The Developmental Research Program of the RPCI-UPCI Ovarian Cancer SPORE is a platform to support innovative, potentially high-risk/high-reward, investigator-initiated projects with the potential for maturation into translational ovarian cancer research projects that will transit basic and/or population research findings into research focused on human clinical specimens/patient populations. Furthermore, the funds of the Developmental Research Program will be leveraged by encouraging the development of the pilot projects into collaborative, multi-investigator, multi-institutional translational research programs, or as replacements for the Individual Research Projects of the RPCI-UPCI Ovarian Cancer SPORE. Therefore, the Developmental Research Program projects are the ultimate measure of the success of a SPORE, and form the base for future translational ovarian cancer research at the individual institutions since they are the springboard for the next generation of R01, P01, Consortium, and SPORE grants. Proposals from faculty with established ovarian cancer research programs, or faculty interested in transitioning to translational ovarian cancer research, will be evaluated by the Executive Committee for scientific merit. The Development Research Program Leaders will convene a NIH format study section and assign NIH R21- type applications to two scientific and one patient advocate reviewers. Review results will be summarized in the Administrative Core and submitted to the Internal Advisory Board for recommendations for funding. The Developmental Research Program will fund three to four projects per year at a funding level of $50,000 per year. Highly promising projects are eligible for an additional year of funding, but in order to maintain maximal flexibility in attracting new innovative projects, no more than one project per year will be a renewal. The unique strengths of the Developmental Research Program lie in its ability to provide significant financial support in a timely manner to high-risk/pilot projects to develop critical preliminary data, provide a flexible mechanism that can respond rapidly to new initiatives or exciting findings through a formal application procedure using the Executive Committee and Internal Advisory Board, or receive even quicker but lesser funds through an ad hoc award from the Discretionary Fund of the RPCI-UPCI Ovarian Cancer SPORE Principal Investigator.
The Developmental Research Program of an NCI SPORE is the incubator of the cutting-edge, potentially paradigm-shifting research that will be tested to become the next generation standard-of-care. The RPCI-UPCI Ovarian Cancer SPORE will provide 2 complementary advantages as a mechanism for supporting translational research: 1) a constructive review process provided by the Executive Committee facilitates evolution of hypotheses, and 2) a rapid review and award procedure allows immediate and flexible funding of new ideas.
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