Alliance for Clinical trials in oncology Foundation
special projects allocation




The Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology Foundation makes funds available to support research focused on addressing high-priority research areas defined during the Alliance Scientific Strategic Retreat every two years.  


The Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology is a multidisciplinary, multi-institutional research consortium whose mission is to reduce the impact of cancer by uniting a broad community of scientists and clinicians from many disciplines, committed to discovering, validating and disseminating effective strategies for the prevention and treatment of cancer.

Alliance achieves this purpose by:

  • conducting high-quality multidisciplinary cancer control, prevention, and treatment trials that engage a comprehensive research network;
  • furthering our understanding of the biological basis of the cancer process and its treatment, from discovery to validation, to clinical practice;
  • providing a scientific and operational infrastructure for innovative clinical and translational research in academic and community settings.

Every two years, Alliance leaders participate in a scientific strategic retreat, during which a number of research priorities are defined. The goal of these priorities is to focus innovation by Alliance scientific committees on a few strategic areas, with the expectation that attention to these priorities will challenge researchers to move beyond what is currently possible and accelerate the development of new treatments, cancer control approaches, and cancer care delivery results. These strategic priorities generally focus upon fostering engagement of new disciplines or technologies relevant to Alliance research, or upon work to improve the design and implementation of Alliance clinical trials. 

Alliance Strategic Priorities announced in November 2018 included:

  • Building an infrastructure to enable studies improving/defining the value of cancer care
  • Developing blood-based biomarkers to address treatment response and characterize treatment resistance
  • Developing treatments for tumor genomic subsets:  e.g., design an Alliance strategy based upon lessons learned from MATCH and TAPUR
  • Simplifying data requirements and data collection

Proposal Requirements

  • Principal Investigator (contact PI) must be an Alliance member in good standing
  • Proposal must address one of the four current Alliance Strategic Priorities
  • Proposal Specific Aims must be achievable in a two-year timeframe, and if selected for funding it is expected that the work will be completed within two years following funding
  • If the proposed work involves NCI-supported research, approval by the appropriate NCI committees may be required before final approval and funding of the project

Proposal Format

            Specific Aims:  1-page maximum
            Research Plan:  2-3 pages maximum
            Relevance to Alliance Strategic Priority:  1-page maximum
            Qualifications of Research Team:  1-page maximum
            Sustainability Strategy:  1-page maximum

Review Criteria

        The following questions will be used by the review panel to assess the suitability of the proposed work and to assign priority for funding:

  • How well does the proposal address the relevant Strategic Priority?
  • Is the Alliance an appropriate environment for execution of the proposed research?
  • Does the work involve collaboration across two or more Alliance institutions?
  • Is the work achievable within the two -ear timeframe?
  • Is the research team qualified to conduct the proposed research?
  • If the end result of the research is to set up a new research initiative or program, how will this new effort be sustained once the initial funding is completed?

Funding Source, Funding Amounts, and Reporting Requirements

The funding is provided by the Alliance Foundation, a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation whose purpose is to support the mission of the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology. A total of $1,000,000 is allocated. Individual proposal budgets are limited to a maximum total cost of $200,000, of which no more than 15% can be allocated to indirect costs. Proposals for projects requiring less than the maximal amount are also welcome.

Successful applicants will be required to provide yearly progress reports to the Alliance Foundation, detailing scientific progress and funding allocation.

Submission Information: The submission due date has passed for Year One.

For more information about this opportunity, contact Katie Kamb, Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology Foundation, e-mail


Year One | Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology Foundation Special Project Allocation Recipients

  • Ya-Chen Tina Shih, PhD, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, and Tina W. F. Yen, MD, MS, Medical College of Wisconsin: "The effect of preoperative breast MRI on costs among women with breast cancer: an economic analysis of Alliance A011104"
  • Terrance M. Williams, MD, PhD, and David P. Carbone, MD, PhD, Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center: "T cell receptor sequencing to predict responders and nonresponders to chemoradiation and atezolizumab for locally advanced non-small cell lung cancer"
  • Federico Innocenti, MD, PhD, and Naim Rashid, PhD, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill: "Machine learning prognostic and predictive analyses for metastatic colorectal cancer – C80405"
  • Ellen M. Lavoie Smith, PhD, RN, FAAN, University of Michigan and David Zahrieh, PhD, Mayo Clinic: "Patient-targeted ePRO educational resource (ePRO-E) to increase ePRO uptake within Alliance clinical trials"
  • Sumithra Mandrekar, PhD, Mayo Clinic and David E. Kozono, MD, PhD, Brigham and Women’s Hospital: "Streamlining tumor response criteria using iRECIST in Alliance immune-oncology trials"