The KCRP Academy of Kidney Cancer Investigators Awards support a unique, interactive virtual academy providing intensive mentoring, national networking, collaborations, and a peer group for junior faculty emerging as potential leaders of kidney cancer research. The overarching goal of the Academy of Kidney Cancer Investigators (AKCI) is to develop successful, highly productive kidney cancer researchers in a collaborative research and career development environment.
The AKCI is a virtual career development and research training platform that consists of Early- Career Investigator (ECI)/Designated Mentor pairs from different institutions, and an Academy Dean. The KCRP AKCIECIA 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) as well as with the kidney cancer advocacy community.
The Academy Dean, selected in FY19, 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 research and advocacy communities. In addition to fostering ECI scientific development, the AKCI, through its leadership by the Academy Dean, provides professional and leadership development of the ECIs to include skills and competencies needed to fund and manage a productive laboratory or research team.
This FY20 Program Announcement is soliciting ECIs and Designated Mentors to join the newly established Academy. This award mechanism enables the ECI (the investigator named as the Principal Investigator [PI] on the application) to pursue a kidney cancer project that may be basic, translational, and/or clinical research. The Designated Mentor is not required to be at the same institution as the ECI.
The KCRP encourages applications from ECIs whose ability to commit to conducting kidney cancer research is limited by minimal resources or a lack of resources, such as a qualified Designated Mentor at their institution, access to kidney cancer research tools, opportunities for establishing collaborations, or other obstacles, which should be identified in the application. Preliminary data to support the feasibility of the research applications and approaches are required; however, this data does not necessarily need to be derived from the kidney cancer research field. The ECI 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 kidney cancer research. This award also provides support and protected time for the ECI for 4 years of intensive research under the guidance of a Designated Mentor experienced in kidney cancer research. Although the AKCI 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 plans and for designing and executing the proposed research. The ECI must clearly articulate their commitment to a career as a kidney cancer researcher and to participating in and contributing to the growth of the AKCI. The Designated Mentor must have a strong record of mentoring and training early-career investigators. With the goal to expand and enrich mentorship capacity within the Academy, a Designated Mentor must agree to also serve as a Secondary Mentor to another ECI in the Academy. The Designated Mentor will be limited to one Primary (applicant ECI-Mentor pair) and one Secondary mentorship. The Dean of the Academy cannot be listed as a Designated Mentor. The ECI and Designated Mentor are required to attend a biennial multi-day Department of Defense (DoD) KCRP AKCI Workshop and, in alternate years, a 1-day DoD KCRP AKCI Workshop. 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 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 proposed research must be relevant to active duty Service members, Veterans, military beneficiaries, and/or the American public. The anticipated direct costs budgeted for the entire period of performance for an FY20 AKCIECIA will not exceed $725,000. 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 $4.64M to fund approximately four AKCIECIA 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.