DoD Prostate Cancer, Early Investigator Research Award

The FY20 PCRP Early Investigator Research Award supports prostate cancer-focused research opportunities for individuals in the early stages of their careers under the guidance of one or more designated Mentors. This opportunity allows early-career investigators to develop a research project, investigate a problem or question in prostate cancer research, and further their intellectual development as prostate cancer researchers of the future. All application components for the FY20 PCRP Early Investigator Research Award are to be written by the Principal Investigator (PI), with appropriate direction from the Mentor(s).

Pre-Application Deadline - June 4th, 2020

Details arePDF icon here.

Key elements of this award mechanism are as follows:

• Principal Investigator: The postdoctoral investigator is considered the PI of the application and must exhibit strong potential for and commitment to pursuing a career as an investigator at the forefront of prostate cancer research; however, the PI is not required to have previous prostate cancer research experience. The PI must have 3 years or less of postdoctoral research experience (excluding clinical residency or clinical fellowship training) as of March 31, 2021. The PCRP strongly encourages applications from PIs who demonstrate a commitment to pursuing a career focused in prostate cancer health disparity research.

• Mentor(s): Applications must include at least one Mentor, appropriate to the proposed research project, who has experience in prostate cancer research and mentoring as demonstrated by a record of active funding, recent publications, and successful mentorship. The primary Mentor can be a junior faculty member, in which case the PI is encouraged to include a secondary Mentor with a more robust track record in prostate cancer research and mentorship. Applications that focus on prostate cancer health disparity should include at least one Mentor with experience in prostate cancer health disparity research. The selected Mentor(s) should also demonstrate a clear commitment to the development of the PI toward independence as a prostate cancer researcher.

• Research Approach: Proposed research ideas are required to address one or more of the FY20 PCRP Overarching Challenges. Projects that specifically address the FY20 PCRP Overarching Challenge to reduce lethal prostate cancer in people of African descent, Veterans, and high-risk and underserved populations are strongly encouraged. The scientific rationale and experimental methodology should demonstrate in-depth analysis of the research problem presented. The feasibility of the research design and methods should be well defined, and a clear plan should be articulated as to how the proposed goals of the project can be achieved. The inclusion of preliminary data relevant to prostate cancer and the proposed project is encouraged but not required. Any preliminary data provided should be from the PI, Mentor(s), or member(s) of the collaborating team. Additionally, required resources should be identified and supported through documentation.

• Researcher Development Plan: The PI must outline an individualized, prostate cancer-focused researcher development plan, which should include a clearly articulated strategy for acquiring the necessary skills, competence, and expertise that will enable the PI to successfully complete the proposed research project and foster the PI’s development as an independent prostate cancer researcher. An environment appropriate to the proposed mentoring and research project must be clearly described, although any deficiencies of resources and/or mentorship at the PI’s institution can be mitigated through collaboration(s) with other institutions. If the PI will be utilizing resources at another institution to successfully complete the proposed project, then the PI is strongly encouraged to designate a co-Mentor at the collaborating institution.

Investigators are strongly encouraged to incorporate the following components into their study design, where appropriate, to maximize the potential impact of the proposed research project: authentication of proposed cell lines, statistical rigor of preclinical animal experiments, and incorporation of experiments to assess clinical relevance and translatability of findings. As such, the PCRP-funded Prostate Cancer Biorepository Network (PCBN) ( and/or the North Carolina – Louisiana Prostate Cancer Project (PCaP) ( are important resources to consider if retrospectively collected human anatomical substances or correlated data are critical to the proposed studies. Investigators considering use of these or other resources are highly encouraged to provide a letter of support indicating access to and the availability of the desired resources to support the study. Studies utilizing data derived from large patient studies that include long-term health records, biospecimen repositories, and pre-existing research and apply state-of-the-art genomic and/or proteomic analysis, bioinformatics, and/or mathematical models to such data are also encouraged.

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, the CDMRP encourages applicants to review the recommendations ( and submit research ideas to address these recommendations provided they are within the limitations of this funding opportunity and fit within the FY20 PCRP priorities.

The anticipated direct costs budgeted for the entire period of performance for an FY20 PCRP Early Investigator Research Award will not exceed $300,000. 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 $9.6M to fund approximately 20 FY20 PCRP Early Investigator Research 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.

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