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Diversity in Cancer Research Institutional Development Grant (DICR IDG)


The American Cancer Society’s (ACS) Diversity in Cancer Research (DICR) Program aims to increase diversity in the cancer research workforce by increasing the number of under-represented minorities in the biomedical field. The DICR Institutional Development Grant (IDG) is specifically designed to enhance the competitiveness of- faculty at minority-serving institutions (MSIs) when they apply for nationally competitive grant support as well as support faculty development and retention.


Diversity in science is critical because it invigorates problem-solving, drives innovation, and better equips the scientific community to address inequities that exist in cancer prevention, treatment, and care.

The lack of diversity within the scientific and medical workforce is a known issue.

Mark Your Calendar

Interactive Webinar to Learn More: Recorded and available upon request. 

LOI Due Date: Tuesday, July 19, 2022 11:59 pm ET

Applications Open in proposalCENTRAL: Friday, July 22, 2022

Invitation-to-Apply Date: Monday, July 25, 2022

Full Application Due Date: Monday, Oct. 17, 2022

Award Notification: Nov. 2022

Grant Activation: Jan. 2023

Additional Questions: Email

The National Science Foundation tracks workforce data every 2 years, and their reports reveal that certain racial and ethnic groups are under-represented at many career stages in the health-related sciences. Those populations include African American/Black, American Indian and Alaska Native, Hispanic/Latino, Native Hawaiian and other Pacific Islander groups. Collectively these groups are known as under-represented minorities (URM) in science.

There is a documented disparity in National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant application pools. Data from the NIH’s R01 grants in 2013 and 2018 showed that significantly fewer applications were submitted from certain racial and ethnic groups. Specifically:

  • Only 7% of applicants were part of an URM group.
  • Less than 4% of applicants were Hispanic/Latino.
  • Less than 2% of applicants were African American/Black.


This award is intended to increase capacity for cancer research career development at MSIs. For full applications, applicants will be required to outline their processes for recruitment, review, and selection for both the trainees and faculty candidates who will apply for and compete to receive support for research and career development awards. Funded institutions will create and administer a cancer research career development program.


Required Institutional Infrastructure

Eligible institutions are 4-year degree granting institutions, including accredited colleges, universities, and medical schools within the United States (in accordance with ACS grant policies) who have received federal designation as an MSI.

MSIs are institutions of higher learning that serve minority populations, such as:

  • Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian Serving Institutions (ANNHs)
  • Asian-American-and-Pacific-Islander-Serving Institutions (AAPISIs)
  • Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs)
  • Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs)
  • Tribal Universities (TCUs)

For more information see U.S.C. Title 20.

Administrative Principal Investigator (PI)

You ARE eligible to submit an LOI if you:

  • Are full-time faculty at a federally-designated MSI
  • Have attained the rank of Associate Professor or Full Professor
  • Have a track record of extramural cancer research funding, mentoring junior investigators, and publications in peer-reviewed journals
  • Have administrative/leadership experience, i.e., deputy director or director of a program, center, or department

Note: If an institution has received DICR IDG funding, an investigator from the same institution will not be eligible to apply for this funding opportunity (only 1 DICR IDG can be awarded per institution).

Letter-of-Intent Requirements and Due Date: A letter-of-intent (LOI) process will be used for selecting investigators to submit a full application.

By July 19, 2022, the DICR IDG Administrative PI should submit the following via proposalCENTRAL:

  • Name of Institution 
  • Administrative PI Information: Full name, degree(s), title, department, institution name, mailing address, email address, telephone number, administrative assistant’s full name and email address
  • Overview of the Institution (up to 3 pages): Brief description of the institution and degree-granting programs. Include whether the institution is a federally-designated MSI, how long has the designation been in place, and type of MSI.
  • Overview of Need (up to 2 pages): Provide a brief overview of how the award will facilitate/enhance cancer research career development of trainees and early-career faculty and position your institution/faculty to receive large cancer research grants.
  • Attachments (not included in page limit): NIH Biosketches are required for Administrative PIs.

See DICR IDG LOI Instructions

Invitation-to-Apply Date: By July 25, 2022, invitation-to-apply decisions will be communicated to applicants via proposalCENTRAL. That correspondence will include a link to the grant application and instruction materials on proposalCENTRAL.

Selection of 3 DICR IDG grantee institutions will be based upon nationally competitive peer review conducted by the ACS according to established guidelines and policies.


A total budget of $2.631 M for a 4-year project period will support 26 trainees and junior faculty research. Sub-awards from this institutional block grant will then be awarded through the following ACS research grant mechanisms: Pilot Grants for new early career faculty, Clinician Scientist Development Grant (CSDG), Postdoctoral Fellowships (PF), and Master Scholars (MS) in Cancer Prevention and Control.

The DICR IDG should include the following sub-awards:

Pilot Grants

Overview: Small sub-award grant mechanism for new early-career faculty to test feasibility and collect preliminary data for a larger cancer research study.


  • New faculty within the first 6 years of starting a full-time faculty appointment.
  • Have not had an R-level funding or equivalent as PI.

Grant Term: 1 year

Number of Pilot Grants supported per institution: 16 overall (4 pilot grants/year for 4 years)

Total Budget: $480,000 ($30,000 per grant per year)

Clinician Scientist Development Grants (CSDGs)

Overview: Provides protected time for early-career clinical scientists (Instructor or Assistant Professor) to be mentored and lead a cancer research study to aid their development as independent clinical scientists.

Eligibility: Licensed clinicians within the first 6 years of starting a full-time faculty appointment.

See CSDG in the policies and instructions documents for more information.  

Grant Term: 4 years

Number of CSDGs supported per institution: 2

Total Budget: $1,200,000 ($600,000 per clinician scientist)  

Postdoctoral Fellowships (PFs)

Overview: Provides mentored research experiences with the goal of becoming an independent investigator

Eligibility:  A US citizen or permanent resident who has had a doctoral degree for LESS than 3 years

Grant Term: 3 years

Number of PFs supported per institution: 2

Total Budget: $351,000 ($175,500 per postdoctoral fellow)

Master Scholars (MS)

Overview: Provides support for Master-level public health (MPH) students to complete a practicum related to cancer prevention and control.

Grant Term: 2 years

Number of MS grants supported per institution: 6 (3 MS cohorts a year for 2 years)

Total Budget: $300,000 ($50,000 per master scholar)

Additional Support for Career Development

The Career Development Fund are discretionary funds to support career development.

Potential Ways to use these funds:

  • Cancer Research Faculty Development: An educational program to provide foundational knowledge and develop skills (research, scientific presentation, and writing) for faculty interested in pursuing cancer research careers
  • Travel to professional meetings
  • Salary offset for a research program coordinator to support the implementation and management of the career development grant programs and activities, if needed

Fund term: 4 years

Total Budget: $300,000 ($75,000 a year)

DICR IDG Application Instructions and Policies