. This award mechanism enables the ECI (the investigator named as the Principal Investigator [PI] on the application) to pursue an ovarian cancer project that may be basic, translational, and/or clinical research, or a clinical trial under the guidance of a Designated Mentor. The Designated Mentor is not required to be at the same institution as the ECI.

The OCRP encourages applications from ECIs whose ability to commit to conducting ovarian cancer research is limited by minimal resources or a lack of resources, such as a qualified Designated Mentor at their institution, access to ovarian cancer research tools, opportunities for establishing collaborations, or other obstacles.

The ECI, who will be the PI of the application, must be in the early-career stage. This award provides the ECI with funding, networking and collaborative opportunities, and research experience necessary to develop and sustain a successful, independent career at the forefront of ovarian cancer research. This award also provides support and protected time for the ECI for four (4) years of intensive research under the guidance of a Designated Mentor experienced in ovarian cancer research. Although the OCA will serve as a conduit to share knowledge and research experience among all Academy members, the ECI and Designated Mentor will be responsible for developing the ECI’s career development plan and for designing and executing the proposed research. The ECI must clearly articulate their commitment to a career as an ovarian cancer researcher and to participating in and contributing to the growth of the OCA.

• Required Pre-Application Deadline: April 1, 2021
• Invitation to Submit an Application:  May 2021
• Application Submission Deadline: July 8, 2021

Agency Website

Eligibility Requirements

Early-Career Investigator

○ New: Must be within five (5) years of last postdoctoral research position (Ph.D.) or clinical fellowship (M.D.), or equivalent as of the full application submission deadline. – A Statement of Eligibility is required with the submission of the full application.

○ May be a research- or physician-scientist.

○ May be in a non-tenure track or tenure track position.

○ Must not have a concurrent career development-like award at the time of this award.

○ Must have an institutional commitment of approximately 50% protected time for ovarian cancer research and Academy activities including participation in monthly webinars.

○ Must commit no less than 25% effort to this award for the first 2 years.

○ Individuals in a postdoctoral research position (Ph.D.) or clinical fellowship (M.D.), or equivalent at the time of full application submission are not eligible.

Designated Mentor

○ Must be an independent, established ovarian cancer researcher.

○ Must have ovarian cancer research funding (past and present).

○ Must have a record of ovarian cancer publications in peer-reviewed journals.

○ May be at the same institution as the ECI.

○ If not at the same institution, another Mentor (“Other Mentor,” see below) at the ECI’s institution must also be included in the application submission.

○ Must demonstrate a commitment (at least 5% effort for mentoring and participating in Academy activities – offsite meetings and webinars) to develop and sustain the ECI’s independent career in ovarian cancer research.

○ Mentoring responsibilities include mentoring the ECI (i.e., the PI of this award) and an additional ECI within the Academy.

○ A current OCA Designated Mentor can only be a Designated Mentor to one OCA-ECI; thus, current OCA Designated Mentors cannot be named as a Designated Mentor in an FY21 application unless the period of performance of the current OCA-ECI award ends no later than July 2022.

○ Neither the current Dean nor the Assistant Dean of the Academy can be listed as a Designated Mentor.

○ Off-site Academy activities include annual in-person workshops and monthly web-based meetings



Amount Description

The anticipated direct costs budgeted for the entire period of performance for an FY21 OCRP Ovarian Cancer Academy – Early-Career Investigator Award will not exceed $725,000. Refer to Section II.D.5, Funding Restrictions, for detailed funding information.

Funding Type



Junior Faculty


Medical - Basic Science
Medical - Clinical Science
Medical - Translational

External Deadline

April 1, 2021