Funding Opportunities

The Abramson Cancer Center at the University of Pennsylvania announces the availability of research grants for faculty to conduct cancer-related research projects.

Breakthrough Bike Challenge / American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant Program 2016

Using funds raised by the Breakthrough Bike Challenge (BBC), a non-profit organization established in 2013 and dedicated to raising funds for cancer research, and with support from an American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant (ACS IRG), the Abramson Cancer Center of the University of Pennsylvania will provide research project grants to junior faculty members (e.g., Assistant Professors within six years of their appointment) to initiate promising new cancer research projects. Projects that have relevance across multiple types of cancer are encouraged, and the BBC has a particular interest in grants related to brain cancer, lymphoma, breast cancer, and prostate cancer, although a focus on one of these cancer types is not a prerequisite for application for funding. Proposals that span basic, translational, clinical, or population science research are welcome. The object of these grants is to facilitate the collection of preliminary data, which enable junior faculty to successfully compete for national, peer-reviewed research grants.

  • Via the ACS IRG funds, we anticipate awarding five ($30K/each) pilot projects to junior faculty members who do not currently have nationally peer-reviewed research project funding.
  • Via the BBC funds, we anticipate awarding additional seed money grants (ranging from $5K - $30K/each) that represent new ideas, which may come from junior faculty who currently have nationally peer-reviewed research project funding. These BBC seed money requests must be matched by 10% from the applicant's Department Chair, and a letter of commitment indicating this support must be included in the application.

Junior investigators who currently have a nationally peer-reviewed research grant are welcomed to apply for BBC funds, but must demonstrate in their application the need for funding of a non-overlapping innovative project that could culminate in additional external peer-reviewed funding. However, institutional funds that originate from the ACS IRG must not be awarded to junior faculty who currently hold nationally peer-reviewed research grants. Furthermore, all applicants must identify a mentor at the time the application is submitted and provide the mentor's NIH Biosketch and a brief statement describing the mentor's supervisory experience.

Covered costs include direct costs only, such as laboratory personnel costs (non-faculty), data management or research nursing support, laboratory supplies, animals, and small equipment; no travel or patient costs are allowed. Projects must have all necessary certifications to be eligible.

The award period for the BBC / ACS IRG grant is for one year, from February 1, 2016 to January 31, 2017.


  • Only junior-level faculty members are eligible, i.e., within six years of their first independent faculty appointment or equivalent (e.g., Assistant Professor, Research Assistant Professor).
  • For ACS IRG funds, only junior-level faculty members who do not currently hold nationally peer-reviewed funding are eligible.
  • Citizens, non-citizen nationals, and permanent residents of the United States and its possessions or territories are eligible.


  • Non-faculty (e.g., residents, fellows) are not eligible.

Funding Levels: $5,000 - $30,000

Award Period: 02/01/2016 – 01/31/2017

Application Deadline: 11/25/2015

BBC / ACS IRG Application Instructions

BCC / ACS IRG Application Form

Online Submission Site:

(Please note that a Letter of Intent is not required for this grant mechanism.)


Cecilia Scavelli, Associate Director for Research Administration, Abramson Cancer Center; 215-349-8387