Release Date: November 6, 2015

The UPR/MDACC Partnership for Excellence in Cancer Research is accepting applications for pilot projects that have the potential to develop into competitive grant applications for submission to the NIH or other equivalent research funding agencies.

Three awards are available for pilot projects (up to $120,000 per award per year between UPR and MDACC institutions). Proposals will be accepted for projects that have the potential to develop into U54 full projects or NIH grants. The award will be issued for 1 year with additional funding of up to 2 years pending Internal Advisory Committee Review.


  • All projects must have a minimum of two co-leaders: one from UPR and one from MD Anderson.
  • Co-leaders must be at the level of assistant professor or above; one co-leader should have seniority.
  • Applications must have a Career Development and Mentorship Plan for any junior research personnel (faculty, post-docs, and graduate students).

Instructions Pilot Project Announcement 2016.pdf

If you need assistance identifying a co-leader from the UPR System, please email Marievelisse Soto Salgado, DrPHc, MS (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) at the University of Puerto Rico Medical Sciences Campus.  In your email to Mrs. Soto Salgado, please be sure to send your full contact information and a brief description of your idea for a project.

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A complete application will include:

  • Submission Information +

    Submission Information: Submit Letter of Intent and completed application (pdf file) to: Evelyn Rivera (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 787-772-8300 ext. 1102), and Sherri De Jesus (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; 713-563-0569/713-563-0570).
  • Letter of Intent – January 15, 2016 +

    Outline the following information: (1) brief project description and (2) UPR and MD Anderson faculty involved. Address to: Drs. Gabriel Lopez-Berestein and Marcia Cruz-Correa, Lead/Contact Principal Investigators Biographical Sketch Page (NIH format) for all key personnel
  • Pilot Application – April 8, 2016 +

    Title page including the title of the project, name of co-leaders from both institutions, and a brief abstract stating specific aims. Research Strategy up to 6 pages, which should include the following items: Significance; Innovation; Preliminary Studies (encouraged but not required); and approach. Career Development & Mentorship Plan for all junior faculty, post-docs and graduate students (2 pages, not included in 6 page limit) Any necessary certifications (Address all issues pertaining to human subjects, animal care and use, biosafety or hazardous chemicals in the research narrative.) Commitment letter: If project requires recruitment of human subjects, a clear strategy to meet accrual
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U54 Collaborators

Universidad de Puerto RicoThe University of Texas – MD Anderson Cancer CenterNational Cancer InstituteCenter for Reduce Cancer Health Disparities