GW-American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant Pilot Award

Request for Applications

The George Washington University Cancer Center (GWCC) American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant (ACS- IRG), with added support from the GWCC Katzen Center Research Fund, annually awards non-renewable pilot grants to three investigators for up to a maximum of $60,000 each for one year. This ACS IRG (IRG-22-973396) is an institutional award that enables GWCC to provide pilot research funding to beginning investigators who have not yet achieved independent funding at the national level.

For additional information, please contact Pesha Rubinstein at (


The overall goal of this IRG program is to provide seed money for newly independent investigators to initiate cancer research projects that lead to subsequent grant-funded programs. The foundation of this plan is a competitive pilot grant program with strong mentorship to build research networks, research skills and career development activities.

Investigators who have difficulty identifying and/or securing a GWCC mentor should contact the Program Directors Dr. Ed Seto at ( or Dr. Alison Hall at ( for assistance.

As part of their professional development, ACS-IRG awardees will be invited to serve on the ACS-IRG Local Review Committee after the conclusion of their award, where they will work with an Executive Committee member to review future ACS-IRG proposals.


  • Applicants should be Assistant Professors (or equivalent) with faculty appointments of six years or less, who are eligible to apply for independent national competitive (peer-reviewed) research grants, but who currently do not hold such funding.
  • At the time of the award, applicants must hold a regular GW faculty appointment, although they may be based at GW, Children’s National or the DC Veteran’s Administration.
  • Applicants are not required to be United States citizens but must hold a visa that will allow him or her to remain in the U.S. long enough to complete the IRG pilot project.

Investigators already receiving support from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF), American Cancer Society (ACS) or other major organizations are not eligible. Holders of career development awards, such as the NIH K series (except K99/R00) are eligible.

Application Guidelines

These are internal awards and are NOT submitted through the Office of Sponsored Research.

Review the full instructions here.

NEW for this round of applications: We strongly encourage applicants—particularly those

proposing clinical research—to consult with a biostatistics professional to help with hypothesis

refinement, study design, and statistical plan. Reviewers noted that some previous

applications—ultimately not awarded—did not have sufficient information about the study

population, study design or proposed analyses. 

Initial biostatistics consultations for clinical research proposal development are available for free

from GW Office of Clinical Research (here) or CNH Biostatistics, Epidemiology, Research

Design (contact Dr. Bost

Please use the required application to complete the cover sheet and to submit all required applicant documents in one pdf.

Letters of support should be submitted separately by email to

The completed application must be submitted by 4:00 pm EST on the due date listed (April 15, 2024)

Review Process

  • Each application will be assigned a primary reviewer, a secondary reviewer, and a tertiary reviewer.
  • Reviewers use the 9-point NIH rating scale (1 = Exceptional, 9 = Poor).
  • Reviewers provide whole number scores for “Overall Impact” plus write a paragraph summarizing the factors that informed the Overall Impact Score.
  • Reviewers provide whole number scores for the following criteria, plus write the Strengths and Weaknesses of the application for each criterion:
    1. Extent to which award will nurture innovative ideas and position the applicant for extramural peer-reviewed research funding.
    2. Cancer significance and relevance
    3. Extent to which the application uses GWCC cores, addresses cancer disparities, or involves GWCC members
    4. Scholar investigator
    5. Mentor investigator
  • Reviewers may comment on budget or provide additional optional comments.
  • Reviewers meet to discuss each application and provide final overall scores.

2024 ACS IRG Timeline

  • March 1st, 2024: Call for proposals
  • April 15, 2024: Application Due
  • May 17, 2024: Award Decision date
  • June 15, 2024: Pilot Project Start Date

Funding for these grants is contingent upon approval by the American Cancer Society. American Cancer Society Awardee Policies.