MCC Funding Opportunities

The goal of the Masonic Cancer Center Internal Grants Program is to foster the development of and provide support for novel research ideas that focus on a cancer research question. In turn, the cancer center expects that these internal awards will lead to nationally peer reviewed funding.


Funding Priorities

Research ideas that address the MCC Scientific Priorities for Growth:

  1. Expand recent discoveries in immunotherapy and cellular therapeutics to include solid tumors.
  2. Enhance functional genomics strategies to further our understanding of cancer and develop new therapeutic avenues.
  3. Translate new chemoprevention agents into clinical trials for populations at increased risk for cancer, including cancer survivors.
  4. Use biomarkers to individualize cancer prevention and personalize treatment.    
  5. Establish a new Minnesota-based cohort that includes the collection of biospecimens for investigation of genetics, epigenetics, microbiome, and immunity associated with cancer.
  6. Develop effective methods to increase adoption of evidence-based cancer prevention behaviors by vulnerable populations with disproportionate cancer burden in Minnesota.

Projects that address a cancer-related challenge unique in the State of Minnesota (e.g., projects relevant to underserved racial/ethnic minorities and/or rural populations or specific exposures to cancer-causing compounds).

  • The State of Minnesota is the Masonic Cancer Center's Catchment Area
  • MCC Catchment Area Summary Document - refer to this document when framing your Catchment Statement
  • What is a "Catchment Area"? - the National Cancer Institute requires that each Designated Cancer Center define its Catchment Area. The NCI defines a Catchment Area as the self-defined geographic area that the Center serves or intends to serve in the research it conducts, the communities it engages, and the outreach it performs. It must include the area from which the Center draws the majority of its patients, but may extend beyond that, and it must include the local area surrounding the Cancer Center. It must be population-based, e.g., using census tracts, zip codes, county or state lines, or other geographically-defined boundaries.

Eligibility and Evaluation Criteria

  • Applicants must be Masonic Cancer Center members with faculty appointments at the University of Minnesota.
  • Applications must have a cancer or cancer-related theme.
  • The primary criteria for funding will be innovation, the quality of the research approach, and the potential for future outside funding to sustain or further develop the research program. Proposed research must be hypothesis-driven and have the goal of using the award as a springboard to obtaining long-term support from federal/external sources.
  • Each mechanism will weigh the funding criteria differently, please refer to the mechanism-specific RFA for guidance.

Current Funding Opportunities

American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant

American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant

The purpose of the American Cancer Society’s Institutional Research Grant (ACS-IRG) is to support the initiation of promising new cancer-related research projects by junior faculty members (Assistant Professors or their equivalents), so they can obtain preliminary results that will enable them to compete successfully for national research grants. IRGs are intended to support independent, self-directed investigators early in their careers, for whom the institution must provide research facilities or space customary for an independent investigator. Applicants for the individual awards should be within six years of their first independent research or faculty appointment. This funding mechanism is not to provide supplemental research support but it can be used as bridge funding for faculty members who have been PI on research grant(s) from major national funding agencies. Cancer-related research includes but is not restricted to genetic mechanisms of cancer, molecular mechanisms of cancer progression and metastasis, development of novel cancer therapeutic models and translational research, transplantation, cancer immunology, and immunotherapies.

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CRTI Biobanking Pilot Awards

CRTI Biobanking Pilot Awards

The objective of this funding mechanism is to foster interdisciplinary collaborations between clinical, translational and basic researchers encompassing novel, hypothesis-driven studies in the area of hematologic malignancies. This funding mechanism will provide access to HematologicalMalignancy Tissue Bank, and requires use of primary samples for research. Proposed research must have the clear goal of using the award as a springboard to obtain a new federally funded grant (or equivalent).

Grant Program Contacts

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CRTI Translational Research Grant

CRTI Translational Research Grant

The objective of the CRTI Translational Research Grants is to partner Masonic Cancer Center basic/translational and clinical scientists so as to foster the development of novel experimental therapeutic agents and to facilitate their testing in institutional Phase I/II and IND clinical trials. These grants will provide targeted investments to promising translational studies with the goal of opening a clinical trial within 36 months.

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Hourglass Integrative Therapies Cancer Research Award

Hourglass Integrative Therapies Cancer Research Award

The objective of the Hourglass Integrative Therapies Cancer Research Awards is to support innovative and interdisciplinary clinical research that focuses on the use of integrative (complementary) therapies to improve symptom management or health outcomes of adults or children diagnosed with cancer.

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Mezin-Koats Colon Cancer Research Award

Mezin-Koats Colon Cancer Research Award

The objective of the Mezin-Koats Colon Cancer Research Award is to support research in the biology, prevention, detection, diagnosis, and/or treatment of colon cancer.

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Translational Working Group Award

Translational Working Group Award

The objective of the Translational Working Group (TWG) awards is to make an impact on the translational goals of the TWGs in research leading to novel approaches in cancer diagnosis, prevention or treatment. The Masonic Cancer Center is especially interested in applications that have potential to translate findings to a clinical trial or clinical application, or in research that takes a clinical observation to the laboratory to study novel cancer mechanisms.

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Past Funding Opportunities

Brainstorm Awards

Brainstorm Awards

The objective of the Brainstorm Awards is to foster interdisciplinary collaborations encompassing novel, hypothesis-driven studies of cancer or a cancer-related topic. The proposed project must be a joint, collaborative effort by at least two Cancer Center members from different programs or different disciplines, and must represent a new collaborative proposal. The Masonic Cancer Center is especially interested in Brainstorm Award applications that are focused on projects relevant to solid tumor oncology with translational potential. Projects that meet these criteria will be prioritized for funding, although it is not a prerequisite for application submission.

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Driven to Discover State Fair Grants

Driven to Discover State Fair Grants

The Masonic Cancer Center announces its Driven to Discover at the Minnesota State Fair Grants Program. These grants are designed to support new research ideas that aim to assess or improve cancer treatment and prevention by utilizing the population attending the Minnesota State Fair. Studies funded through this mechanism must enroll and collect data from subjects at the Driven to Discover Research Facility at the Minnesota State Fair.

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Minnesota Cancer Centers Partnership Award

Minnesota Cancer Centers Partnership Award

Minnesota Chemoprevention Consortium Award (MC^2)

Minnesota Chemoprevention Consortium Award (MC^2)

The objective of the Minnesota Chemoprevention Consortium (MC2) Seed Grant is to stimulate collaborative research on topics directly relevant to the effective development and delivery of cancer chemoprevention agents, either naturally occurring or synthetic. The proposal must involve a regional collaboration between at least two University of Minnesota Masonic Cancer Center members, one located at The Hormel Institute in Austin and the other located at the Masonic Cancer Center Twin Cities campus.

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Pre-R01 Pilot Grants

Pre-R01 Pilot Grants

Pre-R01 Pilot grants are intended to support new research ideas that address the MCC Scientific Priorities for Growth. Funding will be awarded for new R01 projects. Awardees are required to apply for federal funding (R01 or comparable) within one year of the award. Applicants are encouraged to contact MCC’s Research Development team to help seek funding opportunities for bridge funding or other continuing research support.

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SPORE-Program-Project-Planning Award (SP3)

SPORE-Program-Project-Planning Award (SP3)

The objective of the SP3 Award is to financially support a multi-disciplinary team of cancer investigators as they organize to develop a research program that will result in the preparation of competitive applications that meet all criteria required to receive an outstanding evaluation of their multi-project research grant application to the NIH SPORE or Program Project grant (P01) mechanisms. Applications that address basic and translational aspects of solid tumor oncology and include utilization of patient material are especially sought.

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The Randy Shaver Cancer Research & Community Fund

The Randy Shaver Cancer Research & Community Fund

Translational Breast Cancer Research Award

Translational Breast Cancer Research Award

The objective of the Translational Breast Cancer Research Award is to support research in the biology, prevention, detection, diagnosis, and/or treatment of breast cancer.

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Contact Us: 

Jessica Raines-Jones
Research Development Coordinator
612-624-8679
mccgrant@umn.edu

Elizabeth Fedie
Research Development Manager
612-624-0653
efedie@umn.edu 

David Largaespada, PhD
Associate Director for Basic Sciences

612-626-4979
larga002@umn.edu

Apply now!