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2021-2023 Clinical Investigator Award (CIA) for Under-Represented (BIPOC) Surgeons Criteria and Application Process

The SSO Clinical Investigator Award is a $100,000 grant over two years, 2021-2023.

Submit your 2021 proposal by Monday, February 8, 2021

This award is made possible by a grant from Genentech.


Application Procedure

The Society of Surgical Oncology requests a proposal in which the applicant plays a central role in the conduct of a specific clinical research project. This might include for example a leadership role in a clinical trial, in a prospective cancer outcomes study, or a translational research project related to a prospective clinical trial. The clinical research focus must be hypothesis-driven and must have a direct patient-oriented focus. Clinical trials may be investigator-initiated, industry-driven or organized by a cooperative group.  While the applicant need not be the principal investigator of the trial, nor the lead institutional investigator, the extent to which the applicant is involved in study design and conduct must be clearly articulated. Ideal applicants will be early to mid-career investigators with a track record of peer-reviewed research funding who are seeking additional extramural support to further clinical cancer research. Of note, this award is not intended to serve as a career development award for new investigators seeking to initiate their research careers. The track record of the applicant, scientific merit of the application, novelty and clinical impact of the anticipated results, and resources available to ensure completion of the study will comprise the review criteria.

The application MUST include the following items in order:

A. Cover page: The cover page must include the following information: the title of the proposal, name of applicant, applicant’s position, institution and contact information, and the name and contact information for the individual authorized to act for the applicant if the award is made.  Applicant must also dentify race/ethnicity as one of the following (categories based on SSO’s member profile demographics: 

African American/Black
American Indian/Alaska Native
Hawaiian Pacific Islander

B. Curriculum Vitae: A three-page bio sketch (including Other Support) in NIH format. “Other Support” should list all grants and awards (one section for current and one section for those completed in the past three years).  Each grant or award must include each of the following: 1) Title of the project/grant and name of funding source; 2) name of the PI and role of the applicant if not the PI; 3) percent effort; 4) dates of entire project period; 5) award amount (direct dollars) for the current award period; 6) scientific overlap with the proposed project; 7) manner in which any adjustments will be made for scientific overlap. Failure to include all information may be grounds to dismiss the application from scoring and consideration.

C. Supporting Letters: A letter from the applicant’s institution is required and should include a review of the proposal and a summary of the applicant’s qualifications. It should also describe the facilities and support available to complete the project. The letter should also specifically stipulate the percentage of time effort the applicant will devote to the research project. The letter should be from the institution’s cancer center director, chair of their department or dean of research. Other supporting letters (no more than 3) may be included.

D. Research Proposal: This should include the following items:

  1. Abstract: The abstract should describe the clinical trial, the hypothesis being tested; specific aims of the research, and the novelty and clinical impact of the anticipated results. (Limited to 1 page, single spaced, 12 pt. font, one inch margin)
  2. Research plan: This section should focus on any critical preliminary data, overall and specific approaches/methodology, any alternative approaches, statistical plan if applicable, expected results, and the exact role of the applicant.  (Limited to 6 pages, single spaced, 12 pt. font, one inch margin)
  3. Resources: This should include a brief description of the clinical cancer trials infrastructure at the applicant’s institution as well as any required resources in laboratory science, population science, epidemiology, bio specimen repositories, biostatistics, etc.  (Limited to 1 page, single spaced, 12 pt. font, one inch margin)
  4. Literature cited. (no page limit)

Failure to adhere strictly to the page limits may be grounds to dismiss the application from scoring and consideration.

E. Budget: In no more than one (1) page, describe proposed budget utilization and justification. Please identify the percentage of time that would be devoted to the research effort. Please do not include indirect costs in the project budget.  Those applications that include indirect costs will still be considered; however, the reviewers will take this information into account when reviewing applications and providing recommendations for funding. 

F. Appendix: Clinical protocol, informed consent form, IRB approval notice. Summary statements are acceptable.

  1. Not to exceed five (5) pages in length. If appendix exceeds the 5-page limit, the research proposal WILL NOT be reviewed.

The Award will be presented at the March 2023 International Symposium on Surgical Cancer Care in Boston, and applicants will be informed of the outcome via email shortly after the conclusion of the meeting. Please be aware that applicants will not receive reviewer comments or an application score.

PLEASE NOTE: Funding of grants will be determined by scientific peer review process and consistent with any restrictions required by the grantor.

The proposal must be submitted both electronically and in hardcopy format. Please email the proposal as a single PDF file to sso@surgonc.org by midnight, Monday, February 8, 2021. The hard copy of the application should be sent to Society of Surgical Oncology, 9525 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Suite 870, Rosemont, IL 60018 postmarked by February 12, 2021.

Questions regarding the Clinical Investigator Awards? 

Contact Jeanette Ruby; Email: jeanetteruby@surgonc.org, or phone 847-427-1400 ext. 111.

Society of Surgical Oncology

9525 W. Bryn Mawr Ave., Suite 870 Rosemont, IL 60018
Email: sso@surgonc.org
Phone : 847-427-1400, ext. 111

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