American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant

The purpose of the American Cancer Society Institutional Research Grant (ACS IRG) is to support the initiation of promising new cancer research projects by junior faculty members so they can obtain results that will enable them to compete successfully for peer-reviewed extramural cancer research grants. As a recipient of the ACS IRG, the Hollings Cancer Center (HCC) is able to provide small pilot research funding to early career investigators who have no national competitive research grant support.

Awards will be up to $35,000 each and upon competitive review can be renewed for a second year. The award is exempt from indirect costs, so all funds are used for cancer research as direct costs. Grant awards for spring 2019 are for a 9-month period, from April 1, 2019 through December 31, 2019. All awards should be completed and spent by December 31, 2019. No cost extensions will only be granted under rare circumstances.

Applications are due no later than Tuesday, February 19th, 2019 by 3:00 pm.


  • Must be within six years of their first independent research or faculty appointment. Although applicants may apply for multiple awards, a grantee may not be the principal investigator on more than one ACS Grant at any time.
  • Must not currently hold any national peer-reviewed project grant funding (e.g., K99/R00, R01, R03, R21, national ACS award, national DOD award). An exception will be made for faculty members who hold national peer-reviewed grants in non-cancer related areas. However, these proposals must have a direct, unquestionable cancer focus and include a cancer scientist as a mentor. Individuals with career development awards (NIH K awards and other career development awards from national foundations) are eligible.
  • Individuals who have received national peer-reviewed research grants that were not renewed and who are still at the level of assistant professor may apply for an individual IRG—provided they are within the first six years of their independent faculty (or equivalent) appointment and have not received funds from the ACS IRG before.
  • Must at the time of application have U.S. residency status or hold a visa that will allow time for full completion of the project.
  • Must have a primary academic appointment at MUSC.

Evaluation Criteria

Each proposal will be reviewed by two or more ACS IRG committee members including a biostatistician and scored by each committee member using the NIH scoring system and process. Written evaluations of the projects will be provided to individual applicants after the funding decisions have been made.

Review criteria will include:

  • Proposed research has direct cancer relevance and addresses an important problem in cancer.
  • There is high probability that the pilot project supported by this sub-award will form the basis for major peer-reviewed funding.

Please contact Jillian Ussery, Grants Coordinator, at with questions about your eligibility.

Back to top Back to top