Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine.
Houston Methodist. Leading Medicine

Pilot Project RFA 2013

Competitive Research Program Request for Applications

Center for Transport Oncophysics Pilot and Outreach Pilot Project Opportunities

The Center for Transport Oncophysics (CTO), through its three projects and three cores, is focusing on the study of a coordinated, fundamental subset of all active biobarriers in cancer and to utilize the knowledge gained to design and develop therapeutic nanotechnologies for cancer treatment. The CTO website has more information on the investigators, projects and cores: cto.

However, the CTO projects and cores cannot and are not intended to cover all the biophysical and biological barriers that play important roles in the cancer growth and invasion. The pilot and outreach pilot projects will be utilized to supplement the proposed CTO projects and cores in the studies of biophysical and biological barriers.

The fundamental strategy is to supplement our investigations of biobarriers in cancer and transport mechanisms pertaining to diagnosis, therapy, imaging, and modeling through the pilot and outreach pilot project programs. The qualified proposals from the CTO investigators will be supported through the Pilot Project mechanism. Collaboration between CTO investigators and external investigators will be supported through Outreach Pilot Project mechanism.


Pilot Projects (up to 4 awards)

  • Up to $55,000 for one year, per award (only direct costs available)
  • No preliminary data required
  • Eligibility: Only CTO and Alliance for Nanohealth Members are eligible to receive funding
  • The CTO are formed based on the existing collaboration of investigators within the ANH and UT-BME, therefore the proposals from the ANH and GCC investigators will be considered as internal proposals and supported through the Internal Pilot Projects mechanism in the CAC budget.

Outreach Pilot Projects (1 award)

  • Up to $50,000 for one year, per award (only direct costs available)
  • No preliminary data required
  • Eligibility: CTO Members, Alliance for Nanohealth, and at least one required non-CTO Members, collaborating with CTO members, are eligible to receive funding
  • The Outreach Pilot Projects are the applications that are proposed by invited investigators who are outside the ANH and PS-OC networks and are selected using the same two-tier mechanism.

Collaborators from institutions other than the member institutions are allowed, but no funding can be requested for these collaborators (with the exception of the Outreach Pilot Projects).


  • Massachusetts General Hospital/ Harvard Medical School
  • Rice University
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
  • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Houston Methodist Research Institute
  • University of New Mexico

Alliance for Nanohealth MEMBER INSTITUTIONS

  • Baylor College of Medicine
  • Rice University
  • Texas A&M Health Science Center
  • Research Institute
  • The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
  • The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • University of Houston
  • University of Texas Medical Branch


Proposal due date: Closed at this time
Planned Start Date: August 1, 2013 for awarded projects


The Pilot Projects Program is intended to fund important new pilot/feasibility projects focused on biophysical and biological barriers concepts in cancer that develop a new research direction, explore an innovative idea, or test an unconventional, but potentially important new hypothesis.

Projects are funded for one year, with the possibility of a second year of support awarded upon demonstration of sufficient progress.

Pilot project funds are to be spent primarily on supplies and trainee salaries, rather than on faculty salary support. Proposal budgets should reflect this requirement.


Application Instructions:

Applications should be simple and brief and should include and be ordered as follows:

  1. Specific Aims
  2. Background, including preliminary studies of applicant
  3. Experimental Design (Please refer to previous publications of the PI whenever possible)
    The total length of Specific Aims, Background and Experimental Design sections should not exceed 5
    pages, using Arial 11 pt font, with 0.70 margins
  4. Additional materials:
    a. Progress report (for renewal applications only) 1 page maximum
    b. Current and pending funding: carefully indicate reasons for non-overlap if potential overlap exists
    c. Biosketch form for all key personnel
    d. Budget and justification

Budget Instructions:

Please provide a detailed one-year budget (e.g. NIH PHS 398 Form Page 4 showing detail for materials and supplies, travel, etc.).

Pilot project funds are to be spent only on supplies and trainee salaries, rather than on faculty salary support. No indirect costs will be supported. Proposal budgets should reflect this requirement.

Submission Instructions:

Applications should be emailed to: mpbisase@houstonmethodist.org or hkim@houstonmethodist.org

Additional Information:

Awardees must provide a 500 word summary of the research plans, understandable to lay people, at the time of funding, and an additional 500 word summary of their research accomplishments, also understandable to lay people, at the completion of funding. Awardees will also be expected to present their progress at the Annual CTO Workshop.

Publications generated as a result of funding support should acknowledge the funding source as follows:"The research described was supported by Award Number U54CA143837 from the National Cancer Institute. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the National Cancer Institute or the National Institutes of Health."


Applicants are required to send a 5-page final report at 12 months.


The review procedure will be a two-tier process that involves a first step review by an internal review committee appointed by the CAC to exclude proposals that have serious programmatic defects, i.e., incomplete proposal, lack of critical components and irrelevance to the proposed CTO or PS-OC aims.

The CAC members will conduct the 2nd level review based on the following criteria:

  1. relevance to the CTO and PS-OC;
  2. multidisciplinary nature to bridge physical science and biomedical sciences;
  3. innovation;
  4. well-articulated specific aims and research plans;
  5. potential for clinical translation and impact in cancer treatment; and
  6. integration with existing projects and cores.


Please direct any questions or concerns regarding this RFA to Mona Bisase, Project Manager, Department of NanoMedicine, Research Institute: mpbisase@houstonmethodist.org, Phone: 713- 441- 4889.