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RFA: Real-World Data Impact Award (RWIA)

A Collaboration Between the American Cancer Society and Flatiron Health, Inc.


The Real-World Data Impact Award (RWIA) supports the American Cancer Society’s and Flatiron Health’s goals of accelerating cancer research that has strong potential to inform public health, public policy or to improve clinical practice and contribute to health equity.

Scientific Scope

Novel research utilizing existing Flatiron Health, Inc. (FHI) cancer patient data to explore areas that may lead to improvements in US public health, public policy, and quality of cancer care.

FHI curates information from electronic health records, with 22 disease-specific data sets available for research under the award mechanism. Examples of research topics within scope of the award are provide below. This list is not comprehensive. We encourage applicants to review published research utilizing FHI data (

  • Characterizing healthcare disparities in treatment and outcomes among underserved populations to inform efforts toward achieving health equity
  • Evaluating the impact of national healthcare policy on providers’ practice patterns and on patient outcomes across the cancer continuum
  • Comparing the effectiveness of treatments unlikely to be addressed within cancer clinical trials
  • Assessing the impact of clinical guidelines on cancer care, treatment, and outcomes
  • Developing or validating models to predict cancer risk or to stratify risk(s) to inform stepped care

See these press releases about projects previously funded under this RFA

Grants funded in 2020

Grants funded in 2021

Grants funded in 2022 – coming soon


This award mechanism is for American Cancer Society (ACS) current and former grantees conducting health services, health policy research, or public health research using real-world data. Applicants meeting the below criteria will be invited to apply for this RFA via proposalCENTRAL.

Note: Current and former RWIA grantees are not eligible to apply. 

Applicants must:

Mark Your Calendar

Webinar: Email the Program Contact to request a recording of the most recent webinar

Signed Non-disclosure Agreement Due 


LOI Due Date 


Invitation-to-Apply Date 


Application Deadline 
(if invited)


Application Peer Review 

June 2024

Award Notification 

September 2024

Grant Activation 

Jan. 2025

Applicants should review the American Cancer Society RWIA Grant Policies and Instructions.


Please contact

  • Have the requisite expertise to conduct research projects using de-identified real-world data.
  • Have an active ACS grant or a completed ACS grant that expired between January 2019 and December 2022.
  • An eligible ACS grantee may mentor a qualified doctoral-level lab member (e.g., a postdoc in the ACS grantee’s lab), who can serve as the project PI. This lab member should have the training and expertise to work with real-world data.

Applications may be submitted by a college, university, medical school, or other not-for-profit research organization within the United States, its territories, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

All applicants shall be subject to the terms and conditions of a separate confidentiality agreement between Flatiron and the Grantee.

Grant Term and Budget: $75,000 direct cost for a 1-year award period; no indirect costs are allowed.

Application Process

Eligible current and former grantees will be informed of the grant opportunity and will automatically be invited to the first step in the process (i.e., the pre-LOI). Investigators interested in applying need to sign a confidentiality agreement with Flatiron Health in proposalCENTRAL (denoted as “Pre-LOI”) and then submit a letter of intent (LOI).

Pre-LOI: FHI Nondisclosure Confidentiality Agreement

  • Download the FHI confidentiality agreement from proposalCENTRAL and sign it.
  • Once signed, upload it in proposalCENTRAL as a pdf. Once the NDA is submitted, Flatiron Health will give applicants access to general information about available FHI data sets, data elements, and the data dictionary.

Letter of Intent (LOI)

  • Must be submitted through proposalCENTRAL
  • LOIs are required and must include in a maximum of 3 pages:
    • Title of proposed research
    • PI and Study Team Information: PI contact information, PI administrative assistant’s contact information, and the names and roles of team members
    • Disease of Interest: Cancer/Cancer Area of Interest
    • Study Overview: Include the disease data sets of interest, brief background about the research plan, specific aims and hypothesis, data elements required, cohort inclusion/exclusion criteria, study design, data analysis plan, and expected significance and impact.
    • NIH Biosketch: Required for PI and Study Team

LOI Review Process: A two-phased process will be used to determine which investigators will be invited to submit supplemental award proposals. Applicants will receive the FHI assessment and the reviewers’ critiques.

  • Phase 1: Feasibility Assessment. FHI will review the LOIs, and corresponding data needs to determine if the proposed research question is one that can be feasibly answered using FHI data.
  • Phase 2: Scientific Review. A scientific LOI Selection Committee will review the LOIs for scientific merit. Invitation-to-apply decisions will be communicated to applicants via proposalCENTRAL by February 2023.

Full Applications      

  • Applicants receiving favorable assessment and reviews will be invited to submit full applications
  • Must be submitted through proposalCENTRAL
  • All required materials and application instructions are available in proposalCENTRAL2

Funds Available for Awards: Funds will support up to 3 Real-World Data Impact awards. Awarded institutions will contract with ACS using their individual Terms and Conditions. All awardees will be required to comply with the terms and conditions in the FHI nondisclosure confidentiality agreement and the FHI data use agreement, which outlines the terms and conditions required for the Grantee’s use, receipt, and storage of FHI licensed data.