RFA for Onco-Primary Care Cancer Research Pilot Projects

Doctor explains research to patient

Request for Application

This is a request for applications (RFA) for Duke Cancer Institute (DCI) Center for Onco-Primary Care pilot projects. Proposed projects should be aligned with the four-fold mission, to: (1) deliver evidence-based, patient-centered, personalized health care across the cancer continuum (from cancer screening to survivorship or end-of-life or chronic cancer care) by enhancing the interface between cancer specialists and primary care clinicians; (2) conduct practice-changing research that improves (a) cancer screening rates, (b) timely transition to cancer care, (c) management of non-cancer comorbidities during and after cancer therapy, and (d) long-term outcomes of cancer survivors, including those living with chronic cancer; (3) train and educate the next generation of clinicians and researchers to extend this mission; and (4) generate policy leading to practice redesign.


Applications are accepted biannually by 5 p.m. on March 15 and September 20, 2024.

Award Details

This opportunity is open to all DCI Center for Onco-Primary Care members who are also DCI members*. 

If you have onco-primary care research interests and are not yet a member, please contact Kevin Oeffinger, MD for information about membership. Applications supporting multidisciplinary collaboration between methodologists (e.g., health services researchers, implementation scientists, and biostatisticians), cancer specialists, and primary care providers are strongly encouraged.

Investigators may be either PI or Co-PI on only one application. There is no limit to the number of applications that an Investigator can be listed as a Co-Investigator or Collaborator.

Please note the PI must be a Center for Onco-Primary Care member. Multiple Co-PI’s are strongly encouraged, especially when representing multidisciplinary collaborations than span
oncology and primary care.

*All applicants must be DCI members. For any questions regarding DCI eligibility, please contact Karen Judge. Visit our site to learn more and to apply for membership.

Funding Mechanism

Pilot Research

  • Total project period may not exceed 12 months, with the option to submit a renewal application in the following year for an additional year of funding. Shorter duration projects, ranging from 3-6 months, are also encouraged.
  • Budget for direct costs for the total project period may range from $1,000 to $30,000.
  • Proposal budgets can support research expenses, such as research staff, supplies, shared resources services. Proposal budgets may not include equipment including computers, travel or tuition remission costs. Support for faculty effort (excluding statistical support) is discouraged and must receive pre-approval from the DCI Center for Onco-Primary Care leadership in order to be included in the budget.

Submission Guidelines

Combine all below listed documents into one PDF document and submit your application by emailing Leah Zullig, PhD. Files should be named with the investigator(s) last name, first name followed by “Onco-Primary Care Pilot Project”. (e.g.: “Smith, John_Onco-Primary Care Pilot Project.pdf”)

Please include the following in your application:

  1. Research Strategy (3 page limit) encompassing the following sections, in this order:
    1. The title of the grant, the name of the primary PI and (if appropriate) co-PI(s) and co-investigator(s), and a brief abstract that includes the specific aims.
    2. A significance section, paying particular attention to relevance to onco-primary care.
    3. An innovation section.
    4. A research design section, including relevant preliminary data and figures.
    5. A brief statement indicating the need for the funds and an indication of how these pilot funds will assist you in obtaining peer-reviewed funding.
  2. References (no page limit).
  3. Budget
    1. Budget should be for 12 months totaling no more than $30,000. Please use PHS 398 Form Page 4 and 5. 
    2. A detailed budget justification is required.
  4. Letter of support from the DCI program leader of your primary or secondary research program (a full list of DCI Research Programs and leaders are listed below) explaining the importance of your cancer research both in general and in relation to their program, as well as confirming that you are a member of the program.
  5. Letter of support from the director of any DCI Shared Resource that will be utilized for this project.
  6. NIH biosketches for PI, Co-PI(s), Co-I(s), and collaborators.
  7. NIH Other Support documents for PI, Co-PI(s), Co-I(s), and collaborators, including, when appropriate, an explanation of whether overlap exists with the proposed project.

Please use the following NIH forms:

Terms of Award

  • All awards, publications and presentations must acknowledge the DCI Center for Onco-Primary Care and the P30 Cancer Center Support Grant as indicated on NOA.
  • The DCI Center for Onco-Primary Care expects that the grantee will completely utilize the full amount of the funding during the term of the award. All unspent funds at the end of the grant period will be returned to the sponsor.
  • Acceptance of funds implies a firm commitment:
  • To provide a progress report by the deadline outlined in the NOA and subsequently, an annual update for a five-year follow-up period.
  • Not to use funds for unallowable costs as determined by the NIH. (List of current unallowable costs to be included with NOA).

Review Process

Similar to NIH study sections, each application will be peer reviewed by at least two members of the DCI Center for Onco-Primary Care Executive Committee, followed by a review of the most meritorious applications at a roundtable discussion of the entire committee. Because applications are accepted twice per year, funding decisions are typically communicated to the PI within approximately one month of submission (summary statements are not provided).

Pilot Research Proposals will be reviewed based on the following criteria:

  1. Innovation, novelty, and soundness of the research plan;
  2. Relevance to onco-primary care;
  3. Likelihood that the project could lead to new peer-reviewed funding, as well as a budgetthat reflects the project plan.

If you have questions about this funding opportunity, please contact Kevin Oeffinger and Leah Zullig.

List of Unallowable Costs

Unallowable cost is any expense or cost that is not eligible for reimbursement by the Federal government.

  1. Office Supplies
  2. Local phone service
  3. Subscriptions
  4. Memberships
  5. Furniture
  6. Food for meetings, entertainment
  7. Fees
  8. Advertising for general promotion of the University, including printed materials, promotional items, memorabilia, gifts, and souvenirs
  9. Advertising for recruitment purposes that includes color or is excessive in size
  10. Alcoholic beverages
  11. Alumni or fund-raising activities
  12. Antiques
  13. Bad debt write-offs
  14. Donations or Contributions
  15. Commencement expenses
  16. Cost Overruns; any costs allocable to a particular sponsored agreement may not be shifted to other sponsored agreements in order to meet deficiencies caused by overruns or other fund considerations, to avoid restrictions imposed by law or by terms of the sponsored agreement, or for other reasons of convenience.
  17. Costs on Industry, Foreign Government or Other Non-Government Grants/Contracts; any costs allocable to activities sponsored by industry, foreign governments or other sponsors may not be shifted to federally sponsored agreements.
  18. Decorative objects for private offices
  19. Fine/original art
  20. Fines and penalties
  21. First-class/business-class air travel differentials
  22. Flowers
  23. Gifts, prizes, and awards
  24. Goods or services for personal use
  25. Lobbying
  26. Memberships in airline travel clubs
  27. Memberships in civic, social, community organizations or country clubs
  28. Faculty and exempt staff salary in excess of base rates paid by the institution.
  29. Tuition and/or tuition remission
  30. Selling or marketing products or services of the University
  31. Social events
  32. Capital equipment
  33. Computers
This page was reviewed on 01/19/2024