Our researchers and staff recognize that pilot projects will play a vital role in the successful development of our research program over the lifetime of our Center. As our three research projects deliver new results and develop improved understanding of the physical basis of metastatic cancer they will evolve to present new challenges and opportunities. Pilot projects provide an ideal mechanism with which to explore some of these challenges and opportunities. Over the life of our Center we will also use these projects to expand participation in our PS-OC by bringing in new expertise and new institutions. We will employ a number of strategies designed to generate ideas and proposals for pilot projects throughout the year: ? Monthly research project meetings ? Seminar series ? Annual call for pilot project proposals ? Annual symposium We will hold monthly research project meetings at which researchers will present recent results and update colleagues on progress and challenges. Project leaders will remind and encourage participants to consider opportunities for pilot projects that may be used to explore new directions, to address challenges faced in current efforts or to initiate collaborations with new colleagues, bringing in complimentary expertise to advance ongoing research. A PS-OC seminar series will be established to familiarize all Center participants with the details of ongoing research projects and to encourage collaborations within the Center. PS-OC researchers will also invite colleagues from external organizations to infonn participants of ongoing work and advances that could be developed into pilot project proposals. In particular we will seek to invite researchers from other Centers in the PS-OC network to participate in our seminar series. This will provide opportunities to explore mutual research interests and trans-network projects. These seminars will provide PS-OC researchers with an opportunity to present recent advances and highlight the research of the Center and its impact on the understanding of the physical basis for cancer. Hosted at (Domell, the series will be videoconferenced to all Center institutions, expanding the audience to allow real time participation by all Center researchers. We will use existing videoconferencing capabilities and infrastructure at each institution to provide researchers with easy access to these seminars and other Center meetings. Seminar speakers will be able to present from any site within the Center, ensuring that colleagues in both the cancer biology and physical science communities have the opportunity to share their research accomplishments. With the speakers permission a video archive of each seminar will be made available on our web site shortly after each event. This archive will disseminate Center research to the broader research community. Each year our PS-OC will issue a call for pilot project proposals. This call will be widely distributed to the research communities at all PS-OC institutions in order to broaden the knowledge base of our Center, and listed on our PC-OS website. The call will encourage both PS-OC participants and external researchers to propose innovative research that addresses challenges identified in our ongoing projects, or that explores new directions in understanding the physical basis of metastatic cancer. The PS-OC call for pilot projects will be modeled on the infrastructure and support currently provided through the Nanobiotechnology Center at Cornell to reach researchers across a wide range of disciplines. This call supports opportunities for Integrated Research Proposals on topics in nanobiotechnology and related areas. As an example the current call, issued in January 2009, seeks "innovative research approaches to yield unique insights into the intricate operations of biological systems on subcellular and molecular levels or to lead to the realization of new nano-scale devices and systems for biological and biotechnologica! applications..." Interdisciplinary collaboration is an essential component of this opportunity: "The research activity must feature combined strengths in biological and engineering/physical science areas, and show committed involvement from at least two Cornell faculty members in different fields/departments." For our Center's call we will emphasize that proposals for pilot projects should utilize and expand upon the existing expertise in the physical sciences of the faculty and cores of our PS-OC. Our research project leaders, working with our Executive Committee, will be responsible for identifying areas of particular interest for pilot project proposals. These areas will be included in the proposal guidelines sent out each year to over 2,000 researchers and administrators at the Cornell Ithaca campus and an equally significant number at Weill Medical College and its Tri-lnstitutional research partners (Rockefeller, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and Weill Comell Medical College). We will ensure that researchers at SUNY Buffalo are also aware of such opportunities using relevant listservs and networks at that institution. By taking advantage of this existing infrastructure our Center will be able to reach a significant portion of the research community from its first year of operation. All proposals for pilot projects will be reviewed by our Executive Committee and those receiving high evaluation will be presented to the Center Advisory Committee for approval. We expect to support 3-4 pilot projects, with an emphasis on graduate students and post-doc researchers, for two years each. Second year funding will be contingent on productivity and review by the Committee, and we anticipate that these pilot projects, in addition to bringing new expertise to the Center, will also generate proposals for external grants. Additional mechanisms, specifically designed to bring in external expertise as a component of these pilot projects are described in the Outreach and Dissemination Unit.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Cancer Institute (NCI)
Specialized Center--Cooperative Agreements (U54)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZCA1-SRLB-9)
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Cornell University
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