This Developmental Research Program (DRP) will promote the exploration of innovative ideas in translational cutaneous malignancy research through the funding of pilot projects proposed by Moffitt investigators;it will not support extensions of existing full projects. Dr. Vernon Sondak will lead the DRP. He has been a member of NCI Subcommittee G (training grants) and was the Principal Investigator of the first Pre-SPORE grant awarded by the State of Florida. He has mentored dozens of surgical oncologists and is known as an outstanding mentor. To maximize the likelihood that funded projects will be able to serve as replacement projects if needed, the DRP will support the establishment of new collaborations as well as facilitate either a talented investigator in another relevant field, i.e. a new investigator to cutaneous oncology, to become involved in cutaneous malignancy research or promote promising early research by an investigator already established in the cutaneous malignancy field. An innovative feature of the DRP is that investigators will be encouraged to propose projects that, while based at Moffitt, might involve a collaboration with an established Skin SPORE project at another Skin SPORE institution, or with the existing Moffitt Lung SPORE. In collaboration with the Moffitt Lung SPORE, up to one DRP award per year will be co-supported by the Skin SPORE as a cross-SPORE interaction. DRP projects that link to an ongoing Moffitt Skin SPORE project are encouraged. The DRP will provide guidance, advice, evaluation, and funding for up to three pilot projects per year. The goal for each pilot project is to generate sufficient high-quality data in the field of cutaneous malignancy prevention, treatment, basic research, or applied research to allow for submission of an independent project to the NIH or other federal agency for peer review funding. In addition, developmental projects could serve as potential replacement projects elevated to full project status if an existing full project is completed or fails to meet its translational goals and expectations as determined by the Skin SPORE External Advisory Board (EAB) in conjunction with the leadership of this Skin SPORE. The selection of DRP projects for funding by the Award Evaluation Committee (AEC) will be modeled after the NIH study section review process. The AEC will be chaired Dr. Vernon Sondak. Each pilot project will have three reviewers, a primary reviewer, a secondary reviewer, and a statistical reviewer. The three reviewers will be asked to assign priority scores from 1.0 to 9.0 to the project using the NIH scoring system. Projects from investigators new to cutaneous oncology will be given a high priority.
The prior pilot award mechanism of the CMRC and the Pre-SPORE grant has been quite successful at promoting involvement in cutaneous oncology research among Moffitt investigators, resulting in 10 awards in the last 5 years, of which four led to peer reviewed funding, an excellent record. All four of the current Skin SPORE Projects started as CMRC/Pre-SPORE pilot proposals, which speaks to the success of this mechanism, and suggest that this DRP will positively impact on cutaneous oncology research at Moffitt.
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