The FY20 KCRP Postdoctoral and Clinical Fellowship Award supports recent doctoral or medical school graduates in pursuit of innovative, high-impact kidney cancer research during their postdoctoral and/or clinical fellowship and allows them to obtain the necessary experience for an independent career as a leader in kidney cancer research. Applicants must demonstrate that the proposed research has high potential to lead to, or make, significant advancements in kidney cancer research and/or patient care. Applicants for this award must also exhibit a strong desire to pursue a career in kidney cancer research, with clear evidence for a researcher development plan that will lead to a successful independent career in kidney cancer.
The critical components of this award mechanism are:
Impact: Research supported by the FY20 KCRP Postdoctoral and Clinical Fellowship Award will have the potential for a major impact and accelerate progress toward ending kidney cancer. The impact may be short term or long term, but must move beyond an incremental advance. Applications are expected to identify the kidney cancer patients or at-risk individuals who would ultimately benefit from the proposed research.
Research Strategy: The research proposed as part of the Postdoctoral and Clinical Fellowship Award must have high potential to lead to or make breakthroughs in kidney cancer. The scope of the research may include innovative, high-risk/high-reward research in the early stages of idea development or research already supported by preliminary data with the potential to make significant advancements toward clinical translation. The research strategy should demonstrate sound rationale, logical reasoning, and, if available, preliminary data. The proposed research should show evidence of rigorous experimental design, sufficient experimental details, appropriate controls, a statistical plan, and consideration of pitfalls and alternatives.
Principal Investigator (PI): Under this award mechanism, the postdoctoral or clinical fellow is considered the PI and, as such, is expected to write the project narrative, researcher development plan, and other application components, with appropriate guidance from the mentor. While the PI is not required to have previous experience in kidney cancer research, the proposed project and researcher development plan must focus on kidney cancer. Applications must emphasize the PI’s potential for success in becoming an independent kidney cancer researcher based on their qualifications, achievements/honors (including first-author publications and funding), and letters of recommendation.
Mentor: The mentor (or co-mentor, if applicable) must possess the appropriate experience in kidney cancer research and/or patient care, to include recent publications and a record of active funding, and clearly demonstrate a commitment to guiding the PI’s research and development as a researcher. If the mentor is not an experienced kidney cancer researcher, then formal co-mentorship by an established kidney cancer researcher is required. The application must include information about the mentor’s experience in conducting innovative research and how they intend to support the PI’s endeavors in kidney cancer. Mentorship by an investigator without an established record of mentoring pre- and/or postdoctoral trainees may be offset by the overall strength of the researcher development plan.
Researcher Development Plan: Applications must provide details on the suitability of the PI’s overall researcher development plan for attaining the goals of this award mechanism. Applications must elaborate on the qualities of the research environment in which the candidate will work, provide details on the individualized kidney cancer-focused researcher development plan, and describe how it will facilitate the PI’s career development as an independent, innovative kidney cancer researcher. A multidisciplinary research approach to kidney cancer is highly encouraged, but not required; however, if there are multidisciplinary aspects, they should be clearly outlined in the application.
Research involving human subjects and human anatomical substances is permitted; however, clinical trials are not allowed under this Program Announcement.
The proposed research must be relevant to active duty Service members, Veterans, military beneficiaries, and/or the American public.
A Congressionally mandated Metastatic Cancer Task Force was formed with the purpose of identifying ways to help accelerate clinical and translational research aimed at extending the lives of advanced state and recurrent patients. As a member of the Metastatic Cancer Task Force, CDMRP encourages applicants to review the recommendations (https://health.mil/Reference-Center/Congressional-Testimonies/2018/05/03/Metastatic-Cancer-Research) and submit research ideas to address these recommendations provided they are within the limitations of this funding opportunity and fit within the FY20 KCRP priorities.
The types of awards made under the Program Announcement will be assistance agreements. An assistance agreement is appropriate when the Federal Government transfers a “thing of value” to a “state, local government,” or “other recipient” to carry out a public purpose of support or stimulation authorized by a law of the United States instead of acquiring property or service for the direct benefit and use of the U.S. Government. An assistance agreement can take the form of a grant or cooperative agreement. The level of involvement on the part of the Department of Defense (DoD) during project performance is the key factor in determining whether to award a grant or cooperative agreement. If “no substantial involvement” on the part of the funding agency is anticipated, a grant award will be made (31 USC 6304). Conversely, if substantial involvement on the part of the funding agency is anticipated, a cooperative agreement will be made (31 USC 6305), and the award will identify the specific substantial involvement. Substantial involvement may include, but is not limited to, collaboration, participation, or intervention in the research to be performed under the award. The award type, along with the start date, will be determined during the negotiation process.
The anticipated direct costs budgeted for the entire period of performance for an FY20 KCRP Postdoctoral and Clinical Fellowship Award will not exceed $195,000. Refer to Section II.D.5, Funding Restrictions, for detailed funding information.
Awards will be made no later than September 30, 2021. For additional information refer to Section II.F.1, Federal Award Notices.
The CDMRP expects to allot approximately $1.56M to fund approximately five Postdoctoral and Clinical Fellowship Award applications. Funding of applications received is contingent upon the availability of Federal funds for this program as well as the number of applications received, the quality and merit of the applications as evaluated by scientific and programmatic review, and the requirements of the Government. Funds to be obligated on any award resulting from this funding opportunity will be available for use for a limited time period based on the fiscal year of the funds. It is anticipated that awards made from this FY20 funding opportunity will be funded with FY20 funds, which will expire for use on September 30, 2026.