Pilot Projects



As part of its charter, the Northwestern University Physical Science-Oncology Center (NU-PSOC) offers pilot project funding for up to two projects each year to researchers for innovative projects that are closely aligned with the central research mission of the Center. Selected projects are funded for one year up to $100,000 direct costs.

The Northwestern University Physical Sciences - Oncology Center, one of 12 national centers funded by the National Cancer Institute, is focused on research organized under the umbrella theme of “Coding, Decoding, Transfer and Translation of Information in Cancer”.


  • Applicants must be an independent investigators who is tenured, tenure-track, clinical investigator track or research-track faculty.
  • Project must be innovative and closely aligned with the overarching framework of the NU PS-OC.
  • Proposals from current PS-OC members must represent new work, not enhancements of current PS-OC projects.
  • Minority and female investigators are strongly encouraged to apply, however pilot project program applicants will not be asked to identify their gender or racial/ethnic status.

Application Procedure: Submit a proposal of no longer than 3 pages that includes: 1) Abstract; 2) Statement of relevance of the proposed project to the coding, decoding, transfer and translation of information in cancer; and 3) a project plan consisting of background, preliminary studies, specific aims, research design and methodology, and timeline.
The following addional materials must be appended as Word documents to the proposal:

  • Project Budget on NIH PHS398 form
  • Budget Justification.
  • NIH Biosketches for Key Personnel

Submit applications to: Helen Hutten, NU PS-OC Assistant Project Manager, at h-hutten [at] northwestern [dot] edu.

Evaluation Process: All projects are reviewed by the NU-PSOC Executive based on the following criteria: 1) scientific merit, 2) innovation, and 3) intercalation of project objectives with the theme of the NU-PSOC. Funding recommendations must be approved by the Center Advisory Committee.

Award Notification: Awardees will be notified by letter. The estimated start date for funding is August 1, 2013 and is contingent upon release of funds by NCI and creation of new accounts. The end date is July 31, 2014.

Responsibilities of Awardees: Awardees are required to participate in regular Center scientific meetings e.g. “Science Jams”, to present their projects during the annual NCI visit, and provide a biannual written progress report for inclusion in the Center’s biannual reports to NCI.